Why You Should Rethink The Fast & Furious Franchise

By Katey Rich and Sean O'Connell 2013-02-04 08:44:09discussion comments
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KATEY: Do you have any background/love for the Fast & Furious franchise?

SEAN: Well, yes. I mean, I've seen them all. I actually loved Fast Five. And I was really impressed with last night's spot.

KATEY: I've noticed a ton of commenters responding to last night's trailer with "Whatever, these movies suck!!!" So I want to figure out a way to be like "listen, guys, it transformed itself completely from where it started. Give it a shot." I have only seen 4 & 5, though 4 was boring as hell and loooooved 5.

SEAN: Yeah, I'm trying to remember Four as I type this, and can't.

KATEY: it involves Mexico and the desert.

SEAN: Oh, shit. Yeah. With that tunnel that went underground?! That was terrible.

KATEY: Yup! Totally terrible.

SEAN: But yeah, the franchise should be out of Movie Jail after Five. It totally saved itself. I can pick it up from here .



SEAN: Katey, I was most surprised to find that the second trailer to completely blow me away (after the Iron Man 3 spot, which was fantastic) was the trailer for Fast and the Furious 6. That series has completely shifted gears -- pun intended -- from the dregs of Tokyo Drift and the bland fourth installment. Fast Five put it back on the right track, and I'm not ashamed to say that I'm genuinely looking forward to a F&F sequel. Are you with me?

KATEY: I'm totally with you on Fast Five-- but I think some people need convincing on what made it so great. When I go back to remembering it all I can think of is pumping my fists in the air with triumph when they went over the goddamn cliff in the car and survived. It starts off like a Looney Tunes cartoon, and pretty much ends that way too. But I think a live-action Looney Tunes cartoon is the destiny of this franchise, and it just took them 4 movies to figure it out.

SEAN: Maybe. I'm singling out one addition to the franchise that, for me, helped it turn the corner: Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. The ensemble consistently grew from sequel to sequel. But the focus kept falling on Diesel because he simply has more screen presence than Paul Walker or Tyrese. Johnson became another massive, glowing sun around which this franchise can spin, and so long as he's willing to play ball in the F&F universe, I think these sequels can exist on another plane.

That being said, if Six ends up being as unremarkable as the fourth Fast films, I think it's right back to Movie Jail for the series. Don't you? I'm keeping the franchise on a short leash!

KATEY: I don't know-- one look at that car flying through the cockpit of the flaming plane and I was 100% in. And I'm right there with you on The Rock. I find him compulsively likable in absolutely everything, and so long as he and Vin Diesel are getting up in each others' faces and sweating, I have to assume I'll enjoy it a little bit.

But for people who weren't convinced by Fast Five... how can we talk them into keeping some faith?
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