Since Fast Five was, in many ways, “The Avengers” of the Fast and Furious franchise, it is not surprising that Vin Diesel has been trying to replicate its success for the past 12 years. Based on a magazine article titled “Racer X,” the first Fast & Furious movie came out in 1998. With a budget of around $38 million, the movie performed fairly well, earning over $200 million at the global box office. This set the stage for three more sequels 2 Fast 2 Furious, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, and Fast and Furious, all of which proved to be profitable endeavors for the franchise’s creators.
Even though the first four Fast & Furious movies tasted success with their simplistic storylines that primarily revolved around illegal car racing, the franchise decided to change lanes with the fifth movie. Unlike its predecessors, Fast Five dropped the street racing narrative and expanded the franchise’s viewer base by focusing on globe-trotting heists. Apart from raising the stakes for its main characters and upping the ante of its action and drama, Fast Five‘s new narrative direction also helped it beat The Avengers by featuring a full-fledged franchise team-up one year before the MCU film.
Fast & Furious Beat The Avengers To A Franchise Team-Up With Fast Five
paul-walker-vin-diesel-fast-5© Provided by ScreenRant
One year before The Avengers featured a team-up of several superheroes from standalone MCU movies, Fast Five introduced a heist plot that required several characters from the previous installments of the movie franchise to come together. Just like The Avengers was a culmination of the first phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, bringing together storylines the movie franchise was gradually building for years, Fast Five was a turning point for the Fast & Furious movies as it gave the franchise a new tone and direction, allowing it to elevate the scale of its action and drama. However, given how Fast & Furious did it first, it technically beat The Avengers.
Although the Fast and Furious movies were performing well at the box office even before Fast Five, Fast Five helped the movie series attain a new high by earning $626 million worldwide. Like The Avengers set the stage for other MCU movies to feature superhero collaborations, Fast Five created a new blueprint for the movie series with its character team-ups, laying the foundation for a franchise renaissance. Since The Avengers and Fast Five belong to two different movie subgenres, it would be unfair to draw comparisons between them. However, it is still fair to say that what The Avengers did for the MCU, Fast Five did for the Fast and Furious movie universe.
Why Fast Five’s Team Up Works So Well
The cast of Fast Five on the film’s poster.© Provided by ScreenRant
Before Fast Five‘s release, the Fast & Furious franchise had already developed a core group of heroes, which allowed audiences to have a sense of familiarity with the characters. Owing to this familiarity, the interactions and dynamics between previously established characters like Dom, Brian, Mia, Roman, Tej, and Han felt more meaningful and narratively cohesive. From finding freedom to seeking redemption, each character in Fast Five‘s team-up also had personal motivations to be involved in the overarching heist, further raining the stakes of the movie’s central mission.
Fast Five‘s team-up also worked incredibly well because Dwayne Johnson became a part of it. Although The Rock’s Luke Hobbs was not a part of the previous Fast and Furious movies, he proved to be the perfect addition to the crew with his tough-as-nails demeanor and deadpan humor. Fast Five‘s plot was built on themes that were previously established by its predecessors. However, what made it stand out from the rest of the franchise was its ability to become something more than a car racing movie. By introducing a storyline that used car chases as a narrative device to drive a white-knuckling heist, Fast Five helped the franchise take one step closer to becoming more well-rounded.
Every Fast & Furious Movie After Fast Five Has Failed To Capture The Magic
Fast X Fast and Furious Movies Rewatch Guide Order© Provided by ScreenRant
Fast & Furious 6 and Furious 7 tried capturing Fast Five‘s magic by adopting its blueprint and even succeeded to some degree, taking the franchise to new heights. However, in an attempt to consistently raise the stakes for the main characters, the subsequent movies started resorting to over-the-top global adventures and action scenes. The more the Fast and Furious movies focused on spectacle, the further they drifted away from realism, gradually harming the movie franchise’s brand identity. As a result, instead of associating it with themes of family, loyalty, and redemption, audiences started equating it with absurdism and mindless action.
The recent Fast and Furious movies have deviated further from the vision of Fast Five, which explains why despite their rising budgets, the movies are offering diminishing returns at the global box office. As a standout film in the franchise, Fast Five also set the standard for subsequent movies a little too high, due to which viewers and critics could not help but compare the sequels with Fast Five’s quality. While opinions surrounding the movie franchise’s progress since Fast Five may vary, falling critical ratings and diminishing box office returns prove the Fast & Furious movies are struggling to recreate the elements that made Fast Five successful.
Fast & Furious 11 Might Finally Be Another Avengers-Like Crossover
Fast Furious 11 movie box office beat Fast X image© Provided by ScreenRant
Although Fast & Furious 11 may not hit the brakes on the franchise’s growing obsession with portraying Vin Diesel’s Dom as a superhuman, it might finally feature another Avengers-like crossover. Dwayne Johnson has already announced that he will be returning for the 11th installment as Hobbs and Fast X‘s ending has also set up Gal Gadot’s return as Giselle in the franchise’s concluding film. Since the homecoming of two major characters has been confirmed, Fast & Furious 11 seems to be on the right path toward recreating Fast Five‘s character beats and dynamics.
Based on the story developments toward Fast X‘s ending, Jason Momoa’s Dante, Charlize Theron’s Cipher, Alan Ritchson’s Aimes, Helen Mirren’s Queenie, and Brie Larson’s Miss Nobody might also be a part of Fast & Furious 11‘s roster along with other prominent recurring characters. Considering the film franchise’s recurring trend of introducing new faces in each installment, Fast & Furious 11 will likely have a combination of many beloved mainstay characters and fresh never-seen-before heroes and villains. While this Avengers-like ensemble in Fast & Furious 11 may not necessarily capture the brilliance of <strong>Fast Five</strong>, it will end the movie franchise on a high note.