LIke Dom Toretto’s aggressively tuned Dodge Charger, the Fast and Furious series, has made over-performance a habit. Even when the original film was a huge success in the summer of 2001, no one expected it to become a brand that would exist for the long haul (not even its star: Vin Diesel bailed out of the first sequel). Two decades, 10 movies, and a $ 6 billion box office later, the road-tested franchise of illegal street racers turned secret agents who leap across the globe has earned the right to promote itself as a “saga.” But there is another reliable metric of Hollywood success: the number of copycats it inspires. These are some of the movies that tried to recreate the Fast formula but never made it off the starting line.
What could be more exciting than fast cars? Fast motorcycles? This frenetic chase movie takes some of the visual tics from the early Fast movies – edgy camera work, frenetic editing, and fetish close-ups of pedals, mirrors, and exhausts – and makes things even more difficult. After a meth business vanishes, two-wheeled bandit Ford (Martin Henderson) finds himself hunted by both the law and the vengeful Ice Cube motorcycle gang. Though Henderson is compelling as the lead, he lacks Diesel’s serious seriousness, and music video stuntman Joseph Kahn’s constant visual somersaults soon become exhausting. On the bright side, Torque features an early sighting of Parks and Recreation’s Adam Scott as an unnecessarily hostile FBI agent.
Red line (2007)
Despite your appreciation for luxury travel, the Fast universe is built on a blue-collar base where family is more important than wealth and all the money in the world can’t buy your racing instincts or loyalty. On paper, Redline certainly matches those values, pitting a hard-working mechanic and soldier returning from the salt of the earth against a smorgasbord of self-obsessed millionaires, including Eddie Griffin as a music mogul from word of mouth. motor and Angus Macfadyen as a louche forger, betting big on racing with his own exotic supercars. But this unique vanity project was conceived and financed by a subprime mortgage specialist. Rather prophetically, it crashed and burned.
Vehicle 19 (2013)
The late Paul Walker played a cop turned outlaw Brian in six installments of Fast and was a notable gas fan in real life, so putting him behind the wheel of a car, even in a totally different movie, sets certain expectations. of the audience. Low-budget vehicle 19 veers in an unexpected direction early on, when Walker’s eager American on probation mistakenly picks up a rental minivan full of incriminating material after landing in Johannesburg to try and salvage a relationship. Taken almost entirely from inside the rental car, Vehicle 19 was never going to be a high-octane franchise starter and runs out of gas long before the end. But it’s a pulpy piece for Locke, the other 2013 movie that caught the viewer in a car with a spiraling star.
Need for Speed (2014)
If there was ever going to be a serious challenge to the Fast series, it seemed to be this hefty budget Dreamworks adaptation of a popular and long-running video game series. Aaron Paul, fiery in the back of Breaking Bad, put a little heat into his role as a wronged racing driver to avenge his brother’s death by winning an endurance race along the Pacific Coast Highway. Despite the heightened emotional stakes, car-smashing stunts, and Michael Keaton’s gonzo performance commenting on the action from his lighthouse lair, it all ended up feeling pretty mechanical. Released just as the Fast movies were entering their imperial phase, this potential franchise stalled hard.
Super fast! (2015)
Perhaps Hollywood’s biggest indirect compliment is when parody specialists Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer, the shameless writing-director duo behind Date Movie, Meet the Spartans, The Starving Games and more, think they can give a cheap but potentially a chance. lucrative to your franchise. The grim Superfast! features a scattergun shipment from the first Fast movie (instead of NOS gas, a turbo character charges his ride from a canister labeled “Lance Armstrong’s Urine”) with nods to Fast 5 in the form of a tough cop named “Rock Johnson ”and a half-baked heist involving dragging a taco restaurant through the streets. To date, it is the last film produced by the previously prolific Friedberg / Seltzer partnership, so it could be cited as another example of how Dom and Brian thwarted evildoers.
This lighthearted thriller was written by the team behind 2 Fast 2 Furious and was lucky enough to cast Scott Eastwood the same year he appeared as a CIA sidekick in The Fate of the Furious. Set in Marseille, it features Eastwood and Freddie Thorp as half-brothers who specialize in exotic car theft. Targeting a rare Bugatti puts them on the wrong side of a major drug dealer and sets off a complex continental heist. Despite the budget budget, the emphasis on starting a family (the brothers have a week to recruit their motley squad) and a heated garage full of coveted Ferraris help make it a decent substitute for the real thing. The tribute even extends to a climactic bridge stunt augmented by another Fast trademark: slightly dubious CGI.
The Hurricane Heist (2018)
An even more lighthearted thriller – a heist and escape during tornado peak season is the suitably silly premise of this B-movie that, at launch, seemed hell-bent on partnering with the planet’s preeminent modern action franchise. A getaway in heavy trucks roaring down weather-threatened roads certainly feels like something Dom and the gang could plausibly get involved in, and if you missed the trailers pointing to the involvement of Rob Cohen, original director of The Fast and the Furious in 2001 – the posters were even more direct, sprinkling the title in a brash sans-serif font that looked extremely familiar after two decades of quick marketing. A daring heist indeed.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism