I’m not a Fast & Furious fan, and sometimes I get a little jealous of people who are. The only Fast & Furious movie I’ve ever seen is Tokyo Drift, which as I understand it is looked upon as the weird cousin in the Fast & Furious family. And nothing is more important than family, or something. I suppose if I wanted to be a fan, I could just watch the others, but that wouldn’t do much good. Even if Tokyo Drift is the worst of the bunch – I’m led to believe it is – the others are so ridiculously bonkers that I know I’d never click with them. I don’t really like cars or dudes fighting or explosions, so nah – guess it’s not for me.
But that’s fine. I’m not jealous of Fast & Furious fans because they get to enjoy the adventures of Toretto and the rest, I’m jealous because Fast & Furious is the most committed, strangely self-aware franchise I’ve ever known.
Fast 9 seems to be heading for space. Yes, actual space. The one with the planets and stuff. This is ostensibly a franchise about cars going fast and men being furious, but it seems to have evolved into a melodrama about blackmail, terrorism, espionage, corruption, evil twins, evading the feds, drug deals gone wrong, overdue library books, and mercenary murderers. They’re all a complete and utter guess, by the way, and I still bet over half of them are right. That’s the thing with Fast & Furious, it seems like a franchise that is unconcerned with trivial details like plot, story beats, or character development. Again, I haven’t seen the movies, so they may well have those things in them, but from the outside looking in, it seems like they come up with the cool idea first and everything else follows.
It’s more like “Right, this movie we want to go to Egypt and drive up the pyramids. Any ideas on how or why, shout them out, because it’s happening.” Switch Egypt for ‘space’ and I reckon that’s 100 percent how the Fast 9 meeting went down. Somewhere along the way, someone shouted out “Maybe John Cena’s there?”, so now John Cena’s there.
This isn’t me having a dig at Fast 9, by the way. Or Fast & Furious in general. It might be a series that is so aggressively not for me it feels as though a Hollywood executive has haunted my dreams and extracted all the things that would stop me going to see a movie, but I bear it no ill will. It has Nathalie Emmanuel and Charlize Theron in it, so it can’t be all bad. Unless they’re dead now. Are they dead? Wait, don’t tell me – they were dead but then it turned out they weren’t, right? Classic Fast & Furious… I assume.
I honestly do respect Fast & Furious for saying “fuck it” this much and this consistently. I don’t think it’s a storytelling device that works all the time – it’s hard to imagine such a laissez faire attitude working in the early seasons of Game of Thrones, for example. In fact, the final season is probably evidence of how badly it can backfire. But even though I’ll never watch it, I can’t help but be pleased for Fast fans that the ninth instalment is taking them into space, and I’d like to see more movies dare to be as bold once in a while.
Next: Hey Josef Fares, What The Heck Is Up With That Elephant Scene In It Takes Two?
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Stacey Henley is an editor for TheGamer, and can often be found journeying to the edge of the Earth, but only in video games. Find her on Twitter @FiveTacey
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