Just when you thought you were out, they pull you back in.
Shiny-headed action star Vin Diesel dropped a news bombshell this morning, after announcing on his Instagram account the dates of a further *three* Fast & Furious instalments, which will take the franchise to a grand total of ten.
Despite the fact that 2015’s Furious 7 seemed to sign off the story of Dominic Toretto and his band of international car thieves with a full stop, the news of an eighth instalment was circulating before the movie had even finished its run on the big screen.
A further trilogy however has come as something of a shock. But how surprised should we really be? We’re not discussing an art-house project here, but box office fodder which packs out the multiplex and keeps the core audience consistently happy.
Box office gold
The American movie industry has never lived by the mantra that you can have too much of a good thing – in fact, we’re pretty sure that kind of talk gets you fired in Hollywood.
Whilst other franchises would have hit the brakes four movies earlier, the latest instalment – confusingly titled Furious 7 – made 1.5 billion dollars worldwide, making as much as both previous movies put together. Money talks, so why would you even consider pulling the plug?
Prequels, sequels & spin-offs
Although Vinnie D may be selling this next trilogy as the final instalment following a whopping two decades, the people behind the camera are less inclined to call it a day and sink a few celebratory Coronas.
In an interview with US publication Variety, Diesel hinted that the producers may look to take a Marvel-style approach to the whole thing and spawn a seemingly endless production line of off-shoots from the main story.
One idea floated is that Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson could take his goatee’d security agent Luke Hobbs into his own spin-off – whether that it is set before or after his first encounter with Toreto in Fast & Furious 5.
The last refuge for ‘big dumb movies’
One of the continuing criticisms levelled at the Fast & Furious is the stupidity of it all. Like that’s somehow a bad thing.
People don’t climb into their cinema seat for a new F & F looking for social commentary or the answers to existential questions. They go to gawp at action set-pieces, have their ears partially damaged by the rev of engines and laugh at ridiculous bits of dialogue.
Whilst we may no longer want impenetrable tough guys in our action movies, but emotional depth and injury from even the likes of James Bond, these ‘muscle car’ movies remain the last refuge of action for action’s sake.
We don’t care that the runway wasn’t long enough for a 20-minute aircraft brawl, or if a human couldn’t crash into a car windscreen and get up to fight another day – we’re enjoying it anyway.
Let’s get the ‘ten more years!’ chants going and see if we can get Vin Diesel to sign on for an extra decade.
Fast & Furious 8 will be in cinemas worldwide on April 14, 2017