The Fast And The Furious franchise has grossed nearly one billion dollars over four movies while costing 1/4 as much. I'm sure the impending release of the fifth on April 29th 2011 will push revenues over that mark, and I haven't even begun to count up DVD or merchandising sales.
How can you reconcile the film's success with its critically panned driftless characters and cheesy one-liner script?
Well, sure there's this:
But actually, the reason is more simple.
People underestimate awesome. Me included. When I write, I get caught up in meaningful symbolism or character journeys or blah blah blah blah, but really, as a reader and a viewer, I want awesome. Lots of awesome. I want to jump out of my seat because of an unexpected or perverse twist. Because of a surprising stunt.
The filmmakers also seem determined to give fans exactly what they want, no matter how far fetched.
Seen the same car stunts? Throw in some drifting!
Miss the core character's hiatus? Bring them back!
Think the same characters keep doing the same thing? Add Dwayne The Rock Johnson to the mix!
When creating your own vision, your own story, it's worth stopping and thinking - what's the MOST AWESOME thing that could happen right now? Whatever you originally planned might be what the character needs, might be what the story deserves, but is it AWESOME????? If not, just consider throwing it in. For fun. A billion dollars is just around the corner.