In F9: The Fast Saga, the last instalment of this franchise which has grossed over $6 billion worldwide across its 10 films, Tej (Wiz Khalifa) tells Roman as they head to outer space to destroy a satellite, (Tyrese Gibson), “As long as we obey the laws of physics, we should be fine”. I chuckled.
One of the main reasons I adore this franchise is also one of the most memed aspects about it - ‘family’. Vin Diesel’s incessant allusions to his family could get a little overbearing by the time you approach F9, but the bond of this “family” is undoubtedly the beating heart of this franchise. The outlandish action scenes Fast & Furious specialises in are grounded because of the emotional stakes of the characters involved.
A fairly valid criticism this franchise gets is the lack of a genuinely terrifying villain for the initial films. The only threatening villains are Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) and Cipher (Charlize Theron). As a result of this, most of the team has an air of invincibility around them.
This franchise defined “cool” for an entire generation of moviegoers. The film exponentially increased the trend of modifying and customising cars. Even in terms of fashion, the muscle shirts and Dom’s crucifix necklace fit among the various trends kickstarted by this film. Paul Walker was known to be a huge car aficionado owning more than 20 cars in his garage, which were eventually auctioned off for around $ 2.3 million after his untimely demise.
One could argue Fast & Furious has taken a turn for the worse and the new films are a far cry from the glorious past of this franchise. It has definitely lost a bit of its steam after the tragic death of Paul Walker. But I view the increasing obliteration of logic in F8 and F9 in terms of an ageing person who just wants to have fun as they grow old.
Regardless of how bad the next two films turn out to be, there will always be a soft corner in my heart for Vin Diesel’s stonefacedness, for Paul Walker’s inimitable charm, or the characters of Jordana Brewster, Gal Gadot and Michelle Rodriguez - female characters who drove cars with the same breakneck speed as their male counterparts and kicked as much ass in a franchise that has been construed as male-dominated.
Thank you for reading!