Like countless others, I’m eagerly awaiting the release of Furious 7.

April just can’t get here fast enough.

It’s hard to believe that this is the same crew from the original The Fast & The Furious movie. While Dom and his team were a band of ride or die street racers and hijackers then, they weren’t exactly trotting the globe, executing billion dollar heists and battling international terrorists.

With each sequel, Dom, his family, as well as the F&F mythos have evolved. Furious 6 and Furious 7 are very reminiscent of Vin Diesel’s 2002 film, XXX.

In XXX, Diesel played Xander Cage, an extreme sports athlete and stuntman who finds himself recruited to be a spy by the National Security Agency to infiltrate a band of Russian terrorists. The very unorthodox Cage is the ideal weapon who could succeed where conventional agents have failed. As the opening scene with the slain tuxedo-clad 007 look-a-like illustrates, XXX was supposed to replace the obsolete Bond.

While the concept was sound, the execution was inconsistent and ultimately it didn’t take [Ed note: Since Ice Cube took over the mantle in the sequel.] Yet F&F did. Between the cutting-edge tech, the heists and the larger than life personalities, this franchise centers around a band of unlikely misfits playing in major leagues. Yet the films work where XXX didn’t.

The biggest difference between the two franchises is in the characterization of the lead. With Xander, the audience really doesn’t get anything beyond the surface. The same can be said for pretty much all the characters in XXX.

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Dom in the Fast & Furious films, on the other hand, has layers upon layers that one generally doesn’t find in action movies about high end cars. He’s a criminal, but he operates by a code. Family is everything. Dominic is loyal to a fault and while those attributes are noble, given the criminal element he often contends with, said attributes are potential liabilities that could get him killed. His refusal to forsake his code is what makes him a hero.

Dom isn’t the only great character in the series. In fact the filmmakers put much effort in developing the players of the franchise. Whether it’s Letty, Hobbs, or Tej, each character is intriguing, formidable and could easily carry their own film. As the threats and the oppositions increase with each film, Dom and co. have risen to the challenge from rival racers to drug dealers, crooked cops, drug kingpins, to international smugglers. More than that, the motley band of long shots are often underestimated only to be the last ones standing in the end. Much like Cage, they’re the unorthodox anomaly that is the answer to the impending threat at hand.

As it did in the last film, the spirit of XXX will rage on when Dom and company face their biggest challenge to date.

April can’t get here fast enough.

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One thought on “From The Fast & The Furious To XXX

  1. I love these! I probably have 2 Fast 2 Furious memorized. It’s not my usually type of movie, but what you said about the characters would explain why I like it so much! Plus, fast cars are fun. I also appreciated Suki in 2 Fast 2 Furious – a woman who can drive just as fast (and sometimes faster than) the men.

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