Can you recall any picture in the last 3 years that was wildly popular that didn’t include things getting smashed or blown to bits?
Have you gone to a movie or rented one that featured clever or charming dialog, let’s say in the past 24 months?
It’s OK, I can wait for your answer . . .
Surprise, I can think of one! La La Land which did – Worldwide: $439,020,154 (£424.7m)
That’s nothing compared to the Faster & the Even More Furious, OK, real title – The Fate of the Furious. Worldwide: $532,481,640 That’s just in the first (opening) weekend. It broke the previous record of $529m (£421.8m) taken in by Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
That kind of money gets attention, which means the type of films I might find more interesting, or have longevity, are not likely to be made in the foreseeable future. That’s kind of shame, because the independent films are constantly trying to break into a market that is walled off from the public.
Why is the Fast & Furious franchise so popular?
That’s a question which seems easy to answer, at least on the surface. Some may say it has universal appeal to young & old, because people like to see escape fantasies of things destroyed. The protagonists and antagonists are people over the top, escaping doom or creating disasters on a grand scale with seemingly little consequence. Have you ever picked up a sledge-hammer to help demolish a car for charity? Imagine 100’s of times greater smash, with none of the work but all of the fun.
There are other reason(s), I believe which increase its appeal. The actors in the film, identify well with an audience. Paul Walker was one of those people who seemed universally liked. Actors, Tyrese Gibson, Nathalie Emmanuel, Vin Diesel and Ludacris, all have large followings. Dwayne Johnson has starred in four of this franchise movies, and he’s brought new energy to it. Still, they’re not adverse to bringing in other major names, and stirring the pot.
Kurt Russel has been a big action adventure star for years. This time he even has a name that most of us can relate to… Mr. Nobody.
The Fate of the Furious won’t be a movie I will pay to see, but the next film Kurt Russell will be in, Guardians of the Galaxy 2, is going to be at the top of my screening list. If I’m not there opening day, I will be soon thereafter. The last Guardians of the Galaxy anticipated their audience, adding humor to an imaginative story that grabbed a lot of eyes. This one looks to be every bit the right follow on, in one I’m least familiar as a published graphics novel.