It would be one hell of an understatement to say that Dominic Toretto has come a long way since his relatively humble origins, with mid budget street racing thriller The Fast and the Furious morphing into a blockbuster behemoth that now ranks as the fifth highest-grossing franchise in the history of cinema.
Based on a 1998 Vibe magazine article telling the story of an underground aspect of New York City’s nightlife, the basic premise was refitted into a high octane crime caper that leaned heavily on almost the exact same succession of plot points as Kathryn Bigelow’s action classic Point Break, with Vin Diesel‘s Dom and Paul Walker’s Brian O’Conner replacing Patrick Swayze’s Bodhi and Keanu Reeves’ Johnny Utah, swapping out surfers for racers.
It’s about as early 2000s as it comes, with a cast of hot young people driving cool cars to the strains of a rock and nu-metal soundtrack, but it caught on big at the box office and went on to earn $207 million on a $38 million budget, but not even the most optimistic of fans could have predicted that 20 years later we’d be seeing the same series heading into outer space to save the world for the umpteenth time.
Perhaps in part to the recent ninth installment breaking pandemic-era box office records all over the world and helping reignite the theatrical industry after a painfully stagnant eighteen months, The Fast and the Furious is experiencing a new lease of life on streaming. At the time of writing, it’s climbed as high as fifth position on HBO Max’s watch-list, proving once again that audiences will never turn their back on family.