With an eighth movie speeding into theaters this weekend and a collective box office gross of close to $4 billion, the ‘Fast and Furious’ series is one of Hollywood’s biggest movie franchises. In this week’s poll, it’s time to rank the films. Which is the fastest and/or the most furious?
When the original ‘The Fast and the Furious’ was released back in 2001, I doubt that anyone – not even star Vin Diesel – could have foreseen the powerhouse franchise it would launch. The movie did respectably well at the box office, but was dismissed by critics and was largely forgettable. Diesel sat out the first sequel entirely, leaving costar Paul Walker in the driver’s seat. For the third entry, the studio dropped Walker and tried to reboot the series in a new setting with a new cast, but begged Diesel to make a brief cameo at the end linking the movies together. Neither the second nor third picture was exactly a smash hit, but Universal was determined to keep trying.
The fourth movie, simply called ‘Fast & Furious’, brought back both Diesel and Walker, and finally kicked the franchise into gear. From that point forward, each new movie has grossed more than the last, culminating in the astounding $1.5 billion haul for 2015’s ‘Furious 7’. Was that monster success inflated by the curiosity factor surrounding star Paul Walker’s tragic death? Can this summer’s ‘The Fate of the Furious’ top it? We’ll find out soon enough.
The rapid ascent of this franchise has largely mystified me. I haven’t had much interest in any of the movies. I’ve only seen the first, which was pretty lame, and ‘Tokyo Drift’, which was only marginally better. Admittedly, neither of these is generally considered the best of the franchise. Most fans seem to rate ‘Fast Five’ as their favorite, but I can’t imagine sitting through five movies waiting to be entertained.