When it comes to big-budget movies that are over the top, it's hard to argue any franchise is more outlandish than The Fast And Furious movies. The action-heavy series has had a lot of luck leaning into the increasingly improbable scenarios Dominic Torretto and his crew are capable of, and subsequently found great success financially and with fans in doing so.
Oftentimes when a respected franchise becomes outlandish, it tends to turn fans away, though with F9 approaching, an argument could be made that Fast And Furious is as popular as it's ever been. That's definitely thanks to the increasingly wild nature of the movies, and I think it's a formula that can greatly benefit other action-heavy franchises as they continue to churn out movies in Hollywood. If nothing else, at least it would provide one entertaining movie before the studio responsible rethinks its entire outlook on the decision entirely.
Admittedly, the John Wick franchise is already pretty outlandish. It's hard to imagine a scenario in which a franchise about the greatest assassin in a guild of assassins can get any wilder, but I have to believe that it's possible. The horse kick kills from John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum was only the beginning, as is the increasingly out-of-control titles of the movies. Seriously, did we ever need the word "parabellum" in the title of the third movie?
John Wick has an outlandish streak, but it still has a way to go before it touches the levels of Fast and Furious. Once John begins to have bullets bounce off him the same way that Dominic Torretto casually walks away from fatal car accidents, we'll be on the right track. Another good start would be a multi-assassin war in the streets, which seems like something we could see happen given the way the previous movie ended. Here's hoping!
The Predator franchise was on the right track when it started to beef with the Alien franchise, but someone along the way decided to ditch that angle and take things slightly serious again with Predators. While that effort did net the franchise its first "fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes since the original movie, the series went right back to bad when The Predator was made eight years later. In fairness, some would argue that The Predator was plenty outlandish, though I'm sure few would say it was in the way that Fast and Furious is.
Just to put all cards on the table, I'd be ok with putting the Predator franchise out to pasture. Hollywood doesn't seem to be on board with that plan, however, so if we have to see more movies, let's at least inject them with a lot of money and make them as action-packed as possible. Let's set a Predator loose in a big techno-advanced city, like in Blade Runner. Let's create a situation where, for once, the humans are the ones with the advantage and it's the Predator sweating it out.
The Indiana Jones franchise has certainly straddled the line of outlandish, and while it's crossed said line a few times along the way, I don't think many would frame those steps the same way as the Fast and Furious franchise. Let's be real though, if the Fast and Furious franchise had someone's face melt off after looking at a religious artifact or brought aliens into the story, there would be plenty of raised eyebrows watching F9.
Many people would say Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull took things too far with the aliens, but I'd argue it didn't take things far enough. The franchise has shown some of the most exotic locales on Earth, and it only tracked that to continue to impress modern audiences, the franchise should take to the stars. I don't know how, I don't care how, but we have the technology and the basis of a story to send Indy on one hell of a final journey. Luckily, based on some wild rumors, the franchise could be doing that.
Look, I already was down on the Predator franchise, so it's only fair that I bring up the other franchise that has been around for longer with middling success. The one thing I would say is that the Predator franchise hasn't taken itself quite as seriously as the Alien franchise, and that there's something to be gained from just getting a bit more over the top with things.
I don't think anyone would accuse the Alien franchise of going cheap, but a lot of its spectacle is drenched in scenery, and less so with the action happening. Part of that is because the Alien franchise is built a lot on the concept of the enemy lurking in the shadows and slinking around, but I tend to like watching Xenomorphs go on the offensive. Sneaking around is for creatures that can't rip through humans like they're nothing, not these guys.
Paramount has spent a lot of time contemplating its next move with Star Trek, and there's a lot of reasons regarding why that could be. There's more going on in the franchise than ever before, but with the franchise able to tell other stories in the Kelvin timeline, that shouldn't be as big of a problem for the right idea to work around.
And yet, each modern Star Trek movie as of late hasn't felt quite as high stakes as what's been done on television. Fans need and deserve a movie that really puts the franchise over the top. Give us a giant Starfleet war or maybe some modern crazy Borg assimilation. There's plenty of over-the-top sequences the Star Trek universe is capable of, and I feel like we've yet to see any of them in movies. Instead, we're given what amounts to overblown episodes, which should be better.
Every one of these franchises could benefit from being as over the top as a movie in the Fast and Furious franchise. For those who may have forgotten what that means, F9 is in theaters Friday, June 25. Speaking of which, don't forget to read up on our thoughts about the latest Fast and Furious movie and why it may be the defining moment for the future of movie theaters.