There are a few things to cover when it comes to the next installment of the Fast and Furious franchise, not the least of which is the idea that things are going to be more or less the same, meaning that the story is going to get as wild as possible to mask the fact that the course has been run and the overall idea is to get bigger and more ridiculous to keep people from realizing this. The fact is that the FF franchise started as a mild affair that had a group of street racers robbing trucks, something that was a little more believable than what’s been seen recently. The addition of different characters has been interesting, but the escalation of the story has been something so ridiculous that logic was dropped off by the second movie and outright abandoned in the later movies. Allowing street racers to take on highly-trained marshals and assassins has become the norm, as guys like Dom can become superhuman and guys like Roman are essentially bulletproof and somehow become crack shots that can take out entire squads of armed guerillas.
As screenwriting professors might say, logic has no place in this franchise, and yet people continue to love it. The next movie, which is titled Fast X, will apparently take the two-movie installment idea that Harry Potter utilized and THEN work on the 11th movie, which is another reason to roll one’s eyes since prolonging this story is bound to satisfy a lot of people but will make others wonder why in the world it’s been made to last this long. The next movie will be making its way to theaters in 2023, and at this point, it’s easy to wonder if the next three movies will actually be the last, or if this idea will continue to be pushed forward.
Plus, there’s an idea that the late Paul Walker’s brother might step in to take on the role of Bryan to keep the character alive. It’s a rumor at this point and doesn’t appear to have been solidified into fact, but at the same time, it’s easy to remember that the last movie featured a familiar car pulling up to the Toretto residence, so it’s not as though the franchise would be above bringing the character of Bryan back to round out the cast for the last few movies. Dwayne Johnson won’t be returning, and it’s even a guessing game when it comes to Jason Statham. But the additions of Cardi B. and Brie Larsen make it apparent that people aren’t caring how ridiculous the story has become, they’re simply there for the spectacle and the big names. Anyone wanting to argue with this needs to sit down and explain the logic behind the story, and why it’s happened that people who had no aptitude for espionage suddenly became world-class spies, hackers, snipers, and supermen and women that can take on those that have been trained and know how to hurt people without thinking about it. In other words, it’s all about flash and fame at the moment, the story is no longer important, as lazy writing can be bolstered by famous faces.
The continued fact of this is that like it or not, the characters in these movies are caricatures of those that might exist in real life and are ridiculous even when comparing them to comic book characters. But this is what people want since it’s a chance to shut off their brains for an hour and a half to be amazed by stunts and storylines that aren’t capable of challenging a grade-school student. To be fair, it was never meant to be high art or even something serious enough to draw people in and exclaim over the deeper feelings that it draws from the audience. Of course, some have gone on to state that this is just what happens, but the laughter that comes after such a statement is well-deserved. Like always, this is a moment when the policy of ‘to each their own’ is best to adopt and maintain since people have decided that they enjoy the movies and are going to keep paying for them to be made.
Unless Fast X is going to flip the script in a big way, which could easily ignite the ire of the fans, it’s fair to say that it’s going to be about family, about how that family is all skilled in various ways that didn’t come out until the later movies when it was possible to retcon so much. Thinking that this next movie is going to be any different from the others in terms of the story feels optimistic, but perhaps it will end up surprising a lot of folks. It’s a hope that things will change just enough to keep it entertaining since there’s plenty of talent to make it happen.