'Fast & Furious' Franchise Powered by NOS, Family Bonding

'Fast & Furious' Franchise Powered by NOS, Family Bonding

The latest installment of the Fast & Furious franchise earned $317 million across the globe in just its first full weekend in theaters.

Credit those muscle cars, the explosions, the bulging biceps and the shorter than short dresses worn by some female cast members as well as the beautiful extras.

The franchise may be powered by NOS, but the last few installments feature a heaping helping of family to broaden its appeal. Fast & Furious 6 could double as a drinking game–take a shot whenever a cast member mentions the word “family.”

Now, the films themselves wouldn’t endear themselves to spiritually minded audiences. The franchise specializes in gut-wrenching fight scenes, bawdy humor and that lecherous “thigh-cam” meant to ogle the women who attend the street races. Once the cars screech to a halt, franchise stars Vin Diesel, Paul Walker and co. always go back to their extended clan for rest, relaxation and bonding.

The family in question is multi-racial, and the connections between them are rarely through blood or marriage. They still consider themselves members of a clan, one based on honor, loyalty and a sense of protection. Fast & Furious 6 involves the group’s attempt to save Letty (Michelle Rodriguez), a former family member who clearly lost her way.

That doesn’t matter to the gang. She’s a part of them, and that means it’s worth risking their lives to save her.

The newest film even features the main players saying Grace before a meal. It’s a reminder that for every bombastic car chase there’s some shared humanity behind the mega-franchise’s success.