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Why we should all have a #FastFestive

The Fast & Furious franchise is arguably one of the most successful and impactful franchises of our time, and you do not have to be a car racing fanatic or adrenaline junkie to get into it
Thu, Dec 24, 2020

In the upcoming Fast & Furious 9 official trailer, we are not only reunited with Dom and the gang, but a new face is gracing our screens.

Dom's brother Jakob (played by John Cena) will be adding to the action, stunts and drama in one of our favourite franchises. To say I cannot wait for the release of this movie would be an understatement. Over the past week I have been following the doctor's orders by resting so, I decided to use my downtime wisely by taking a trip down memory lane and being locked into what we will now dub the #FastFestive.

The movie franchise formerly known as The Fast and the Furious is arguably one of the most successful and impactful of our time. You do not have to be a car racing fanatic, action movie fan or adrenaline junkie to get into them and such is the appeal about the movies.

Following the world of street racing and the cops that keep trying to dismantle it, this simple plot is what has given the franchise lasting power. The recycle and repurpose model has allowed us as fans to grow with our on-screen family, and it has also come with emotions I never expected it could bring out.

To this day, the song See You Again cannot randomly play on TV or radio without being associated with the loss of our friend Brian (played by the late Paul Walker), which in itself is testament to the influence of the franchise.

The song, by Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth, was commissioned for the seventh instalment of the action film as a tribute to the actor who passed in a devastating crash that mirrored the movies we had come to love him in. It is, to date, both Khalifa and Puth's biggest single and as of mid-December it has received over 4.8 billion views on YouTube – making it the fourth-most-viewed video.

The appeal of the Fast movies is in our attachment to the original and recurring characters who are abundant in backstory. More than that, they have arcs that we can identify with as we grow with them and it is an added bonus that it has had one of the most diverse casts since its inception.

From its first instalment back in 2001, the franchise has included actors from different cultural backgrounds in strong roles, which I suspect has contributed to its success. Letty (Michelle Rodriguez), who plays Dom's wife, is one of the early examples of what a ride-or-die looks like without being depicted as a submissive woman. She is a protagonist who has multifaceted roles, ranging from wife to racer, to mechanic, to mastermind.

On that note, the excellent balance between the action and stunts and the development of the characters is also what keeps us invested. Speaking of which, the way in which stunts become more unreal with each release is part of the appeal. As a fan, I'm curious to see just how ridiculous the next stunt will be.

In the trailer, for the upcoming movie there is a scene where Dom is racing his car in the air (his CAR) against an aircraft and while a part of me is asking for my intelligence to be respected, a larger part of me cannot wait for this content to get inside my veins.

To commemorate #FastFestive as you join me down memory lane ahead of next year's release, I leave you with a few fun facts about the franchise to add to your viewing pleasure:

I am incredibly happy that The Real Slim Shady did not stand up

If not for Paul Walker, our favourite rat Brian O'Connor – former FBI agent turned street racer and criminal – would've possibly been played by Eminem. Other leading names who were prospects for the role were Christian Bale (imagine Batman thinking he had the range to stunt like that), as well as Mark Wahlberg (yes, MINI Cooper, Italian Job Mark Wahlberg).

No green light for Redline

The film was originally titled Redline but because a 1955 film of the same title owned those rights, the producers came up with a new title.

Bad B!tches really don't have driver's licenses

Both Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) and Mia (Jordana Brewster) did not have licenses from the film's inception while giving us some crazy action scenes. Now that is what I call acting.

The Fast or Fyre

Director John Singleton noted that the talks of rapper Ja Rule being a star of the franchise fell through. He was originally cast to play the role of Tej – the racer and mechanic who was then played by Ludacris.

You Have Most Likely Watched Them in the Incorrect Order

The correct movie order is 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 3, 7, 8 (and then Hobbs & Shaw).

The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006) is often thought to follow 2 Fast 2 Furious, however, it actually follows the sixth instalment. A post-credits scene in Fast & Furious 6 recontextualises a scene in Tokyo Drift to set up Furious 7.

  • You can watch the Fast franchise (including Hobbs & Shaw) on Showmax