Disclaimer: This is a plain fan review, I’m not even sure if I make sense. But whatever, here it is.
I first heard of The Fast and The Furious some 13 years ago from a local Filipino game show – the contestant was asked about the title of the film about street racing that stars Vin Diesel (they left out Paul Walker), and he answered The Fast and The Furious; and added that 2 Fast 2 Furious is currently on the way. Not long after, the movie was shown on free TV and I found myself watching it with my brothers (at the time, there were 3 of them who were old enough to get awestruck with the cars, racing, action stunts, etc). It was a masculine film, with a ridiculously good looking cast. I remember we were renting VCD’s (yup, I am part of the VHS/VCD generation) from a local video store and we would pay penalties to keep the CDs longer so we can watch them again. My brothers and I watched all first 3 films – The Fast and The Furious, 2 Fast 2 Furious and Tokyo Drift – from VCD’s. I was just a plain fan and I thought, how awesome are these people?! I was convinced that somehow, there are real people like them who do everything that they are doing – and that is just insane.
Fast forward to 2009, fresh from college and working my first job, came Fast and Furious, the fourth film that brought together the original cast from the first film; and, man, that was an insane comeback for all of them. The subsequent installment always gets to outshine the previous one. The whole The Fast and the Furious world was a part of my childhood all the way to my adult life and I can tell you details from the current movie that were part of the very first film. It feels like my toys grew up with me, is all I’m saying.
Now here’s the review part: Both Vin Diesel and Paul Walker were present in 6 of the 7 Fast and Furious movies, so that’s kind of a huge and long journey for the two actors. If you have been watching the films for as long as I did, you can see that both actors changed a lot, but then they also remained the same. In the first film, Brian (PW) is the arrogant FBI undercover agent who knows his cars and went on to meet Dom (VD) as the heart and soul of the illegal street racing that’s been going around. Not long after, Brian gained his respect as well as Dom’s sister Mia (Jordana Brewster) – of course he started sleeping with her because that’s just how it is. Some 15 years later, in Furious 7, we still see the whole ‘family’ vibe the films has always been vocal about, but they have grown from those testosterone-filled-egomaniac-but-absurdly-good street racing assholes to a special ops-ish kind of tight knit group who had no formal training but are the best in the world. That’s kind of my #squadgoals to be honest – tight, badass and ludicrously funny. The films’ family have grown since 2 Fast 2 Furious – bringing Roman (Tyrese) and Tej (Ludacris) into the picture brought it to a whole other dimension that no other action films can. I mean, come on, these two deliver comedic timing with chemistry much like a Will Smith kinda thing, but not really. My only complain was that, they should not have killed Han (Sung Kang) – he wasn’t like any of them (he’s neither black or white) but he fits perfectly into the family. Giselle (Gal Gadot) getting killed in Fast and Furious 6 was beyond heartbreaking too – her and Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) were the equalizer to be one among the men. Maybe they’re thinking of adding Elena (Elsa Pataky) into the group, I just don’t think it’ll fit well because duh, she used to sleep with Dom and now that him and Letty are actually married, how does that sound?
The Fast and The Furious series has been a platform to showcase the most expensive cars that money can buy, and #Furious7 did not disappoint – hello, Lykan HyperSport?. (NB: I know nothing about cars as I do about filmmaking) The thing about the series is that they are loyal to their brands – the whole franchise sticks to American cars (the Dodge obvi), and mostly rebuilds already fast machines. I will always acquaint Brian with that Nissan Skyline GT – it’s like a shoe that fits him perfectly. Dom, of course, is almost always synonymous to the black 1970 Dodge Charger both in the Fast and Furious world and in real life. With these they were driving around the world and destroying every city who hosts them and somehow got away with everything. How can two (or 6) fast drivers manage to destroy a city and leave it like a war zone and then come back home like nothing happened? Oh well, that’s why it’s called a movie. And, they send off Paul Walker beautifully, and in the right way possible.
Growing up, I only wanted to drive a Black car. Now, I just added owning a Dodge Charger to my bucket list, and that #squadgoals too.