Last week, I got an insanely good deal on the blu-ray box set of the Fast and the Furious series; seven films with a space included to add the eighth film (currently in theaters) down the road. it also has a light up dashboard on the cover, for some unfathomable reason.
Go ahead and laugh; these movies are a pure guilty pleasure, and the franchise has done something very rare, shifting genres from low-budget street racing crime drama to over-the-top, physics defying heist action flicks that only make sense when you assume the characters have super powers, while still retaining backyard BBQs, bottle of Corona, and sledgehammer subtlety about family being the most important thing. They’re cheesy yet earnest, empty calorie thrill rides that I find myself getting a big kick out of, especially the more recent ones as their connection to reality becomes more and more tenuous.
In between all the other stuff on the schedule, we watched a couple of these flicks this weekend (I started with three, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift because it introduces Han Seoul-Oh, by far the best character in the movies, and also, strangely,includes his death, which leads to this movie being pushed into a future timeline (where everybody in Japan uses Nokia flip-phones in presumably 2013 Japan), taking place after film six, and leading to drinking-game worthy dialogue in each movie in the interim about how he’ll get to Tokyo “eventually,” which is wonderful retcon cheese that makes me love the silliness even more.
Anyway, Fast and Furious 6 is well into the cartoony, superhero heist evolution, and the final setpiece involves a bit where a bunch of cars, jeeps and motorcycles chase a cargo plane carrying the villains and macguffin along a runway. This sequence lasts over thirteen(!) minutes, with everybody barrelling forward at speed. As the film wrapped, my wife and I looked at each other and commented about how that must be one long runway.
The internet is a wonderful thing, because Vulture.com did the math, calculating in a runway approximately 29 miles long, which is approximately four times the length of the longest runway ever to exist on the planet.
I still love it, and a 29 mile runway is just as realistic as the bit where they jump the tank around the elevated highway and Vin Diesel leaps off the car to catch Michelle Rodriguez mid-air and land on another car and just get up and walk it off.