You surely know that Paul Walker tragically passed away in 2013. But did you know that in order to finish Furious 7 while giving his character, Brian O’Conner, a fitting sendoff, the creators of Furious 7 had to use a combination of digital effects and body doubles, which included Walker’s brothers, Caleb and Cody? That’s just one of the fast facts featured in the latest episode of You Think You Know Movies!
In The Fate of the Furious, the eighth installment in the car-jacking, street racing franchise, Vin Diesel’s Dom Toretto does the worst thing a man of his values can do: He turns his back on family. That six letter, three syllable mantra is the sentimental thread that holds the Fast and Furious crew together, and what adds heart to an action series suffused with cars and criminals. One would assume there must be good reason to plot an entire film around something so antithetical to the spirit of the series. But that reveal winds up being the silliest and most left-field twist since the time the movies explained Letty’s (Michelle Rodriguez) return with amnesia.
If you, like most of us, live in a capitalist society and are sometimes distracted from an action movie by the thought of how much it must have cost to clean up after that car chase or that oil drum explosion, you’re not alone. A couple folks took it upon themselves to estimate exactly how much damage the Fast & Furious Family has accrued over the last seven movies, and the final tally might make you a little squeamish.
Breaking news: people all over the world really like fast cars, movie stars, and constant references to family. Related: Furious 7 has just become the third highest grossing movie of all time, overtaking 2012’s The Avengers.
Furious 7 almost certainly won’t be the last Fast & Furious movie. But at times it feels like a series finale. There are numerous callbacks and homages to the franchise’s entire 15-year history. The setpieces are bigger and crazier than ever; it’s hard to imagine anyone topping them. And before the chases really get rolling, the mood is often downright mournful. Two different scenes are set in graveyards, and characters talk about taking “one last ride” together.
Increasingly the Fast and Furious franchise has felt like a superhero franchise. A group of heroes with seemingly infinite strength and abilities taking on the bad guys and becoming a family in the process. It's like Avengers meets the Fantastic Four, but with a lot of cars. With the movies already up to Part 7 and Paul Walker sadly gone, the series can't go on forever. So, how do they continue the brand? Just like the superheroes do: with spinoffs.
Earlier this week, it was reported that Justin Lin was being courted by Universal to return to the ‘Fast and Furious’ series after taking ‘Furious 7’ off and giving the director's seat to James Wan. It was also reported that his return would be be part of a two film “grand finale” that would send this beloved franchise driving off into the sunset. But that second part is just plain silly. Have you seen the box office receipts for these movies? So it should come as no surprise that the studio has “at least three” more Dominic Toretto and company adventures in the pipeline.