The 10 Best Performances in the Franchise, Ranked – TheFantasyTimes

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By Jitin Gambhir

The 10 Best Performances in the Franchise, Ranked

The Fast and Furious franchise is famous for its high-octane action, but not necessarily for the performances of its cast. While Vin Diesel’s “family” catchphrase has become a staple of the series, other franchises, such as the John Wick movies, have set a high bar for action performances. However, there are still plenty of actors in the Fast and Furious franchise who deliver great performances, often with a sense of fun, that keep audiences coming back for more. In this article, we look at the top 10 performances in the franchise.

10. Michelle Rodriguez – Letty Ortiz
Michelle Rodriguez is a bona fide badass, and her portrayal of Letty Ortiz is one of the most memorable in the series. While her dialogue may not always be perfect, her confidence, deadly skills, and intimidating presence make Letty one of the franchise’s most badass female characters.

9. Paul Walker – Brian O’Connor
The late Paul Walker’s portrayal of Brian O’Connor is one of the most beloved in the franchise. Walker’s charm and charisma made him a fan favorite, and his genuine reactions to the series’ over-the-top action moments only added to his appeal. We miss him dearly.

8. Luke Evans – Owen Shaw
Luke Evans delivered an impressive performance as the calculating and deadly Owen Shaw. His portrayal of the franchise’s antagonist was a highlight of Fast & Furious 6, and one of the reasons the film stands out as one of the best in the series.

7. Vanessa Kirby – Hattie Shaw
Vanessa Kirby’s portrayal of Hattie Shaw is a standout in the franchise’s recent entries. As a member of the franchise’s deadliest family, Hattie is a force to be reckoned with. Kirby’s performance is intelligent, witty, and compelling, and she proves that she’s one of the best female action stars around.

6. Idris Elba – Brixton Lore
Idris Elba is a fantastic actor, and his performance as the villain Brixton Lore in Hobbs & Shaw is one of his most entertaining roles. As an indestructible cybernetically-enhanced soldier, Elba is having a blast acting alongside Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham. His performance is a highlight of the film.

5. Jason Statham – Deckard Shaw
Jason Statham is a legendary martial artist, and his portrayal of Deckard Shaw is one of the most memorable in the franchise. Statham’s physicality is on full display in some of the franchise’s best fight scenes, but it’s his comedic timing and banter with Dwayne Johnson that truly make him stand out.

4. Kurt Russell – Mr. Nobody
Kurt Russell is a Hollywood legend, and his turn as the mysterious Mr. Nobody in the Fast and Furious franchise is a delight. Though the character lacks depth, Russell’s charm and humor make him a great addition to the series.

3. Helen Mirren – Magdalene “Queenie” Shaw
Helen Mirren’s performance as Magdalene “Queenie” Shaw is a testament to her versatility as an actress. Her over-the-top cockney accent and hardcore persona add to the series’ already impressive roster of kick-ass female characters.

2. Dwayne Johnson – Luke Hobbs
Dwayne Johnson’s portrayal of Luke Hobbs is one of the reasons the franchise has become so successful. Johnson’s bravado and epic one-liners are a highlight of the series, and his chemistry with Jason Statham is infectious.


1. Jason Momoa – Dante Reyes
Jason Momoa’s performance as Dante Reyes in the upcoming Fast & Furious X is already generating buzz. Momoa plays the character as a flamboyant, unpredictable, and stylish villain in the vein of the Joker, and early reviews suggest that he steals the show. We can’t wait to see what he brings to the franchise.

In conclusion, while the Fast and Furious franchise may not be known for its performances, there are plenty of actors who have delivered memorable and entertaining turns. From Michelle Rodriguez’s badassery to Jason Momoa’s upcoming villain, the franchise continues to surprise and delight audiences with its performances.

The Fast and Furious franchise certainly isn’t known for the cast’s performances. Whether it’s Vin Diesel spouting “family” or some other nonsense piece of dialogue, the Fast and Furious franchise doesn’t offer much in terms of performances, at least not compared to some other action franchises, like the John Wick movies for example.

However, there are still many actors in the franchise that offer some pretty great, although mostly fun performances, that along with the impressive car stunts and action set pieces, keep us coming back for more. So, with that in mind, here are the 10 best performances in the Fast and Furious franchise.



10 Michelle Rodriguez – Letty Ortiz

Michelle Rodriguez in Fast and Furious returning for Fast X
Universal Pictures

Michelle Rodriguez is a badass, period. And no role truly exemplifies this more than her time as Letty Ortiz. Sure, some of her dialogue and delivery may be a little off at points, however, her confident, deadly, and intimidating action heroine prowess is what makes Letty Ortiz one of the most badass female characters in the whole franchise.

9 Paul Walker – Brian O’Connor

Brian O'Connor in F7
Universal Pictures

Brian O’Connor was a deeply integral part of the franchise, who we sorely miss. Paul Walker was taken away from us way too soon, and his lovable performance as the impeccable driver is what brought and kept many fans to the franchise. Walker bundled up all his charm and charisma and unpacks it into his character of Brian O’Connor, cementing Brian as one of the best characters in the franchise.

Walker’s “oh s**t” during the many unbelievable action set moments felt very authentic and helped us adore his character so much more, as well as enhancing the franchise’s action.

Related: The Most Emotional Scenes in Action Movies, Ranked

8 Luke Evans – Owen Shaw

Luke Evans in Fast & Furious 6
Universal Pictures

Owen Shaw is a highly intelligent and deadly antagonist in the Fast and Furious franchise, who was brought to life by the incredible Luke Evans. The James Bond front-runner is fantastic in the role, delivering an intimidating and calculating performance, making Owen Shaw one of the best antagonists of the franchise. Evans has a vast filmography, with many great roles, yet his performance as Owen Shaw in Fast 6 is quite easily one of the best.

7 Vanessa Kirby – Hattie Shaw

Fast and Furious - Hattie Shaw
Universal Pictures

Much like many of the female characters in the Fast and Furious franchise, Hattie Shaw kicks butt. The Shaws are without a doubt the best and deadliest family in the Fast franchise, and Vanessa Kirby‘s deadly, intelligent, witty, and compelling performance only helps prove that. Kirby is one of the best female action stars around, and although she has only starred in a few action movies, she more than proves her action hero prowess, by starring in the Mission Impossible franchise, and of course the Fast franchise.

6 Idris Elba – Brixton Lore

Universal Pictures

Idris Elba is a phenomenal actor. His performances as DCI Luther, Heimdall, Knuckles, and Bloodsport are all amazing. Yet, one of Elba’s most entertaining and infectiously fun roles is as the antagonist of Hobbs and ShawBrixton Lore. Idris Elba is having a ton of fun as an indestructible cybernetically-enhanced soldier, acting alongside and fighting against Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham. Hobbs and Shaw is a hilarious, action-packed movie, which wouldn’t be one of the best Fast and Furious without the great Elba as the movie’s villain.

5 Jason Statham – Deckard Shaw

Jason Statham as Deckard Shaw
Universal Pictures

Deckard Shaw is one of the deadliest characters in the Fast franchise. The former British Special Forces soldier is proficient in martial arts, and gun combat, and is an expert at driving. So, who else to bring Deckard Shaw to life than legendary martial artist, Jason Statham.

Statham brings all of his iconic physicality to the role of Deckard Shaw, delivering some of the best fight scenes in the franchise. However, it’s Statham’s comic timing and hilarious back-and-forth banter between himself and Dwayne Johnson that makes Statham stand out. As he showed in Melissa McCarthy’s SpyJason Statham is a surprisingly hilarious actor whose insults and comedic lines never fail to hit.

Related: 10 Best Drivers in the Fast and Furious Franchise, Ranked

4 Kurt Russell – Mr. Nobody

Kurt Russell - Furious 7
Universal Pictures

Legendary actor Kurt Russell has starred in some of the best movies and franchises of all time. Most notably, the likes of John Carpenter’s The Thing, Big Trouble in Little China, Tango and Cash, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2. It was a little surprising to see Kurt Russell in the Fast and Furious world, however, we are so glad he accepted the role of the brilliantly mysterious Mr. Nobody.

Like most actors in the Fast and Furious franchise, Kurt Russell is having a blast acting alongside Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Dwayne Johnson, and Jason Statham, among many others. Although Mr. Nobody does lack a lot of depth and is a little arrogant, Russell’s hilarious and deeply charming overshadows the fact and offers up a great character.

3 Helen Mirren – Magdalene “Queenie” Shaw

The Fate of the Furious, Hobbs and Shaw

Academy Award-winning actress Helen Mirren fits right into the Fast and Furious universe. Her over-the-top, yet very authentic cockney accent and her hardcore persona add to the already spectacular cast of kick-ass female characters. Every time we see Mirren on-screen, we can’t help but smile, and the joy that Helen Mirren is having as a recurring role in the highly successful action franchise is deeply infectious.

2 Dwayne Johnson – Luke Hobbs

The Rock in Furious 7

The Fast and Furious franchise would not be as successful as it is today without former wrestling superstar turned actor, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. His inclusion in Fast Five skyrocketed the franchise to brand-new heights and into the bombastic action franchise we now know. Johnson’s impeccable bravado and epic one-liners is where the franchise shines.

Likewise, as previously mentioned, the chemistry between him and Statham is infectious, and seeing the two hurl insult after insult at one another is hilarious. We are so glad to see Johnson return to the franchise.

1 Jason Momoa – Dante Reyes

Jason Momoa as the villainous Dante in Fast X.
Universal Pictures

As excited as we were to see Jason Momoa make his Fast and Furious debut, we never expected the actor to go as hard as he did. Jason Momoa plays Dante Reyes as a Joker-esque character, and it really works, making for the best villain in the entire franchise. Momoa delivers one of the best performances of the year and the decade so far.

Momoa is over-the-top, hilarious, and incredibly intimidating as the unpredictable, flamboyant, and stylish villain of Fast Xand the latest Fast and Furious would certainly not be as entertaining without Momoa in the cast.

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