Fast 9: Why Street Racing Needs to Come Back to the Franchise
Why street racing needs to come back for Fast 9
In September, 2018, I wrote a post outlining why street racing would likely not be making a comeback to the franchise. In the past paragraph of that article, I also outlined how street racing could be a part of the movie. (READ THE ARTICLE HERE). Let’s look at some of the reasons street racing needs to come back for Fast 9.
In essence, I said that street racing movies don’t sell movie tickets, actions movies do. Hollywood has known for decades that any movie they produce must appeal to the widest range of audiences possible. This is the reason why movies like TopGun have men’s volleyball scene and why every freaking movie around has some sort of love story in it.
As I write this article, the Hobbs and Shaw film just released. Although the global opening isn’t for two more weeks, the opening box office weekend here in the USA was mediocre – at $65 million, its a fraction of what Fast 7 brought in on its first weekend, but we must remember that this is a spinoff film. $65 million is actually pretty good, but a bit less than the $75 million that was projected.
Don’t get me wrong, I think Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham are freaking awesome, but there’s still a big portion of the fanbase that is wondering what the hell happened to all the Japanese tuner cars and street racing we saw in the first film.
There’s no other way to say it – the franchise must return to its roots. They are out of ideas and stunts as evidenced by Fast 8 which was 7/8ths James Bond bullshit and 1/8th family mentions. There’s nowhere else to go except into outer space or back to their roots.
Let us also not forget that none of us are getting any younger. In 2020, Vin Diesel will be 53 years old. Paul would have been 47 years old. It’s time to pass the torch to the next generation, just as Star Trek did, just as Star Wars has done and so on.
So what does that look like in a movie? I can’t say for sure, but there are a few possibilities:
- The story in Fast 9 could be the setup for Fast 10. Fast 10 could conceivably be canceled if Fast does poorly.
- Since Vin Diesel strikes me as a smart guy, I’m guessing that he’s watching social media and he knows that many fans want to see a return to the JDM/street racing scene. I’d be suprised if Fast 9 or Fast 10 didn’t something – at least a montage or two – pay homage to the movie’s true beginnings.
- Fast 9 and/or Fast10 could focus on new characters in the franchise, perhaps younger characters, who could help keep open the possibility of even more movies down the road.
All of this is pur speculation on my part.
What I’d like to see
Back in 2017, I jotted down some thoughts about how the series could end if the producers wanted to connect the new movies to the franchise’s roots. Essentially, it looked like this:
Whatever happens in Fast 9 or 10, towards the end of the movie, we meet Dom’s son (named “Brian”) and Brian’s son (Jack) who are now teenagers.
Perhaps it’s Jack’s 16th birthday party, and the scene is basically a big gathering of the family. Dom and Brian (played through CGI by Cody Walker) pull the two kids aside and Dom says, ‘Let’s go for a little ride.’
They all jump in a Charger and drive to an abandoned looking warehouse.
Dom pulls back the big door and in the warehouse we see two dust covered cars. One is the red RX7.
Brian looks at Dom and says, ‘didn’t know you still had this thing.’ Dom says, ‘I had proxy bidder buy it back from a Police auction.’
Brian says, ‘what’s the other car?’
Dom says, “uh-uh, this one’s not for you.” Dom pulls off the car cover and we see Brian’s old Supra.
Dom looks at Jack and says, ‘happy birthday, kid. Hope you know how to drive it better than your dad.’
The two sons jump in the cars and drive off into the sunset with their two proud parents, Dom and Brian, watching them drive away.
Brian looks at Dom and says, ‘think they’re gonna cause trouble?’
Dom looks at Brian and says something like, ‘like father, like son’ (or, ‘you can count on it’)
End with the same ending music as the first movie.
Fade to black.
Why street racing needs to come back to the franchise
As the series evolved, it became an action-adventure showcase. Each movie featured more outlandish plot lines, more sophisticated villains and stunt sequeneces that would rival Michael Bay movies. In the eyes of many, it has strayed too far from the original story.
In the arc of character development, Dom, Letty, Roman and other anchor-characters have evolved too far to every be seen again hanging around kids at street races. That leaves only one option: introduce new, younger characters. The logical choice is bringing in the offspring of the main characters to carry the torch forward.
Logic dictates that these younger characters would likely follow the path of their parents and that means street racing. So perhaps at least part of the story could involve the beginning of a new saga, one where the parents try to teach their kids about the hzards of street racing.
At the very least, there needs to be acknowledgement of the importance of the tuner scene, the very element that gave this franchise a cult following globally over the last two decades. I think there’s plenty of room here for storylines for the parents face off with some small town villains to protect their children, even though the parents may be in retirement, so to speak.
No matter what, there needs to be at least one scene of street racing – a scene in which we see some hot JDM cars if, for no other reason, to show that Universal respects the elements that jump started this series.
Assuming Fast 9 is a success, we should count on Fast 10 to round out the series and that leaves yet another opportunity to bring the series full circle. Universal simply has to bring back some of the iconic cars of the first movie in order to pay homage to its roots. I’m sure that as script discussions progress for Fast 9 and 10, someone in these meetings has brought up the potential use of incorporating some of the nostagic elements of the first film. Given the age of the actors, they’re almost certainly feeling nostalgic as the series is nearing the end of its lifecycle.
Dom’s Charger, Dom’s RX7, and Brian’s Supra as a minimum, should make an appearance, even if they’re just gathering dust in barn. Worst case scenario, they could do a little post-credit mini-feature just as they’ve done with all the movies. Such a feature could resemble what I wrote above. In essence, that would open the door for a continuation of the saga with new, younger characters and still allow for appearances for the existing veteran actors where appropriate.
Whatever happens, I hope that Universal will come back down to Earth, embrace the franchise’s past and continue to have success. Oh, and one last thing – if I see one more new Dodge Challenger, I’m going to puke. Move on, already.