F9 is finally blasting into theaters this week after more than a year-long delay due to COVID-19. The most recent Fast Saga movie came out way back in 2017, and with such a long gap between entries, we’ve had plenty of time to think about this whole franchise from unconventional angles. So grab a tank of NOS and any brew you want (as long as it’s a Corona), and check out this incontrovertible ranking of the major Fast and Furious characters based on how much they could kick your ass.
Best Ass-Kicking Moment: N/A
Fighting Characteristics: Jesse choked so hard during his race against Johnny Tran at Race Wars that he literally freaked out and sped off into the desert rather than deal with the consequences of his actions. He strikes me as the type of kid who would agree to fight you at 3 P.M. at the big oak tree, but when you get there, you see him ride by in the passenger seat of his mom’s minivan.
Likelihood of Starting a Fight: Zero.
Could He Kick My Ass?: I have never been in a fight, so…probably.
Best Ass-Kicking Moment: N/A
Fighting Characteristics: Leon is like one of the bully’s moronic pals in an ’80s movie, just standing around to help maintain an intimidating group presence but never actually getting in on the action when something goes down. I mean, look at this photo, for Christ’s sake – punches are being thrown, people are being held back, tensions are high…and there’s Leon, standing off to the side with an open bag of chips.
Likelihood of Starting a Fight: No way.
Could He Kick My Ass?: If he had those chips and I was hungry during the brawl, he could use them as a distraction tool and take me out when I least expected it. So yes.
Best Ass-Kicking Moment: I don’t think Mia has thrown a punch in this franchise yet, but the trailer for F9 makes it look like she mixes it up a little bit in that one, so consider this a temporary ranking position for her.
Fighting Characteristics: N/A
Likelihood of Starting a Fight: She’s far more likely to break one up.
Could She Kick My Ass?: Of course.
Best Ass-Kicking Moment: He doesn’t really have one, but he got his ass handed to him on the school rooftop by Morimoto in Tokyo Drift when Morimoto claimed Twinkie sold him a busted iPod.
Fighting Characteristics: He was really only in that one fight, and I guess the defining moment of it would be him getting mad at his pal Sean for de-escalating the situation and saving him from catching an even worse beatdown. Probably could have handled that one a bit better, Twinkie. But he does have that giant green Hulk car, so maybe that counts for something?
Likelihood of Starting a Fight: Too nice – he wouldn’t dream of it.
Could He Kick My Ass?: Without fail.
16. Magdalene Shaw
Best Ass-Kicking Moment: She mentally kicked Deckard’s ass when she tricked him into thinking she was emotionally devastated by his initial refusal to work with Owen, only for her to immediately cut the waterworks when Deckard agreed to her plan.
Fighting Characteristics: She’s conniving and seems pretty ruthless, and her strong cockney accent is practically movie shorthand for someone being a down-and-dirty badass.
Likelihood of Starting a Fight: I’ll have a better sense of this after seeing F9, but based on what we’ve seen so far, she feels like a loose cannon who would start something without thinking twice.
Could She Kick My Ass?: Indeed.
15. Monica Fuentes
Best Ass-Kicking Moment: During the climax of 2 Fast 2 Furious, she picks up a shotgun and looks cool while holding it in the villain’s face.
Fighting Characteristics: Monica doesn’t ever actually fight in the first eight movies, but since she’s an undercover U.S. Customs Agent, I have to assume she participated in some basic tactical and/or weapons training that we didn’t get to see on screen.
Likelihood of Starting a Fight: Low. She’s very cool under pressure.
Could She Kick My Ass?: Yep.
Best Ass-Kicking Moment: Beating the shit out of Brian in the parking lot outside of the Toretto family cafe.
Fighting Characteristics: Despite his perpetual need to wear tank tops that show off his muscles, Vince’s bark is actually worse than his bite. That first parking lot fight with Brian was relatively evenly matched, and Vince’s fiery temper is a weakness that could be easily exploited by somebody who knows how to push his buttons.
Likelihood of Starting a Fight: Wildly high. If you even glance at this dude the wrong way, he’ll be in your face faster than a souped up Dodge Charger can go zero to 60.
Could He Kick My Ass?: No question.
Best Ass-Kicking Moment: Inventing God’s Eye, a device that can metaphorically kick your ass by hacking into any digital object on the planet to provide your exact location to its owner.
Fighting Characteristics: Ramsey isn’t the roughhousing type, but she could ruin your life with a few keystrokes, so I wouldn’t mess with her.
Likelihood of Starting a Fight: Low, because it’s tough to start a fight when you’re manning the I.T. desk for the whole mission.
Could She Kick My Ass?: Positively.
Best Ass-Kicking Moment: Cipher doesn’t throw a punch, but she proved herself to be one step ahead of Ramsey during their hack-off sequence revolving around the Russian submarine in The Fate of the Furious, so she gets the edge in this matchup.
Fighting Characteristics: Ordering the murder of your child’s mother in front of you, trying to convince your significant other she has seduced you, hacking an ocean of cars to do her fighting for her.
Likelihood of Starting a Fight: High – Cipher clearly loves the chaos factor.
Could She Kick My Ass?: Emphatically.
Best Ass-Kicking Moment: Hurling a man into a jet engine.
Fighting Characteristics: Han leaps into action when necessary, throwing his whole body into his punches and sometimes paying a physical price for that level of devotion. And if you’re around when the love of his life dies in front of him, watch out – he can tap into a Wolverine-like “berserker rage” level that will not end well for you.
Likelihood of Starting a Fight: Very low…unless you steal his last potato chip.
Could He Kick My Ass?: You bet.
Best Ass-Kicking Moment: It’s a tie between him landing a few solid punches on Brian when they first meet in 2 Fast 2 Furious and getting some good kicks in on Verone’s goon near the end of the second film, although he does land several strong punches on Jah (Joe Taslim) in the sixth movie.
Fighting Characteristics: Roman runs his mouth more than any other character in the F&F universe, but when it gets down to a good old-fashioned slugfest, he can surprisingly back up all of that talk.
Likelihood of Starting a Fight: High, but only because his sarcastic one-liners or muttering under his breath might piss off the wrong person.
Could He Kick My Ass?: Definitely.
Best Ass-Kicking Moment: She gets some good knocks in during that super-long runway scene in Fast & Furious 6, but those were quickly overshadowed by her decision to sacrifice herself to save Han’s life.
Fighting Characteristics: She’ll distract you by flashing that million watt smile, but she’ll pull a gun and start shooting if things go south. She doesn’t throw fists very often, but when she does, they connect.
Likelihood of Starting a Fight: Low. Gisele would always rather think her way out of a situation than punch her way out.
Could She Kick My Ass?: Assuredly.
Best Ass-Kicking Moment: I had totally forgotten about this, but Tej completely dismantles an angry security guy during the Abu Dhabi sequence in Furious 7. It’s his only hand-to-hand fight in the entire franchise so far.
Fighting Characteristics: Lures you into a false sense of security before surprising you with quick and decisive punches. Finishes things off with an elbow to the face.
Likelihood of Starting a Fight: He’s too busy trying to hook up with Ramsey to be worried about starting fights.
Could He Kick My Ass?: 100%.
7. Owen Shaw
Best Ass-Kicking Moment: He performs a great spin kick on Dom in the airplane cargo hold in Fast & Furious 6.
Fighting Characteristics: Solid form, and especially dangerous because he uses his legs just as frequently as his hands.
Likelihood of Starting a Fight: Medium. He’s all about efficiency, so if fighting you benefits his larger plan in the moment, he’d start something with no hesitation. Although at one point Deckard explicitly says that Owen used to start fights all the time when they were kids, so maybe he still has a bit of that in him.
Could He Kick My Ass?: Without a doubt.
6. Brian O’Conner
Best Ass-Kicking Moment: Brian does an amazing out-of-nowhere jump punch on Owen Shaw in that airplane from 6.
Fighting Characteristics: His body type may not seem like it, but Brian is a bruiser who delivers body blows and huge haymakers with abandon – and he can take ’em as well as he can dish ’em out.
Likelihood of Starting a Fight: Low. He’ll stand his ground in a bad situation, but unless his family or friends are threatened, Brian’s generally pretty level-headed.
Could He Kick My Ass?: Affirmative.
Best Ass-Kicking Moment: Sean lands a surprise punch on Morimoto in Tokyo Drift.
Fighting Characteristics: Sean took a beatdown at the hands of the villainous Drift King, but this Southern-fried racer never backs down from a fight. He also has a misplaced sense of supreme confidence, which makes him incredibly dangerous.
Likelihood of Starting a Fight: High. Sean is one of those guys whose pride won’t let him just walk away from an insult.
Could He Kick My Ass?: Certainly.
Best Ass-Kicking Moment: Everyone will (rightfully) point to the big throw-down against Ronda Rousey in Furious 7, but I’m also partial to the very first punch Letty throws in the entire franchise: when a brawl breaks out at Race Wars, she wastes zero time and throws a devastating right hook that instantly puts Lance on the ground. (She also punches Hector in the face when she’s feeling overwhelmed at Race Wars in Furious 7, so there’s something about that place that is fertile ground for a Letty punch.)
Fighting Characteristics: Letty has a short fuse, and a short reach to match. That means she has to get in lots of jabs to stay in a fight, but she’s also not scared to damage her own body if it gives her an advantage, like she did when she threw herself and Gina Carano’s character down a stairwell in Fast & Furious 6.
Likelihood of Starting a Fight: While she’s always willing to get her hands dirty, Letty actually has enough self-control to avoid starting fights unless she’s backed into a corner.
Could She Kick My Ass?: I would get obliterated.
Best Ass-Kicking Moment: There’s a massive flying head-butt against one of Owen Shaw’s lackeys in Fast & Furious 6 that is pretty impressive, and throwing Hobbs through windows and tables looks like it was a lot of fun. But don’t sleep on the uppercut depicted in this picture, in which he literally punches Deckard Shaw so hard in the chin that my man flies a full six feet in the air before crashing down again.
Fighting Characteristics: No nuance, all muscle. If it’s not a punch that might kill a normal human, Dom ain’t throwin’ it.
Likelihood of Starting a Fight: Surprisingly, low. Like Letty, Dom is actually more likely to stand there and glower than to throw the first punch.
Could He Kick My Ass?: Brutally.
2. Deckard Shaw
Best Ass-Kicking Moment: It’s a tie for me between anything from the prison break sequence in The Fate of the Furious and the brawl in Hobbs’ office in Furious 7, both of which are among the franchise’s very best action scenes. The airplane fight while protecting Dom’s baby is super entertaining as well.
Fighting Characteristics: Deckard is lightning fast – so fast that it often feels like he’s three moves ahead of his opponent in a brawl, which allows him to land some devastating moves on the reg.
Likelihood of Starting a Fight: High. Deckard lives for fights – it seems like they’re the only time he truly feels alive – so he’s apt to use any excuse to get one started.
Could He Kick My Ass?: Indisputably.
Best Ass-Kicking Moment: Beating the ever-loving shit out of Dom in Fast Five, even though the movie (hilariously) wants us to believe that Dom would win in that fight.
Fighting Characteristics: Hobbs has the ideal combination of agility and raw power. He’s surprisingly quick for his size, but he’s also strong enough to flex his way out of a damned arm cast. That part can’t be overstated.
Likelihood of Starting a Fight: Low. His imposing physical presence often curbs any unwanted escalation, and he is a government agent, after all.
Could He Kick My Ass?: Ha! He wishes.
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