Features and Columns · Movies

Where is the ‘Fast and Furious’ Franchise Going, Exactly?

We may have nitro’d too close to the sun, boys.
Hobbs And Shaw Helicopter Fast And Furious
By  · Published on August 16th, 2023

Welcome to The Queue — your daily distraction of curated video content sourced from across the web. Today, we’re watching a video essay that explores the good and bad aspects of the seemingly un-killable Fast and Furious franchise.

I’ll say this for the Fast and Furious franchise: you have to respect a film series that does exactly what it says on the tin. Them cars be fast. And I am definitely furious every time I have to re-learn who the good guys and bad guys are. Every one of these movies should start with a “previously on” segment I swear to god. Pretend I don’t know anything. I’ve seen every single one of these movies and my dedicated “F&F character alignment” spreadsheet is starting to get out of control.

I’ll come right out and admit that I respect folks who get a kick out of Vin Diesel‘s cinematic epic about backyard barbecues, family, and NOS. But these movies just aren’t for me. My favorite film in the series is easily Tokyo Drift, which was the last time the franchise pretended to take place in something approximating reality.

All that said, whether you’re a die-hard fan, a hater, or somewhere in the middle like me, there’s no doubting that the franchise’s twisty trajectory is absolutely fascinating. How did we go from crime dramas to ensemble heists? Why did the protagonist change from someone on the outs to Diesel’s Dom? Why are the films named in the most confusing and unintuitive way possible? How did these movies go from street racing to outer space?

The video essay below has answers to the above, and then some. And given the poor reception of the most recent Fast and Furious entry, perhaps the franchise will pivot yet again.

Watch “What the Hell Happened to Fast and Furious?”

Who made this?

This video essay on what’s going on with the Fast and Furious franchise is by Adam Tinius, who runs the YouTube channel Entertain the Elk. They are based in Pasadena, California. You can follow them on YouTube here. And you can follow them on Twitter here.

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Meg has been writing professionally about all things film-related since 2016. She is a Senior Contributor at Film School Rejects as well as a Curator for One Perfect Shot. She has attended international film festivals such as TIFF, Hot Docs, and the Nitrate Picture Show as a member of the press. In her day job as an archivist and records manager, she regularly works with physical media and is committed to ensuring ongoing physical media accessibility in the digital age. You can find more of Meg's work at Cinema Scope, Dead Central, and Nonfics. She has also appeared on a number of film-related podcasts, including All the President's Minutes, Zodiac: Chronicle, Cannes I Kick It?, and Junk Filter. Her work has been shared on NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour, Business Insider, and CherryPicks. Meg has a B.A. from the University of King's College and a Master of Information degree from the University of Toronto.