The Fast & Furious movies have a terrible streaming problem

The Fast & Furious movies have a terrible streaming problem
(Image credit: Universal)

I want to watch all of the Fast & Furious movies again in time for the F9 release in June, but a multitude of streaming services is standing in my way. Don't get me wrong — I love the freedom of choice as much as Dominic Toretto loves family, but anyone trying to watch the Fast & Furious movies in order knows that these films can be harder to find than Dom himself.

The Fast Family has a rougher situation than most other popular franchises. A Disney Plus subscription enables you to watch the Star Wars movies in order as well as catch most of the MCU Marvel movies in order (Spidey's coming soon thanks to Disney's deal with Sony). Heck, getting HBO Max gives you all the Saw movies! 

The Fast & Furious movies face a more complex challenge. The different films aren't found in the same service, with some kept on places you may not even know about.

Fast & Furious movies get pricey

If you want to watch the movies in order of release, you'd start on HBO Max for The Fast and the Furious followed by 2 Fast 2 Furious — and maybe think HBO Max will get you to the finish line, take the checkered flag and the pink slips of rival streamers. You might also notice that Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw, the excellent spin-off movie that's worth a chuckle, is also on HBO Max. You might think all is well.

Except you'll soon discover you're wrong. The following Fast & Furious movies are on Fubo TV — a live TV service filled with sports channels. And while we like Fubo TV a lot, it's one of the best streaming services, it doesn't really feel like a home for movies. That's because it costs a whopping $65 per month. At that rate, you're better off buying the 8-movie 4K/Blu-ray box set ($69 on Amazon right now) which also includes digital downloads via Movies Anywhere.

The Fast & Furious movies: back in the day

(Image credit: Universal Pictures)

Yet, Fubo.TV is where the next two Fast chapters, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift and Fast & Furious, are currently playing. And just as annoyingly, these movies change their homes at the drop of a dime, like they have a tank of nitrous attached to their streaming rights. 

Next up is the most baffling streaming situation. Fast Five — one of the best Fast films, and arguably one of the best action movies of its era — isn't on any streaming service. It's only available as a purchase or rental from the likes of AmazonGoogle Play and iTunes.

Then, the Fast Franchise finally goes to the place it should all live (more on that soon): Peacock Premium. That's where you can stream Fast & Furious 6 without getting a bill for your viewing. 

Including a streaming service most won't get

Somehow, we're back on Fubo TV for Furious 7, but that seems almost understandable when you compare it to the home of the next movie.

The Fate of the Furious. The eighth Fast film (get it, the F8 of the Furious?) is only streaming on Spectrum On Demand. Yes, the cable provider Spectrum somehow holds one Fast & Furious movie in its pocket, and since it's the most recent main-line chapter, you won't want to skip it before watching F9.

Fast and Furious movies: Fast Five

(Image credit: Jaimie Trueblood)

I'd bet real money that nobody is getting Spectrum just for a Fast & Furious movie. Heck, I'd make a similar wager about Fubo. And that makes the locations of these movies feel so wrong. 

These films barely do fans any good if they're stuck in far-off destinations. I hate to encourage monopolistic behavior, such as how Disney Plus collects Marvel movies like Thanos grabbing Infinity Stones, but that's a much better alternative than what we have with franchises like the Fast & Furious.

Fractured streaming betrays the Fast & Furious story

Putting Tokyo Drift on Fubo is a huge problem, as Tokyo Drift was one of the biggest F&F movies for Han (Sung Kang) — whose return to the Fast franchise in the upcoming movie is a big deal. How are audiences supposed to understand the joy we all got seeing Han in the F9 trailers if they barely know his character?

How are people supposed to know what Dom lost with the departure of Brian O'Conner without seeing all of their adventures together? And understand his convoluted family tree without watching The Fate of the Furious? How are you supposed to understand how annoying Tej Parker (Chris "Ludacris" Bridges) is without ... well, that's a bit easier to grok. 

Fast & Furious movies: F9 is coming

(Image credit: Universal)

I'm living through this exact situation right now. I'm starting a podcast about the films of John Cena (who will make his Fast & Furious debut in F9), and my co-host has never seen the movies, but is willing to watch them. And that means he's going to have to make an annoyingly expensive investment to be ready for that chapter of Cenaphiles (when I figured out that name, I had to make the show). 

I'm not saying you should be able to watch all of these movies for free, they're fun enough that they shouldn't be stolen. But the current situation is so bad that I bet people are more likely to pirate some, if not all, than buy or rent. Or even worse? It's not hard to imagine that new audiences may not actually dive into these movies
at all, since they're so hard to find. And that would be tragic.

Peacock needs to fix its Fast & Furious problem

The solution is simple enough. The Fast & Furious movies are from Universal Pictures, which means they're under the NBCUniversal umbrella — which just released its own streaming service last summer. You may have heard of it, it's called Peacock. Peacock, the home of both The Office and WWE, is a perfect destination for the Fast Family. 

And these movies would be right at home in the ad-supported $4.99 per month Peacock Premium plan. Because otherwise, you're spending north of $85 per month (HBO Max is $15 per month, Fubo is $65 per month and Peacock Premium is $4.99/month), before renting or buying Fast Five and The Fate of The Furious. (Again, stay away from Spectrum). 

Fast & Furious movies: Peacock

(Image credit: Daniel Constante/Shutterstock)

We don't know why the Fast & Furious movies are spread so thinly, like gruel distributed by a miserly prison lunch-lady. It's probably due to pre-existing contracts that pre-date the idea of Peacock. 

But if Comcast really wanted to put Peacock on the map, it should have reclaimed all the F&F movies in time for F9. Sure Peacock has Harry Potter, but the adults in the room who need more horsepower (and not Hogwarts house power) need something less wizard-ish. Bringing everything back together would reunite the family. And isn't that what the Fast & Furious franchise is all about?

Henry T. Casey
Managing Editor (Entertainment, Streaming)

Henry is a managing editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past seven years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.