The Fast and Furious film series is one of the most successful and popular action franchises in Hollywood history. Since its debut in 2001, it has spawned nine main films, two spin-offs, a TV series, video games, comics, and merchandise. The main star of the franchise is Vin Diesel, who plays Dominic Toretto, the leader of a group of street racers and criminals who become involved in various heists, espionage, and global threats. Over the years, the franchise has earned billions of dollars at the box office, received mostly positive reviews from critics, and attracted a loyal fan base around the world.
However, in recent years, the franchise has shown signs of decline in terms of quality, popularity, and profitability. The latest installment, F9: The Fast Saga, received mixed to negative reviews from critics and fans alike, and had the lowest domestic opening weekend gross since the third film, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift. The franchise also faced several challenges and controversies, such as the death of co-star Paul Walker, the feud between Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson, and the competition from other action movies and franchises. In this blog post, we will explore the reasons behind the decline of the Fast and Furious franchise, the impact on Vin Diesel's career, and the possible alternatives for him and the franchise to regain their former glory.
Reasons for the Decline of the Fast and Furious Franchise
There are many factors that contributed to the decline of the Fast and Furious franchise, but we will focus on some of the most prominent ones:
- The death of Paul Walker: Paul Walker played Brian O'Conner, one of the main protagonists and friends of Dominic Toretto. He appeared in six of the main films and was a fan favorite. His tragic death in a car accident in 2013 shocked and saddened everyone involved in the franchise and its fans. His character was given a respectful send-off in Furious 7, which was also a tribute to his life and legacy. However, his absence also left a huge gap in the cast chemistry and plot continuity of the franchise. The franchise tried to fill his role with new or returning characters, such as Scott Eastwood, Jason Statham, Charlize Theron, John Cena, and even a CGI version of Walker himself. However, none of them could replicate his charm, charisma, or connection with Vin Diesel and the rest of the cast.
- The over-reliance on unrealistic action scenes and car stunts: The Fast and Furious franchise is known for its spectacular action scenes and car stunts that defy physics and logic. While some fans and critics enjoy these elements as part of the fun and escapism of the franchise, others find them too ridiculous and unbelievable to take seriously. The franchise has gradually increased the scale and absurdity of its action scenes and car stunts over time, such as jumping cars between skyscrapers, parachuting cars from planes, dragging a giant safe through city streets, outrunning a submarine on ice, flying cars into space, etc. These scenes may look impressive on screen, but they also undermine the credibility and realism of the franchise.
- The lack of innovation and originality in the storylines and characters: The Fast and Furious franchise has followed a similar formula for most of its films: Dominic Toretto and his crew are recruited or forced to take on a dangerous mission involving cars, guns, explosions, villains, family drama, betrayal, and redemption. Along the way, they encounter new allies or enemies who join or oppose them. The franchise has also reused or recycled some of its storylines and characters from previous films, such as bringing back supposedly dead characters (Letty Ortiz, Han Lue), revealing hidden family ties (Jakob Toretto), or introducing new twists or retcons (Cipher's involvement). While some fans may appreciate these elements as callbacks or fan service, others may find them lazy or repetitive.
- The feud between Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson: Dwayne Johnson joined the franchise as Luke Hobbs, a federal agent who initially pursues Dominic Toretto and his crew but later becomes their ally. He appeared in five of the main films and one spin-off, Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw. He quickly became one of the most popular and profitable stars of the franchise, thanks to his charisma, humor, and action skills. However, he also had a tense and bitter relationship with Vin Diesel, who reportedly clashed with him over creative differences, ego issues, and screen time. Their feud escalated to the point where they refused to share scenes or promote the films together, and Johnson decided to skip F9 and focus on his own spin-off with Jason Statham. Their feud also caused tension and division among the cast and crew of the franchise, who had to choose sides or stay neutral.
- The competition from other action movies and franchises: The Fast and Furious franchise is not the only action franchise in the market. There are many other action movies and franchises that offer more variety and quality to the audience, such as the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the Mission: Impossible series, the John Wick series, the James Bond series, etc. These movies and franchises have their own strengths and advantages, such as better stories, characters, actors, directors, effects, etc. They also appeal to different tastes and preferences of the audience, such as superhero fans, spy fans, thriller fans, etc. The Fast and Furious franchise may have a loyal fan base, but it also faces stiff competition from these other action movies and franchises that may overshadow or outperform it.
Impact on Vin Diesel's Career
The decline of the Fast and Furious franchise has also affected Vin Diesel's career in several ways:
- His reduced popularity and box office appeal as an action star: Vin Diesel is best known for his role as Dominic Toretto in the Fast and Furious franchise. He is also the producer and creative force behind the franchise. He has invested a lot of time, money, and energy into making the franchise a success. However, as the franchise has declined in quality, popularity, and profitability, so has his reputation and status as an action star. His other action movies outside the franchise, such as xXx: Return of Xander Cage, Bloodshot, or The Last Witch Hunter, have not been very successful or well-received by critics or fans. He has also not been able to branch out into other genres or roles that showcase his talents or charisma.
- His limited range and versatility as an actor in other genres and roles: Vin Diesel is not only an action star. He is also an actor who has shown some range and versatility in other genres and roles. He has starred in comedies (The Pacifier), dramas (Find Me Guilty), animated films (The Iron Giant), sci-fi films (Pitch Black), etc. He has also lent his voice to iconic characters such as Groot in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and The Iron Giant in The Iron Giant. However, these roles are few and far between in his filmography. He has mostly focused on his action roles, especially in the Fast and Furious franchise. He has not been able to explore or expand his horizons as an actor in other genres or roles that could challenge him or surprise his fans.
- His dependence on the franchise as his main source of income and fame: Vin Diesel is one of the highest-paid actors in Hollywood. He earns millions of dollars for each film he stars in or produces. However, most of his income and fame comes from the Fast and Furious franchise. He reportedly earns around $20 million per film plus a percentage of the profits. He also owns the rights to the franchise and has a say in its creative direction. He has built his career and fortune around the franchise. However, this also means that he depends on the franchise for his income and fame. If the franchise fails or ends, he may lose a significant part of his income and fame.
- His potential loss of creative control and influence over the franchise: Vin Diesel is not only the star but also the producer and creative force behind the Fast and Furious franchise. He has a lot of creative control and influence over the franchise. He decides who joins or leaves the cast, who directs or writes the films, what storylines or themes are explored, what action scenes or stunts are performed, etc. He also has a loyal fan base that supports his vision and passion for the franchise. However, this also means that he bears a lot of responsibility and pressure for the success or failure of the franchise. If the franchise continues to decline or disappoint its fans or critics, he may face criticism or backlash for his decisions or actions. He may also lose some of his creative control or influence over the franchise if he clashes with other stakeholders, such as studio executives, co-stars, or directors.
Alternatives for Vin Diesel and the Fast and Furious Franchise
Despite the decline of the Fast and Furious franchise, there are still some possible alternatives for Vin Diesel and the franchise to revive their prospects, such as:
- Ending the main series with Fast and Furious 10 and focusing on spin-offs, prequels, or reboots with new cast members and directors: Vin Diesel has confirmed that Fast and Furious 10 will be the final film of the main series, which will conclude the saga of Dominic Toretto and his crew. This could be a good opportunity to wrap up the storylines and characters of the franchise in a satisfying and respectful way. It could also be a chance to pay tribute to the legacy and impact of the franchise on the action genre and its fans. However, this does not mean that the franchise has to end completely. There are still possibilities to explore spin-offs, prequels, or reboots with new cast members and directors who can bring fresh perspectives and ideas to the franchise. For example, Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw was a successful spin-off that focused on the characters of Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham. There could also be spin-offs or prequels that focus on other characters, such as Letty Ortiz, Han Lue, Tej Parker, Roman Pearce, etc. Alternatively, there could be reboots that restart the franchise with new actors, stories, and settings.
- Reconciling with Dwayne Johnson and collaborating on a crossover or a sequel to Hobbs and Shaw: One of the biggest challenges and controversies that the franchise faced was the feud between Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson. Their feud not only affected their personal and professional relationship, but also the quality and popularity of the franchise. However, there is still hope that they can reconcile and work together again. Vin Diesel has recently expressed his gratitude and admiration for Dwayne Johnson on social media, and Dwayne Johnson has hinted that he may return to the franchise in the future. If they can resolve their differences and mend their friendship, they could collaborate on a crossover or a sequel to Hobbs and Shaw that would reunite them on screen and please their fans. They could also leverage their combined star power and charisma to boost the box office and critical performance of the franchise.
- Expanding his horizons and exploring other genres, roles, and projects that showcase his talents and charisma: Vin Diesel is more than just an action star. He is also an actor who has potential to shine in other genres, roles, and projects. He should not limit himself to his action roles, especially in the Fast and Furious franchise. He should expand his horizons and explore other opportunities that showcase his talents and charisma. He should challenge himself and surprise his fans with his range and versatility as an actor. He should also seek out collaborations with other actors, directors, writers, or producers who can inspire him or bring out the best in him. He should not be afraid to take risks or try new things that could enhance his career or reputation.
- Producing or directing his own movies or shows that reflect his vision and passion: Vin Diesel is not only an actor but also a producer and a director. He has produced several of his own movies, such as The Chronicles of Riddick, xXx: Return of Xander Cage, Bloodshot, etc. He has also directed a short film called Los Bandoleros, which served as a prequel to Fast & Furious. He has shown some interest and talent in producing or directing his own movies or shows that reflect his vision and passion. He should pursue this path more often and create his own projects that he can control and enjoy. He should also use his influence and resources to support other filmmakers or artists who share his vision or passion. He should not rely on the Fast and Furious franchise as his only outlet for his creativity or expression.
The Fast and Furious franchise is one of the most successful and popular action franchises in Hollywood history. However, it has also faced a decline in terms of quality, popularity, and profitability in recent years. This decline has affected Vin Diesel's career as well, as he is the main star and producer of the franchise. However, there are still some possible alternatives for Vin Diesel and the franchise to revive their prospects, such as ending the main series with Fast and Furious 10 and focusing on spin-offs, prequels, or reboots; reconciling with Dwayne Johnson and collaborating on a crossover or a sequel to Hobbs and Shaw; expanding his horizons and exploring other genres, roles, and projects; or producing or directing his own movies or shows. These alternatives could help Vin Diesel and the franchise regain their former glory or find new paths to success.
What do you think about the decline of the Fast and Furious franchise and Vin Diesel's career? Do you agree with our analysis and suggestions? Do you have any other alternatives or opinions? Let us know in the comments section below.