Fast & Furious Already Wasted Its Perfect Ending… Twice!
Despite Fast X and Fast & Furious 11 being confirmed as the concluding two-part movie of the Fast & Furious franchise, it already wasted two perfect endings. Fast & Furious centers around Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and his team of street racing anti-heroes. Since the first movie, the franchise has graduated well beyond high-octane illegal street racing into cross-continental heists, cyber-terrorist plots, and even space travel. Even though Fast & Furious continues to be wildly entertaining, it already had the chance to end in an emotionally satisfying way–twice.
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Fast & Furious begins with The Fast and the Furious, in which undercover FBI agent Brian O’Conner, played by Paul Walker, must track down the mastermind behind a series of high-speed robberies, revealed to be the infamous street racer, Dominic Toretto. Despite discovering Dom’s crimes, Brian covers for him, setting in motion a series of events which ever-increasing stakes as Dom and his crew must evade capture for their crimes. Along the way, Brian and Dom’s paths continue to cross as they evade the FBI and take down various criminal bosses, such as Arturo Braga and Hernan Reyes, along the way. Brian even ends up marrying Dom’s sister, Mia Toretto, transcending the bounds of friendship and making Brian and Dom family. Brian and Mia move on to grow their own family, while Dom carries on taking on more audacious missions with his crew, which includes the likes of The Rock’s Luke Hobbs, Jason Statham’s Deckard Shaw, and Michelle Rodriguez’s Letty Ortiz.
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Fast & Furious should have ended around the same time as Brian and Dom’s story did in the wake of Paul Walker’s tragic death, with the franchise squandering the chance to end on a high, particularly in both Fast 5 and Fast and Furious 7. The former sees Dom, Brian, and the crew splitting a fortune and escaping to a tropical beach, where Brian challenges Dom to a no-stakes final drag race, neither of them having anything left to prove to one another. Although this ending would have happily wrapped up the story, the more emotional and perhaps most appropriate finish for the series should have happened in Fast and Furious 7, which was in the middle of production when Paul Walker was killed. Here, Dom and Brian drive alongside each other one last time before diverging down two separate roads to the tune of Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth’s “See You Again,” as Dom monologues on how much Brian means to him. It was the perfect emotional farewell to Paul Walker that still sends shivers down the spine.
Can Fast & Furious Have A Satisfying Ending Now?
Despite the fact that Fast 5 neatly wraps the story and Fast and Furious 7 provides a strong sense of catharsis, these are not the endings Fast & Furious got. The question now remains whether Fast & Furious has overextended its grasp as it seeks to finish strong. After all, Brian and Dom’s relationship was the backbone of the franchise and the reason Fast & Furious has such a resonance with messages of family. Although the further adventures have been a fun-filled spectacle, the franchise has lost its grip on the relationships that kept it emotionally grounded.
All is not lost for Fast & Furious, and undoubtedly some characters will follow Hobbs and Shaw in commissioning their own spin-off stories, but any truly satisfying ending to the main story must properly conclude Dom’s journey. Although there are many ways in which Dom’s story could feasibly end, most have already been done. Dom has already reunited with family, lost loved ones, redeemed himself after turning rogue, and gone to live a peaceful life with his family only to be enticed back for “one last mission.” As the old adage says, sometimes less is more. Although Fast & Furious has never stopped being entertaining, it will struggle to top the perfect endings it passed by after those two roads diverged and Brian drove off into the sunset in Fast and Furious 7.
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