Fast & Furious Leaving Street Racing Behind Was Always A Lie
The Fast & Furious franchise has increasingly become less about drag-racing and more about high-stakes, physics-defying action, yet it’s a mistake to assume that the series abandoned its roots entirely. Although infamous scenes such as the crew reaching the limits of space or using a steel cable to somehow swing across a chasm define the series for many, there are other more understated moments that revisit what made Fast & Furious special to begin with. The street may now be secondary to globe-trotting, world-altering adventure, but there’s plenty of evidence that this is where the franchise’s heart remains.
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The latest example of Fast & Furious street racing comes courtesy of the Fast X trailer. Although many details around the series’ tenth installment remain under wraps, a scene featuring Vin Diesel’s Dominic Toretto going toe-to-toe with Jason Momoa’s villainous Dante in a drag race – reminiscent of the series’ very first entries – constitutes the dramatic heart of the footage. It’s impossible to say for sure how central this moment is in the wider Fast X narrative, but the trailer certainly puts it front and center. However, while proper street racing’s prominent return in Fast X is a relief for many viewers, the truth is that the series has never veered too far off course.
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Fast & Furious Never Forgot The Franchise’s Street Racing Roots
As the Fast & Furious series has continued, it’s perhaps understandable that critical attention has been focused on the tongue-in-cheek oneupmanship evident in each installment. Whatever legitimate criticisms there might be of Fast & Furious, it’s impossible to argue that the franchise doesn’t find innovative things to do with cars. Sequences such as Fast 6’s supposedly 26-mile-long cargo plane chase and parachuting vehicles onto a mountain to avoid detection are certainly distracting. Yet, for all the increasing ridiculousness, the franchise also regularly returns to street racing as a source of inspiration.
The franchise’s previous installment, F9, made use of racing flashbacks to move the story forwards. The Fate of the Furious, meanwhile, included the highly effective Cuba sequence, while Furious 7 started with the Race Wars event and acted as a direct successor to Tokyo Drift – perhaps the most street race-focused installment in the entire collection. With Fast X once again featuring an important traditional “race” scene, it’s clear that for all the loud distractions Fast & Furious has always really been about street racing.
Why Is Dom Racing Jason Momoa’s Dante In Fast X?
While the exact details of Dante’s villainous scheme are yet to be revealed, the Fast X trailer does provide some key plot details. For instance, it’s clear that Momoa’s hulking Fast X villain is seeking revenge on Dom for his part in the Rio heist from Fast Five. For his part, Dante has a close connection with Reyes – the drug lord who owned the vault that Dom and Brian managed to drag through the streets of Rio. In fact, the trailer reveals that Dante was actually in one of the cars pursuing Dom and Brian, somehow surviving being blown off a bridge, and may even be Reyes’ son. As such, he blames Dom directly for stealing his potential future and has vowed to exact his revenge on Toretto and his family.
What’s not entirely clear is how taking part in a drag race might resolve this issue. Dante’s warning that “the problem with having such a big family (is) how do you choose the ones you save?” suggests that the outcome of the race could determine the death or survival of some major Fast & Furious characters. The fact that there are other participants in the race could also suggest a team-up against Dom. Clearly, even though a traditional street race may lack the visual flair of other Fast & Furious set pieces, the stakes can be just as high if circumstances are right.
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