Over the past 20 years, the scope of Fast villain’s ambitions have risen just as steadily as the films’ budgets. Who finishes this baddie race on top?
Jason Momoa was recently photographed filming motorcycle stunts for his role as the antagonist in the upcoming Fast X, making him the latest in a long line of both fast and furious baddies. While his film is over a year from its release in May 2023, he should get a head start working out his evil plan as he’ll have his work cut out for him stacking up to previous villain’s world-ending plots.
As a series that’s been around for over 20 years, the scope of Fast villain’s ambitions has risen just as steadily as the films’ budgets. The best baddie blueprints in the series cause a massive ripple effect of damage once they’re pulled off, and exact harrowing personal torment on the Nos-fueled protagonists.
DK Takashi: The Fast And The Furious: Tokyo Drift
This drag-racing Yakuza gangster has the ultimate goal of maintaining his status as Tokyo’s “Drift King” and eventually taking over the mafia organization his uncle oversees. He utterly fails to execute even these modest goals when he is run out of town for losing a drag race to Sean.
While the thought of the Fast protagonists squaring off against the Yakuza mob might sound like a lot of fun, Takashi turns out to be a very underwhelming villain for this franchise. His biggest problem is that he doesn’t really have any evil plans of his own, as he is repeatedly portrayed as a spoiled brat riding the coattails of his accomplished uncle.
Carter Verone: 2 Fast 2 Furious
This scenery-chewing drug lord is seeking to dominate the black-market drug trade in Miami, all while paying off the local police department to look the other way.
While he’s certainly no criminal mastermind, Verone stands apart from Takashi for the simple fact that he at least seems in charge of his own operation. Beyond that, he’s a fairly run-of-the-mill drug lord who stands out most when he’s hamming it up as a Miami Vice bad guy, intimidating his inferiors with his colorful designer clothing and a non-convincing Argentinian accent. Unfortunately, this unintentionally funny characterization does nothing to aid the limited scope of Verone’s criminal endeavors.
Johnny Tran: The Fast And The Furious
The first villain of the Fast franchise is focused on stealing cars and high-end electronics, and doing so better than fellow street racer Dominic Toretto. Tran and Toretto are positioned as former partners with a brotherly bond, and when things go sour between them, Tran’s actions feel like a personal attack.
Although Tran is likely the best driver among the series’ villains, his criminal operation of street-racing gangsters is even smaller potatoes than Takashi or Verone’s. It’s his personal connection with Fast & Furious’ main protagonist Dom that gives helps him leave a strong impression. He crosses a line when he shoots at Dom and his family, and this betrayal stands as his greatest act of villainy.
Arturo Braga: Fast & Furious
Braga is a standard Fast villain with the goal of trafficking heroin across the U.S./Mexico border. His network of criminal allies spans multiple countries and poses a credible threat to Dom and Brian, best seen when Braga takes out a hit on Dom’s ride or die girl, Letty.
The 4th Fast movie is like a gateway from the small-scale street racing seen in the original trilogy to the death-defying super-heroics in the six following films. The same is true of its villain, as Braga’s nefarious machinations are a step up from the series’ previous baddies. The impact of Letty’s death might have been lessened when she came back in the next film’s post-credit scene, but the fact remains that Braga is responsible for one of the most emotional and tragic moments in the Fast & Furious series.
Deckard Shaw: Furious 7
The cheeky yet deadly Shaw spends the 7th film exacting revenge on Dom and crew for almost killing his younger brother, Owen. He makes his fight with Dom feel incredibly personal, best seen when he callously explodes the iconic Toretto household.
Shaw’s relentless vendetta undoubtedly makes him one of the best villains in the series, but the scope of his plans don’t really go beyond his revenge on Dom’s family. Furious 7 does feature a villain intent on world domination, but it’s not Deckard Shaw – it’s secondary villain Mose Jakande played by Djimon Hounsou. Despite this, Shaw is able to accomplish some great feats of villainy, including killing off one of the series’ most iconic characters, Han.
Hernan Reyes: Fast Five
Reyes presents a different kind of villain for this franchise, as he uses his status as a Brazilian politician to aid in his drug-dealing criminal enterprises. The way he abuses his political power for his own financial gain is enough to make one’s blood boil and call to mind several real-world examples of this kind of evil.
Fast Five features the best heist in the series, and Reyes’ irredeemable exploitation of Rio’s people makes him the perfect antagonist for this kind of story. The anger he stirs in the characters on screen and the viewers watching makes it so everyone highly anticipates when the heroes are successful and take millions out of his corrupt pockets.
Jakob Toretto: F9
For a series so focused on “family,” there were questions about how it would handle the introduction of Dom’s long-lost brother, Jakob. The younger Toretto is presented as someone who will stop at nothing to activate a device capable of controlling the world’s computer and military systems.
Of the four Fast villains intent on world domination, Jakob places last due in large part to his abandonment of his plan. It was a fairly ambitious scheme, however, and for a while it seems that Jakob’s twisted jealousy of Dom will push him to become an irredeemable monster. Countless innocent lives would have been lost had he launched Project Aries, making it a relief when he comes to his senses and joins his brother on the right side of the road at the end of the film.
Cipher: The Fate Of The Furious
Charlize Theron plays a tech wiz working to ignite World War III with a Russian nuclear submarine – all while sporting some very questionable dreadlocks. She also accomplishes the unthinkable, getting Dom to turn against his crew when she threatens to kill his son.
Cipher’s precise dismantling of Dom’s world is very impressive, as is her airtight scheme to reap the financial benefits of World War III. It’s amazing that Fast & Furious has come from bootleg DVD heists to this level of world-ending stakes, and it shows just how far its villains’ ambitions have come.
Brixton Lore: Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw
Former MI6 agent Brixton Lore wants to unleash a virus to wipe out half of the human population, but not in the indiscriminate way Thanos would approve of. The Snowflake virus would specifically target those Lore deems as weak in a way that draws some unfavorable comparisons to eugenics.
The only Fast & Furious spin-off film features one of its most undoubtedly evil baddies. Lore might like to call himself “Black Superman,” but Idris Elba’s super-soldier is anything but heroic. Add his questionable human rights portfolio to the fact that he’s the most physically imposing antagonist the series has seen and it becomes clear that Lore is one scary guy.
Owen Shaw: Fast & Furious 6
The younger Shaw brother spends his film attaining and selling a computer processing unit capable of killing millions of people. He also twists a knife in Dom’s heart by featuring Letty on his criminal team, turning one of his most trusted allies against him.
Owen Shaw places as the villain with the most evil scheme because there are no ifs, ands, or buts about the super-weapon he seeks to wield. If his plan is successful, he will be responsible for the death of millions. The gravity of this action doesn’t seem to weigh very heavy on him, and it’s this callousness towards his horrific deeds that helps him leave such a strong impression. Shaw’s manipulation of Letty’s memory loss further shows that he is truly evil in everything he does.