For years, one of the internet’s dirty little secrets has been that people really enjoy The Fate of the Furious: Tokyo Drift. A healthy flop at the time of its release — the film’s $60 million gross is half that of 2 Fast 2 Furious, the second-lowest grossing movie in the Fast and the Furious franchise — Tokyo Drift has climbed steadily back into fans’ favor due to the lasting appeal of Sung Kang’s Han Lue and a bit of chronological trickery in a later film that boosted this one’s reputation. It’s amazing how much better a film gets when you stop being mad at it for failing to bring back any of the main characters.
With the eighth on the way and two more planned sequels after that, it seems like the Fast & Furious franchise will never end. And you know what, if Vin Diesel, The Rock, and Jason Statham want to keep making movies where the good guys win by driving quickly and angrily, more power to them! Diesel himself revealed during CinemaCon on Wednesday, after an emotional tribute to the late Paul Walker, that The Fate of the Furious is the first in a new trilogy of films.
It’s funny how things work out. When Marvel was putting together the cast for Guardians of the Galaxy, they probably never dreamed that it would be former professional wrestler and MMA fighter Dave Bautista who would emerge as the film’s most likable character. And yet, with his deadpan line deliveries and awesome physicality, Bautista stood out among his live-action costars — I mean, nobody was going to beat Groot — as the funniest and most sympathetic of all the Guardians. Just like that, Bautista was a bonafide movie star and one of the biggest strengths of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Groot has proven wildly popular in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, thanks in no small part to the introduction of Baby Groot, and even though Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 doesn’t hit theaters for another four months, he’s already become everyone’s favorite character. And while such intensely beloved characters often work better in slightly smaller doses within an ensemble (like the Guardians movies), Vin Diesel, the number one source for breaking Vin Diesel news, seems to think a solo Groot spinoff is “inevitable.”
With 2016 finally drawing to a close, we can now turn our attention to the bumper crop of ridiculous blockbusters zooming around the corner towards us next year. One of these is xXx: Return of Xander Cage, which will see Vin Diesel return to the franchise built upon the probably drug-induced idea of “Guys, what if… extreme athletes… fought crime?” This week, Paramount gifted us with a new clip that pits Vin Diesel and Donnie Yen against not only each other, but also the forces of Nature itself.
We already know Avengers: Infinity War is going to be huge, with the current MCU arcs building toward a crossover event that promises to be the studio’s biggest yet — even bigger than Captain America: Civil War. According to previous comments made by directors Joe and Anthony Russo, Infinity War will feature dozens of characters from the Marvel universe, including Chris Pratt’s Star-Lord and Brie Larson’s Captain Marvel. As for the rest of the lineup, we can only make educated guesses, but a new casting call may have spilled the beans.
Christmas means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. To the devout, it commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ and the symbolic coming of mankind’s heaven-sent savior to the earthly plane. To countless more, it’s a time when we gather together with family and loved ones to share in peace on earth, goodwill toward men, and beverages that combine that wonders of alcohol and dairy. To children, it is one of the several annual occasions on which you get presents. And to adrenaline addicts who like to live life to the limit even when slouching in for an afternoon at the cineplex, it’s when xXx: The Return of Xander Cage parkours into theaters.
Years ago, when The Fast and Furious franchise first began, there’s no way we could’ve fathomed the myriad ways Universal would rework the words “fast” and “furious” into sequel titles. “No,” they said, “We will not simply call these movies The Fast and the Furious 1 - 8. We are creatives!” That creativity peaked with 2 Fast 2 Furious, (prayer emoji hands for whoever originally came up with that one), then along the way they sort of lost their mojo. But now, finally, with the eight installment we’re back on track with a brand new f-word added to the title. So long “fast,” this movie is all about fate!