– by Joseph Jammer Medina


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If you ever have a moment, listen to the first 3:40 of this edition of the LOS FANBOYS Podcast:

For those who haven’t, my opening rant can be compared to what I’m about to say about The Fate of The Furious.

Last night, we were treated to the world premiere of the trailer for the eighth film in the Fast & Furious franchise, The Fate of The Furious. While there are plenty of folks who are reacting favorably, knowing full well what this flick is trying to be, I keep seeing the same sad, jaded responses from some vocal cynics out there. Incase you couldn’t tell, what I have to say here is aimed at the latter group.

If you’re someone who “gets it,” then feel free to back away. If you’re one of these people who thinks it’s cool to crap all over this movie and make ridiculous comparisons, then this one’s for you:

Just as I did in the rant I referred to earlier (which you should really listen to), I’m going to use beverage metaphors here:

The Fate of The Furious is a Slurpee. And that’s okay!

Slurpees are junk. They have no nutritional value or discernible fine ingredients. They’re just chaos for your taste buds, filled with so much sugar that they’re sure to send your brain into hyperactive fits (as soon they’re done freezing it). But they’re loaded with failure and enjoyable for what they are.

Some films are more like Beer. You know…fizzy, loaded with empty calories, but likely to hit you with the kind of bite that only a more grown-up, depraved mind can enjoy. Think: Deadpool. It’s plot was utterly paint-by-numbers, and it had no heft to it at all, but it was still intoxicating nonetheless…and not for kids!

Other films are Wine. They’re made with patience, discipline, and care. They require a more refined palette, and are often as pleasing for the senses as they are challenging for the mind; Like Arrival.

It’s not fair to judge every film like it’s intended to be a fine glass of wine. Sometimes you just want a slurpee. The last batch of Fast & Furious films, which found their footing once Justin Lin took the franchise in a new direction of The Fast And The Furious: Tokyo Drift, have been exactly that. They’re fun, they’re wild, they’re meant to be nothing more than an insane blast of popcorn excitement- a 100 minute escape from the doldrums of every day life. Colorful characters, insane set pieces, and an emphasis on thrills that are anchored by a winning ensemble.

They don’t take themselves seriously at all, and they practically beg audiences not to either.

See, that’s where other blockbuster entertainments often fail: They take themselves too seriously, and end up not being in on the joke. They pretend to be something more hard-hitting, they think they’re so cool, while really having nothing interesting to say or do. They bring the dumb, but not the fun. I’m looking at you, Transformers franchise!

The Fate of The Furious looks like an absurdly good time at the movies, and anyone who’d rather roll their eyes and complain, in cynical tones, about how “stupid” it looks simply don’t get it. If that’s how you feel, then these movies simply aren’t for you. Move on, friend. If you’re not into motorcycles, and never will be, and yet you take the time to mock the latest from Harley Davidson…do you think your opinion matters to an actual biker? Go comment on something you actually know about.

Before I let you go, a couple of other beverage classifications for you…

The MARVEL Movies? They’re sodas. Pure fizzy soft drinks. Enjoyable while you’re drinking them, but nothing that’ll really affect you once you’ve taken the last swig.

The DCEU FlicksThey’re like those pseudo-beers, like Mike’s Hard Lemonade or Redd’s Hard Apple Cider. They’re basically just bubbly sugar water with a hint of alcohol, which gives them the appearance of being more grown-up than they really are, and they’ll leave you with a nasty hangover. 

Oh, and if you think I’m being overly harsh about the Transformers flicks and think they qualify as Slurpees…feel free to give me your two cents in the comments below.

Let me know what you think!

Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and editor-in-chief of LRM. A graduate of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer's always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he's always been something of a story junkie.