Why Fast & Furious: Spy Racers should be on your watchlist
James R | On 27, Dec 2020
Season 5 of Fast & Furious: Spy Racers premieres on Friday 13th August 2021
A franchise based around street racing? Fast & Furious has always been one of the world’s unlikeliest movie series, with its evolution from driving through a city’s back streets to using cars for everything but racing. Throughout, its focus on family as well as spectacle has led to an unexpectedly heartfelt while also hugely ridiculous blockbuster ride. The idea of an animated spin-off series for kids sounds like an equally unlikely success story – but like its big screen cousin, Fast & Furious Spy Racers shouldn’t be dismissed on appearances alone.
In its third season at the time of writing, each run works as a Fast & Furious-style outing divided into 20-minute chapters, but geared towards a younger audience. And so gone is Dom Toretto (Vin Diesel) – who pops up occasionally as a cameo – and in his place is Tony (Tyler Posey), his younger cousin, who looks up to Dom as his role model. And so, when spy recruiter Ms Nowhere (Renée Elise Goldsberry) is pointed Tony’s way by Dom, because he’s too famous to carry out any more secret missions, he jumps at the chance to take on some special missions.
He brings with him his crew, including the creative Echo (Charlet Chung), loyal mechanic Cisco (Jorge Diaz) and exciteable tech genius Frostee (Luke Youngblood). They form a convincing team, with a natural group chemistry that echoes the philosophy of the feature films – with an extra dose of diversity that ensures each character gets a chance to be fleshed out. That even applies to Season 1 villain Shashi Dhar (Manish Dayal), who runs street-racing crew SHI1FT3R, and particularly his number two, Layla (Camille Ramsey), a savvy motoring veteran who is much more than the token love interest that a lesser series might leave her as.
The scripts bring a witty enough line in amusing dialogue, while the set pieces have a decent amount of spectacle and heft to them, able to be lightweight and, as the climax builds, exciting. The result is a surprisingly entertaining box set for Fast & Furious fans of all ages, with no hint of cash-grabbing laziness in its production – and forms the foundations of a small screen franchise in its own right.
Fast & Furious Spy Racers is available on Netflix UK, as part of an £9.99 monthly subscription.