One of my guilty pleasures is catching the occasional movie.
Most recently, I had the opportunity to catch Fast X on the silver screen in Calgary.
Now, the Fast and Furious movies have never been considered high art. However, the movies are definitely entertaining even if they are over the top.
The series has come a long way since its street racing roots in 2001’s The Fast and the Furious, which was, in all honesty, a rehash of Point Break in cars.
Next out were sequels 2Fast 2Furious and The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift neither of which made much of an impact thanks to the absence of Vin Diesel’s Dominic Toretto.
After nearly collapsing, new breath was given to the series with a semi-reboot in 2009’s Fast&Furious, which featured the return of original stars Paul Walker, Diesel, and Jordana Brewster.
Fast Five picked up right where the previous installment left off and blew off the starting line with the highest gross of any of the movies to date, though this is often attributed to Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson joining the franchise.
Transitioning to an ensemble heist movie rather than a street-racing movie, the series seemed to find its genre, though it did not stay with it for long.
The series continued to pick up speed with the sixth installment, where the Toretto “family” was tasked with helping bring down a team of mercenary drivers.
Tragedy struck the series during the filming of the seventh installment, with the death of leading-man Walker while the installment was on filming a break. Walker and a friend left a charity party and were killed in a motor vehicle collision. The Charity was Reach Out World Wide, a charity Walker had started.
After a significant pause in production, Walker’s brothers, Cody and Caleb, with assistance from digital masters Weta, of The Lord of the Rings fame, the seventh installment was completed. Instead of killing off the character, Walker’s Brian O’Conner was retired from the series and was able to drive off into the sunset in a heart-warming tribute to the late star.
The eighth and ninth installments centred around Diesel’s Toretto and his found family, minus Walker’s character, and their globe-trotting antics as they work for the CIA; while the movies have gotten more over-the-top, they have remained entertaining.
Between eight and nine, a real-world dispute broke out between Johnson and Diesel, resulting in Johnson leaving the series and headlining his own spinoff movie.
The tenth installment, which is reportedly part one of a two or three-part finale of the series, depending on who is asked and on the day, ties directly back to the fifth movie, and while still over-the-top, is significantly more ground than several of the previous films and Jason Momoa’s character is absolutely hilarious in his turn as a villain.
For fans of the series, Fast X is a fun ride which looks back on what has been and sets up for a wild finale that people won’t want to miss.
All that being said, the series has been going on for over two decades. Diesel has said that the series is to start winding down with the current set of movies, and I hope the studio does follow through on this.
As much as I enjoy the series, I think it’s time to move on. I get the movies are not high art, and while I remain entertained by them it’s time for some fresh ideas.
Fast X-Part II will race into theatres in 2025.