Congrats Fast and Furious fans! The latest instalment, Furious 7, has crushed the box office, racing past $250 million domestically and $800 million globally in less than 2 weeks since opening. Rarely do we see a franchise (not connected to Disney or Marvel) last this long and grow in popularity as the movies go on. Did anyone 14 years ago expect there would be 6 sequels? And what makes this franchise so appealing to viewers? Whether they decide to make any more sequels or keep the legacy at 7, here our my top 5 reasons I think we will always love the Fast and the Furious movies long after the franchise ends:
*spoilers from Furious 7 included*
1. The Cars
Team muscle or team imports? For a franchise that started heavily on street racing, there is no shortage of amazing cars in this franchise. Whether you want to go old school back to Dom's Dodge Charger and Brian's Skyline or fast forward a decade and a half to the Lykan HyperSport, there is something for everyone in these movies. I guess you need an endless amount of fast cars when you're chasing down international criminals. But I did feel a bit nostalgic when Dom took Letty back to Race Wars in Furious 7, watch out Hector!
2. The Fights
A lot of punches have been thrown over the course of these last 7 movies. There has been much debate about which fight is the most exciting. Ever since The Rock joined the series as Hobbs, he has been involved in some crazy, glass shattering fights with both Dom and Deckard Shaw. Dom also battled against Shaw a few times in Furious 7 with the end fight being one of the most fun to watch. I mean come on, he used everything from his car, his fists, wrenches, and a crumbling parking garage to win that fight. But let us not forget about the women! Michelle Rodriguez is known for playing strong female characters so it is no surprise her character Letty has held her own against characters played by MMA fighters, Gina Carano and Ronda Rousey.
3. The Stunts
Remember the days when the stunts involved just car chases and drifting? Things have changed! As the movies have gone on, the stunts have been getting crazier and crazier to the point where you don't know how they will outdo the last. Jumping cars off cliffs, destroying tanks, taking down planes, or skydiving cars. Basically anytime Brian says "oh shit", you name it, they've done it. That is why there is no question why a budget for movies like this is around $250 million.
4. The Relationships
With a franchise centered on adrenaline and explosions there is no shortage of love. Since the first movie we saw Brian fight for Mia and eventually win her over by the middle of the franchise (as a fan of the [Furious 7](movie:264263) ending, I will pretend that Brian and Mia's family live happily ever after together). We were also introduced to Dom and Letty then pissed when they killed her off. Thankfully writers listened to angry fans and brought her back from the dead. It was interesting to see the storyline play out with Letty losing her memory. I mean she even shot Dom in Fast and Furious 6 and he still fought for her love. But it finally all made sense when it revealed the significance of the cross necklace (congrats Mr. and Mrs. Alpha btw!). I was also a fan of Han and Gisele but I guess the writers thought otherwise. And we can't talk about relationships without mentioning one of the best onscreen bromances between Brian and Dom!
Bonus! Here is the short film from Vimeo that Vin Diesel made for the franchise in 2009 called Los Bandoleros. It also features appearances from Michelle Rodriguez, Sung Kang, Don Omar, and Tego Calderon.
5. The Family
I always believed one of the biggest themes of these movies was the importance of families. Since the first movie and throughout the franchise they show how far they would go to protect one another. They aren't all related by blood and the characters are a diverse group but they stay together and I think that is very appealing to viewers and fans. It is hard not to bring up the tragic death of Paul Walker when discussing the family element. The touching tribute at the end of Furious 7 to Paul's character made it apparent how important he was to the franchise on and off the screen. The cast and crew are all very close so they obviously took it very hard as did the fans. I honestly believe they did a wonderful job honoring Paul and giving his character a respectable send off. The cast has also made it clear how important then fan base is in regards to support and love so keep it up Fast and Furious Fam!
A decision is still yet to be made about about any more possible sequels. It almost seems inevitable considering the success but with everything that has happened it might be best to give everyone take a break for a little and breath before jumping in too fast, maybe just let the latest movie ride out (pun intended). Either way at least we have 7 Fast and Furious movies to enjoy for many years to come.