Browse Tag: vin diesel

RECAP: The Fate of the Furious

The Fate of the Furious (2017): F. Gary Gray

After directing the smash success N.W.A. origin story Straight Outta Compton, F. Gary Gray earned the helm of the biggest franchise of the 21st century: a story about people who drive quickly.

The Fast franchise has always been about family. And cars. But mostly family. Dominic Toretto, hero of the street-class,  turns bad guy in this eighth installment, an inspired choice that gave the series an edge it needed.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: Dominic Toretto’s crew faces its toughest enemy yet–Dominic Toretto. Continue Reading

RECAP: Fast Five

Fast Five (2011): Justin Lin

Bringing a new edge to the Fast franchise, Dwayne Johnson joins Vin Diesel and his family to steal some cars and avoid the law in Rio de Janeiro.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: Fast cars and bad men, Dominic Toretto ducks the police in Rio while planning to steal $100 million of a crime lord’s funds.  Continue Reading

RECAP: xXx: Return of Xander Cage

xXx: Return of Xander Cage (2017): D.J. Caruso

Sing it with me: What the world needs now/is love, sweet–XANDER CAGE MOTORCYCLE SKI SURFING.

What happens when an actor gets a little bored of his multi-billion-dollar action franchise? He works in his multi-million-dollar action franchise.

Look out, Earth, Xander Cage is back, and he’s EXTREMELY EXTREMER THAN EVER.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: XANDER CAGE SKIS JUNGLES; XANDER CAGE SLEEPS WITH HOT WOMEN; XANDER CAGE PLAYS GRENADE ROULETTE; XANDER CAGE SAVES EARTH. Continue Reading

RECAP: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017): James Gunn

2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy was a surprise hit for Marvel. Released in August, the film finished third in that year’s box office.

A team partly comprised of a raccoon and a tree, the Guardians could have flopped out of theaters in a week and been forgotten.

Marvel never let them have that chance. A sequel was already in the works before the first movie came out. Arriving a year before all the Marvel characters assemble to battle Thanos, the Guardians have two important pieces: two of Thanos’s daughters.

These daughters take their relationship to another level. Peter Quill, the leader of the Guardians, sorts out his own daddy issues, and Rocket Raccoon raises a young, reconstituted Groot.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: The Guardians sort out some family drama while a god tries to kill all life in the galaxy. Continue Reading

RECAP: Guardians of the Galaxy

Guardians of the Galaxy (2014): James Gunn

Marvel took a chance in sending a team of total unknowns into theaters in August 2014. Chris Pratt was a bit player on a NBC sitcom, and the other actors were voices or covered in strange paint colors.

Producers injected humor and a great soundtrack to attract audiences likely tired of overly dramatic hero slogs. The Awesome Mix, Peter’s collection of his mother’s favorite pop songs, became the first soundtrack devoid of new songs to top the Billboard charts.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: A band of galactic misfits protects a planet that doesn’t want them from a warlord who wants to kill everyone with a purple Infinity Stone. Continue Reading

RECAP: xXx

xXx (2002): Rob Cohen

The makers of xXx probably got sick of James Bond movies being so wussy. They wanted an American answer bred in the streets, in the projects, from the best and brightest the non-debonair classes have to offer. They invented Xander Cage.

Capitalizing on his Fast and Furious success, Vin Diesel plays basically the same character. xXx could be a Dominic Toretto origin story until he’s recruited by the NSA.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: An EXTREME daredevil joins the NSA to hunt Russian anarchists determined to overthrow governments while listening to Rammstein. Continue Reading

RECAP: Furious 7

Furious 7 (2015): James Wan

“Lucky seven” might be Hollywood’s new catchphrase. After Fast and Furious (#4) barely outgrossed the original, eight years later, the next three films ticked upward, ending with Furious 7. The 2015 entry in the car franchise earned more than $350 million domestically and topped $1.5 billion worldwide. Furious 7 made more money outside America than the other six movies made combined in America.

Compare those results with The Force Awakens, the all-time box office champion, also seventh in its franchise, and you have good reason to keep churning out franchises.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: After felling the bad guy in the last movie, the bad guy’s badder brother enters the fray to take vengeance on Dom and company.  Continue Reading