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Why the world needs the Fast and Furious franchise

2020-02-07 16:44

Sean Parker

19 years ago, the first instalment of what would become the Fast Saga, was released by the United States film studio Universal Pictures.

Since then, the  have been eight films, a spin-off film, two short films, a television series, video games, an animated series called Fast and Furious: Speed Racers on Netflix and even live shows at  Universal's Hollywood Studios. 

It's Universal's biggest franchise and has grossed close to $6-billion, and cost just over $1.2-billion to produce (including the Hobbs and Shaw spin-off). 

WATCH | Why the Fast and The Furious franchise should have been nipped in the bud a long ago

In addition to the gross revenue, Universal has also made $482-million in sales from DVD and Blu-ray and video sales in the US, according to The Numbers.com. The Fast Saga is the ninth highest-grossing film series of all time with Furious 7 the best-performing movie with $1.5-billion. 

It's extremely popular, has a legion of loyal fans and has attracted big stars like Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson and British actor Jason Statham. The first few films are centered around illegal drag racing, the more recent films are themed around heists and espionage. 

But what is it about the Fast Saga that audiences can't get enough of? Well, for one people enjoy movie car chases, they're grossly exaggerated most of the time and are infinitely entertaining.  

I think we all have our favourite cars and chase scenes from the franchise. From the Paul Walker's Toyota Mk IV Supra and the nine-second quarter-mile eating 1970 Dodge Charger driven by Vin Diesel's character Domini Toretto. 

The films are woven themselves into popular culture and maintained a dominance by creating new content with bigger stars, South African-born actor Charlize Theron and Dame Helen Mirren were in Fast and Furious 9. The franchise has the clout to entice actors of a high calibre. 

At the heart of it the franchise is also romance, Brian O'Conner, played by the late Paul Walker, eventually falls in love with Toretto's sister Mia, played by Jordana Brewster. The franchise is about relationships, people, good vs bad and how to overcome tragedies. 

We asked Channel24'smovie critic Alex Isaacs' opinion on why the film series has remained popular over almost two decades.

Isaacs says: "I think that the franchise has stayed so popular because it offers a cinematic escape from the mundanity of modern life.

"It offers the adrenaline rush of car chases, the euphoria of love and everything in between, including some epic bromances. Who wouldn't want to get lost in that world over and over and over again?"

On whether the series has a future (there are two new films set for release in 2020 and 2021), Isaacs said: "I know that there have been haters who say that they're over the franchise because at this point it feels like they're beating the same drum.

"But, just like with Star Wars and Saw, you will still find the die-hards, who are there on opening weekend with a ticket in hand until the wheels come off (punny, Ed). With that in mind, I think it will continue as long as it keeps bums in seats," Isaacs concluded. 

Fast and Furious binge weekend anyone? 

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