Why Hollywood Should Emulate 'Fast & Furious' Franchise
Audiences can't get enough of the Fast & Furious franchise--and for good reason.
The films deliver, period. Fast cars. Beautiful people. Car chases. More car chases.
The sixth installment in a franchise showing no signs of age or kinetic decline is now available via Digital HD and on Blu-ray Dec. 10. It's the latest lesson Hollywood should heed when considering future franchise starters.
There's nothing overtly magical about a pack of car enthusiasts who save the day over and again. The franchise remains more powerful now than during its first three modestly budgeted chapters. The films follow basic guidelines for each new sequel, elements that appeal to the masses in ways that not every Hollywood product can duplicate.
- Revved Up Diversity: The franchise's cast features a variety of ethnic backgrounds, but the films rarely dwell on skin color or culture. It's a true melting pot in the great American spirit, and the bonding between the franchise's characters rises above those who wish to divide, not unite.
- No Sucker Punches, Please: The action films don't get bogged down with messages or alienating themes--unless one has an allergic reaction to plot holes. Better still, the franchise stars--Paul Walker, Dwayne Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez and Vin Diesel--don't spout off on polarizing topics during press junkets. Audiences enter a Fast & Furious film eager to see old friends in new adventures--sans celebrity baggage.
- Family First: The family component of the franchise continues to strengthen with each chapter. It's a small element in the overall series arc, but it's there all the same and served as a key narrative force in the most recent film.
- Redemption Rules: Our heroes started out as anti-heroes, their hearts weighed down by their complicated actions. Now, the characters exist on a more morally upright path, even working with law enforcement in the form of Johnson's character to bring down mercenary drives in part 6. It's a fitting evolution that mirrors the potential lurking within all Americans. There are second acts in life, and a film franchise that sputtered early on before its recent resurgence is proving that true yet again.
- Don't Over Promise. Just Deliver: Diesel isn't working on the first, second or third draft of his Oscar acceptance speech for playing Dominic Toretto. The Fast films instinctively know what fans expect and make sure to deliver it with every new adventure.