Eighteen years ago, The Fast and the Furious starring Vin Diesel and Paul Walker was released, and grossed more than $200 million dollars in the U.S. The story of a street racer and a cop became a phenomenon, and thus far, there hasn’t been any indication of it slowing down. The Fate of the Furious, which is the eight installment, was released in 2018, garnered a whopping $1.1 billion. Now, details of the 9th installment has been released, and fans are clamoring for any glimpse of what’s to come next. With the franchise approaching two decades, what is it about the Fast and the Furious movies that keeps people coming back for more? It’s not every day you see a film franchise last this long, let alone make as much money upon release and gain twice as more fans in the process. There are plenty of factors that come into play, but the reasons listed below may help explain why people love The Fast and the Furious franchise:
There is diversity
The very beginning of the franchise has been marked by the diversity of the cast. Fast forward to 2015, the plethora of movies still do not have much representation of different ethnicities or races, but the Fast and the Furious continues to uphold that. The Red Bulletin notes that Vin Diesel is Italian-American, Dwayne Johnson has Samoan roots, and the late Paul Walker was Caucasian. The Israeli Gal Gadot and South Korean Sung Kang also became part of the diverse group of characters. By choosing to include actors from various cultural backgrounds, the franchise sends out a message that people, regardless of their roots, can work together towards achieving important goals. It’s also a formula for success, as movies of representation attract a wider audience. Critics note that Hollywood movies should pay more attention to diversity and representation, to attain semblance of this level of success.
The perfect dose of adrenaline rush
In a world brimming with action movies, what makes the Fast and Furious franchise stand out? Film critic Joe Griffin notes that the film set’s success lies with its ability to balance both action and sentiment. He further explains that while there is no shortage of action films, action stars as sincere as Vin Diesel remain few. His bromance with Paul Walker, along with the theme of a surrogate family utters seriousness, but somehow descends into corniness at times, gives off a vibe of innocence which works so well for the audience. Plenty of critics compare the films to the Transformers series, but find that the Transformers don’t even come close – action sequences in the Transformers films often looked too edited, and the sheer amount of explosions do not make for an overall good film. For the Fast and the Furious films, people are convinced that the production team knows exactly what they’re doing from the screen geography, timing, momentum, and even those little drops of slow motion. People also point out that while the movies never win any awards, they’re all well made. There’s nothing quite like filming pure action involving real people, as opposed to relying solely on CGI effects boasting of gargantuan steel robots.
The jaw-dropping stunts
Initially, the stunts that comprised the Fast and the Furious films mostly focused on car chases and a lot of drifting. As it grew, however, stunts evolved into over the top cliff jumps, breathtaking skydiving cars, and even ones that take out tanks. Those are just some of the many stunts this franchise continues to offer, but with all the amazing technology and automotive feats available now, the sky’s the limit. This reason, of course, plays a vital role why people love the Fast and the Furious franchise. They’re given a budget, they deliver, and the audience leaves the theater feeling like the price of admission as well worth it.
The amazing cars
The Fast and Furious films mainly center on the street racing aspect, so it’s always exhilarating to see shiny new cars to admire in each film. Movie Pilot goes as far as to note that there is a car for everyone in these movies, with every car representing a certain personality you may identify with. There’s Dom’s Dodge Charger and Brian’s Skyline, to name a few, and plenty more others. The most interesting part of all these cars is that many of them aren’t really out of reach. You can easily tweak your very own ride and mimic the Fast and Furious vibe, making you feel as though you’re starring in the very franchise.
There’s more to the story
There are shiny cars to fawn over, fights that glue your eyes to the screen, stunts that drive your heart racing, and scenery that just takes your breath away. But none of these are enough to make anyone come back – it’s the connection that they build with the Fast and Furious characters. One thing why people love the franchise is because the writers have done an incredible job portraying character development over the course of the film installments. There come new characters along the way, but the regular characters have stories and quirks that still unfold – you learn more about what makes them human and their likeability. Moreover, these movies have evolved over time. From a story that centered on street racing to a more developed story that follows characters and their humanity, it just goes to show that there is more what the team can offer. There isn’t stopping any time soon.
There’s more to this franchise than being an action film, really – it’s full of life truths, both joyous and bitter, and perhaps it's part of the the reason why fans keep coming back. Or maybe they just really love Vin Diesel, but one cannot deny that the Fast and the Furious just keeps getting better. The 9th installment is on its way, with fresh faces joining the team. Production has started February this year, and is set to be released in May of 2020.
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