As a single movie, The Fast and The Furious was a nice little action car chase movie with a simple cops and robbers theme. The simplicity worked in favor of the movie as it was mostly a showcase of cool cars and a lead in to a few cool car chase scenes. The dialogue was not over thought and the actors did a respectable job in their roles. It almost felt like the pilot episode to a series... and pretty much was.
The second movie was as with any good sequel, more over the top, more 'actioney', more... everything. We were introduced to new characters and given some more exposition on the world as a whole from the main character's point of view. Taken as a sequel, one can't be considered wrong in thinking the 'big star' of the first movie just wanted nothing to do with it and that this may have been the beginning of the end for a series about cars. It seemed like the case when the next one came out.
With Tokyo Drift we had no returning characters and a story that was so divergent it might as well have been about aliens and cowbows! (what a concept that could be ~.^) The story was only okay, the action was all about drifting instead of racing, and the whole thing seemed disconnected. That is until you reached the very end!
Which led to the 4th movie. It seemed like someone was beating a dead horse with this one, until you realise there is a decent story evolving here. Not taken from a single movie, but taken as a whole. Combined with the events of the 1st and 2nd movies, the story has a cohesive nature that makes it all come together in a way that seems enjoyable. If not almost feeling preplanned at points.
And then came the 5th and started tying in threads from the others and dropping in new characters while exploring old ones. The events almost make you think it will be the end. Not from a story perspective so much as how over the top and epic the events in the movie are. All together it is almost like an epic miniseries of events. Except Tokyo Drift... which aside from a connection of one single character, there is no real connection. Okay, two characters. Barely.
Then we come to the 6th movie and all the connections are falling into place.
I am not going to continue with revelations of the 6th movie at the end, but I will say this:
Looking at it as a whole, the Fast and Furious series of movies is a wonderful action drama!