In 2001 The Fast and the Furious was released. It was a small film about the underground racing scene that wasn’t expected to do much in terms of box office returns, yet it proved to be a major hit. 11 years later, after five Fast and Furious films, two short films (turbo-charged prelude & Los Bandoleros), an awesome post-credit scene (from the First film, Marvel did not invent the post credit scene) and a related unofficial film (Better Luck Tomorrow), the franchise is getting revved up.
Normally franchises become worse as they stumble along, yet after the reinvigorating entry Fast Five, I can’t help but be excited for what’s to come from the next two entries: Furious 6 (it’s not the official name of the film, but that’s what I’m calling it anyway… it feels right in my soul!) and Fast Seven (yep there will be one more)… and Die Fast, Die Furious Die Hard (okay that’s not real, but I know you want it to be…)
Why Is This Such A Successful Franchise?
What exactly is it about this franchise, this “saga”, that has only really produced two classics (The Fast and the Furious and Fast Five), that makes it so popular you may ask? 2Fast 2Furious, Tokyo Drift and Fast and Furious 4 were all mediocre at best. And yet I’m so amped up for Fast Six! In fact, I was hoping that they would follow through with earlier claims and film Fast Six and Fast Seven back-to-back.
Why am I so excited? Well its simple really. Really simple. While I was sitting in the theatre, just before Fast Five was about to begin, I had mix feelings about the film. I was anxious, yet excited. Like most of you reading this, when you watched The Fast and the Furious for the first time, it became apparent very early on that it was something special. Sure it might not be a perfect film, yet it struck a chord with millions around world, with it’s themes on family, loyalty and friendship, connecting with us all. Even though the film was greatly aided with interesting characters, and some great racing scenes, at the end of the day, it’s the story that mattered most and what The Fast and the Furious had was just that – a good story.
Looking back at the franchise today, I view 2Fast and Tokyo Drift to be spin-offs and Fast4 as the first direct sequel to the first film. These three films might have more wrongs than rights in terms of storyline (2Fast), poor characters (Tokyo Drift, with the exception of Han) and over the top melodrama (Fast 4). Yet Fast Five still managed to pay tribute to each of these films.
Fast Five, The Concluding And New Chapter
The reason that Fast Five worked so well was because it was a transition film. The Fast and Furious films always had a few heist elements in them, with the main spot focused on the racing scene. Essentially all that Fast Five did was to reposition us in the middle of planning one of these heists.
There are so many scenes in F5 that literally mirror scenes from previous films. The proof? Take a look back at the Vince and Brian confrontation that we seen in FF1. Or the similar scenario from 2F2F, where Brian and Rome are chased by an insane amount of cops. Most also might not have realized that F5 has a very similar ending to FF1, where the cop lets the criminal go in the end.
There are numerous little Easter-eggs that pertain to the previous films in F5. For instance, Gisele’s off the cuff remark to Han that he needs to constantly occupy his hands – he was a heavy smoker. This was a bad habit that the character had during his high school years, which you can be seen in the film Better Luck Tomorrow. The film is now considered to be part of the Fast and Furious mythos even though it was not officially announced as such upon release.
I can go on and on about all these awesome Easter eggs (and if you really want me to do a story on the Easter eggs then just comment down below!), but this is not the point of this article. NO.. the point of this article is for you to understand why the brightest days of this high-octane action heist franchise is in front of it and not behind it.
Fast Five did 5 very important things for the next two installments:
• It made just over $600 million at the box office. FF4 was the highest prior to this at $360million. This means Fast Five almost doubled its highest return, which means more money will be invested into the next two instalments.
• It shifted the franchise from underground street racing to car heisting awesomeness (basically a wider audience).
• By respecting prior films, it brought a satisfying ending to the previous films while opening up a new canvas for future films.
• It brought Letty back!
• It allowed the characters to finally end up with enough money to move the franchise from muscle and tuner cars to exotic vehicles.
It’s these Five things that will really propel Furious Six moving forward and, looking at all the imagery I have seen from the sets and videos, I cant help feel like it just might top Fast Five with all kinds of ridiculousness!
Cast For Furious Six
Firstly, we know that Vin Diesel (Dom), Paul Walker (Brian), Tyrese Gibson (Rome), Jordana Brewester (Mia), Dwayne Johnson (Hobbs), Ludacris (Tej), Sung Kang (Han), Gal Gadot (Gisele) and Elsa Pataky (Elena) will all be returning to this film. I can also tell you that the Puerto Rican duo, Tego Calderon (Leo) and Don Omar (Santos), will also be returning but their roles will be greatly reduced. I’m thinking cameo appearances.
Some of you might expect to see Eva Mendes (thanks to her brief cameo appearance in Fast Five). However, judging from set images and the films she’s been shooting while Furious Six has been filming, it would seem that the starlet won’t be making her return just yet.
Speculating What We Already Know And Dont
Many fans of the series are worried that the next film will lose some of the cool car elements that was integral to this franchise. Fear not! This new film features all sorts of cars, from muscle, to tuner, to exotics and so much more. Lin has stated that there has never been so many cars in a Fast and Furious film to date. You probably thinking, “How in the hell are they going to top that awesomely-absurd-police-car-chase-vault-tow-ultimate-Brazilian-destruction-scene?” Simple. They have a heist that involves a tank, firing and destroying random vehicles. The guys will be heisting a military convey, so you can be sure it will definitely be one amazing action sequence.
What can we expect from the storyline? The team now has money and they are living it up so what exactly takes them out of their comfort zone? Why would they jeopardize their freedom? Letty is still alive.
The other known storyline involves Hobbs, who has set his sights on a different group of thieves. This time, without a viable crew of his own, Hobbs might feel like he is in over his head leading him to turn to Dom and crew to help him take down the New Kids on the Block (Not the Boy Band!). All this makes makes perfect sense, considering Dom clearly owes him one. All this seems like it will happen while the guys are already in Europe, leading me to believe that in the beginning of the film, Dom learns about this rival heist group and that Letty might be alive. Ultimately, this is what causes him to go abroad and the team follow him out of loyalty.
Here’s where it gets interesting… We now know that Letty has been alive this entire time, but why hasn’t she reached out to Dom? In F4 we see her try to get Dom back and that’s what “supposedly” got her killed. Is Letty now over Dom and just wants to start a new life? Or is our resident villain (played by Luke Evans) responsible for saving her life and using it to keep her with him?
We also know that Brian will land up in prison at some point in the film. Whether or not this is the film’s start, end or climax, we don’t know. All we know is that Brian will be beating up some inmates, most probably during his escape. Of course the only way to find out all this, is to watch the film when it releases.
One thing that Lin did brilliantly in Fast Five, was his handling of the all these different characters, proving that he could handle a film filled with no less than 10 characters. And yet at the end of the day no one really felt like they got the short end of the stick.
The New Editions
This time around the task will be a little harder as the beautiful but equally deadly (and I don’t mean that in a figurative sense, I meant that LITERALLY), Gina Carano, the dashing Luke Evans, Joe Taslim (that badass dude from The Raid: Redemption), the hulking huge Kim Kold, Rita Ora (taking a role that Rihanna was apparently supposed to play) and the model Clara Paget will all be joining this ever-expanding cast.
Gina Carano will be joining Hobbs this time around, as his crew was decimated in the last film. He will need a one-man army at his disposal and since Chuck Norris ain’t available, Carano will do. She will play Agent Jenna Jameson, known as ”JJ”. Since Rome is the only other character in this franchise that was a main character in a prior film and not just supporting like Han and Tej, perhaps his affections will be aimed at JJ!
I’m definitely looking forward to seeing Carano in this film, with her background in MMA and her ever-growing status as badass action heroine, her involvement in the film is not only a plus for her career, but also the film. Let’s hope she goes toe to toe with Joe Taslim.
Luke Evans will be the cool villain for the film, with his own little heist crew that will feature Taslim, Paget and Rodriguez. The team will look to give Dom and his crew a run for their money.
Joe Taslim will be playing Jah: A cold-blooded killer who fights using martial arts and Parkour. We know for a fact that Rome will fight off against Jah in the film. Although, I fail to see how Rome will survive this encounter. Maybe JJ saves him?
Clara Paget will be playing Vegh, a gun-slinging action lady of sorts. I definitely see her as Letty’s antithesis.
Rita Ora is said to be filling the role that Rihanna was supposedly to have played. Although I think its unlikely she will be in the film. But I could be wrong.
We already know that we getting some pretty awesome chase scenes with Dom’s team creating a new heist vehicle, police cars being destroyed, a tank destroying a bridge and a whole bunch more.
We also know that from the 1st December they will be shooting in LA for another two weeks, and that they are returning to Dom’s home. Dom and the rest of the crew will be there, as well as Hobbs, Elena and Letty. So this might very well be the end of the film, and the lead into Fast and Furious Seven!
All we can do is speculate! As the first footage of Fast Six will only be released in February 2013 during the SuperBowl!
The Fast and the Furious might have become an unlikely franchise, but it sure as hell is an entertaining one.
Comment down below and let us know your theories and whether or not you learned nothing or something from an article that’s riddled with speculation!
Fast and Furious 6 will release on May 24 2013.
Shooting on Fast Six set:
Filming in Glascow:
More of Emmanuel Vic’s writing at http://moviehypesa.blogspot.com/