It's gotten to the point where I look forward to the next Fast/Furious movie -- or at least the announcement -- just to see what they'll call it. Every title since the first one has had something to offer: nonsensical wordplay (2 Fast 2 Furious), a wonderfully goofy subtitle (The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift), bizarre and confusing minimalism (Fast & Furious). The current title of the fifth entry (which we speculated about last month, and is now official) into the now-venerable franchise combines at least the first and the third of those: the movie is currently known as Fast Five, which I guess means we have to start referring to this series as Fast and/or Furious.

The three series mainstays -- Paul Walker, Vin Diesel, and director Justin Lin -- have all signed on for the fourth sequel. It's an admirably shrewd move, since none of them have a lot else going on: Walker hasn't had a non-Furious hit in at least four years, and Diesel in five, while Lin's only attempts to branch out since Better Luck Tomorrow have both flopped (though Finishing the Game is a sorely underrated little comedy). For his part, Lin seems to have used his experience on the franchise to hone his big-budget Hollywood filmmaking chops: while still not a particularly good movie, Fast & Furious was easily Lin's best directorial turn. That opening truck chase set piece was downright impressive, before things went south.

Fast & Furious, the most recent installment, was the highest-grossing of the four ($155 million domestically, nearly $350 million overseas), though also the most expensive. Fast Five will be in theaters next year to attempt to build on that momentum.
categories Movies, Cinematical