Astronaut Gives Fast and Furious a Reality Check: How Accurate Was That Space Scene?

Astronaut Gives Fast and Furious a Reality Check: How Accurate Was That Space Scene?
Image credit: Universal Pictures

It's so absurd that even astronauts can't deny its genius.

The Fast & Furious franchise, known for its high-level action and gravity-defying stunts, delves deeper into the world of science fiction in its ninth installment, F9: The Fast Saga. This pulse-pounding ride pits Vin Diesel 's Dominic Toretto against his estranged brother Jacob, portrayed by John Cena, in some of the series' most over-the-top action sequences.

However, there is one controversial scene in particular that has caught the attention of fans and real-life astronaut Chris Hadfield. In this jaw-dropping sequence, Roman and Tej find themselves rocketing into space, not in a state-of-the-art spacecraft, but in a Pontiac Fiero.

While the concept of turning a Fiero into a spacecraft is not technically feasible, Hadfield found one particular moment in the sequence to be strikingly relatable.

In an interview with Vanity Fair, the retired Canadian astronaut expressed his affection for the Fast and Furious franchise, noting that the scene of the characters launching into space from a modified aircraft, while scientifically inaccurate — given his own eight-and-a-half-minute trip into space — made a strong impression.

One of Hadfield's favorite scenes was when Roman and Tej saw the Earth reflected in their visors, looking at it with excitement from the perspective of space. It encapsulated the sense of wonder that Chris Hadfield experienced during his space missions, and he praised the filmmakers for effectively conveying this breathtaking moment.

From Dom's car stunt involving a physics-defying cable to the unforgettable launch of a Pontiac Fiero into space, F9 has pushed the franchise into uncharted territory, testing the limits of what's physically possible and embracing a level of absurdity that has divided fans.

While some continue to face-palm at each new Fast & Furious installment, we see it as the sheer joy that comes dangerously close to self-parody, always at the right time and in the right Fast installment.

Do you believe that the Pontiac Fiero space scene was the franchise’s self-parody?