I have seen two movies at the Canberra International Film Festival that have given me joy…
The entire Fast and Furious franchise is now available to stream into the comfort of your castle and I am becoming a (reluctant) fan.
In my opinion, once history catches up with the first 20 years of this century, in filmic terms it will be seen as the Franchise Generation.
Sure, we’ve had trilogies before—and there was the glorious era of the movie serial, when my dad were a lad—but there has never been anything like the wholesale investment of dollars, time and actors into roles like we have now.
Star Wars, the Marvel Universe, and now, gathered together for your viewing pleasure— all the Fast & Furious films, from The Fast and The Furious (2001) through to Hobbs and Shaw (2019), which I reviewed a few weeks ago.
I started my Fast journey with the latter, then tried to watch them in order but after watching the fourth, which I thought was the first, then watching Tokyo Drift, which was made third but sits between the sixth and seventh (are you confused yet?)…I got a little lost.
Check this site for the right way to proceed before you start but ake it from me—whichever order you seen them in, you will get sucked in.
My inner 16-year-old boy was pretty much screaming with delight from the first action sequence to the last frame.
There seem to be some tropes that wind through every film. The trash-talking, the illegal street race gathering and its partner, the ‘gratuitous display of tanned and gorgeous female bodies, all with bare midriffs’.
Although to be fair, the women in the core cast are as badass as the men—hard-driving, accurate shooting, cynical quipping cool customers—who are also sometimes mothers.
There is a core message about family coming before all else, driven home from 2Fast 2Furious onwards, that reaches its zenith in Furious 7. You might remember this as Paul Walker’s last film.
He died in a car he wasn’t driving before principal filming was finished. After a grieving period and extensive consultation with his family, doubles were used (including his two brothers) and others shots stitched in to make a what is an admirably cohesive film.
An admirably cohesive film which ruined me in the last few scenes. The quiet tribute paid by the rest of the cast and the final drive away to Wiz Khalifa’s ‘See You Again’ messed me up completely.
I’m watching a tyres-screeching-metal-road-movie and then I’m a teary puddle on the couch.
There were never going to be any acting awards given to this cast and yes, Paul Walker is pretty wooden throughout, whilst Vin Deisel goes for a barely-reined, threat-of-violence-just-under-the-surface style of zen acting. Either that or he is like that—I’d also note that this is the Jason Statham school of acting. Everyone else is just terminally cool or slimy bad. The evil nephew in Tokyo Drift maintains the same looking-up-from-under-his-scowl expression throughout the whole film. Fascinating.
Yes, these films are not successful for their acting and yes, the first one is pretty darn clunky. However, given the was originally going to be a trilogy and we are up to nine and counting, there’s no doubt they’re appealing.
Yes, the stunts and the driving becomes increasingly daring and implausible as you move through the films, but it is also great visceral fun. I found myself ducking out of the way of tumbling tankers, bullets and helicopters. I literally held my breath during some of the crashes.
So while you are stuck at home you could do a lot worse than ride alongside Vin and Paul as they parachute muscle cars into eastern Europe—no really, that actually happens!