Fast & Furious 11 Is Pivoting ‘Back to Basics,’ but Is This a Good Idea?

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Summary

  • Fast & Furious 11 may go back to basics, which risks hurting the established narrative.
  • Dropping the beloved villain Dante Reyes from Fast X could reduce the movie’s impact.
  • The Hobbs spinoff can properly end Dante’s storyline and set the stage for a grounded final Fast movie.

The Fast & Furious franchise has been driving fast and furiously since the 2000s, making it one of the most popular and financially successful movie franchises. The series is now reportedly preparing to come to an end, especially after the somewhat disappointing box office run of Fast X. Sadly, the course correction for the next movie might be swerving in the wrong direction.

According to early reports, Fast 11 will take things back to basics, all while moving past what was supposed to be the saga’s new villain. Such a turn might actually harm the narrative that’s currently been established, all while making things too haphazard for the grand finale. The result could be disastrous for the franchise that’s become a staple among moviegoers for two decades.

Fast & Furious 11 Might Go Back to Basics

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As noted, early reports concerning the narrative development of Fast 11 involves the movie going back to basics. Such a concept has arguably been desired for quite some time by fans. After all, the Fast & Furious movies have largely abandoned their far more grounded tone. These initial entries were based around street racing and similar crime, and didn’t have a lot in the way of over-the-top action. This changed by the series’ midpoint, with films such as Fast Five cementing the franchise’s new scope as energetic action movies.

Many fans felt that the franchise peaked with the late star Paul Walker’s final appearance, Furious 7, with the stunts being both fun yet still believable enough to be accepted by fans. Sadly, this level of balance has long since been abandoned, with Fast & Furious 9 especially criticized for its over-the-top nature. The movies definitely need to get back to what made them work so well in the past, but doing so now poses a lot of risks. Most notably, it means getting rid of one of the best parts of the previous entry.

Fast & Furious 11 May Drop the Best Element of Fast X

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Though Fast X was seen as a major improvement over its predecessor, it still had a fairly mixed reception. One element that was beloved, however, was Jason Momoa as the villainous Dante Reyes. The role was quite different from what the former Aquaman actor usually plays, with Dante being incredibly caricatured. Despite this mostly comedic nature, Momoa’s character was widely liked as a breath of fresh air for the series. His actions also seemingly segued perfectly into the pending events of Fast 11.

According to the rumors surrounding the final movie, Dante may not show up at all. This could nullify the impact of Fast X, especially because of how dedicated Dante was to take down Dominic Toretto and his family. Throwing away what worked so well about the previous movie isn’t something that many fans or even casual moviegoers would appreciate. It could be seen as analogous to the potential plans for Marvel Studios to dump Kang the Conqueror, though that villain hasn’t been very successful and debuted in a poorly-received Marvel movie. Even if Dante is absent from Fast 11

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, however, there is one way to finish his storyline.

The Hobbs Spinoff Offers a Narrative Cheat for Fast 11

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Beyond the 11th main entry and a potential spinoff based on the series’ female characters, another Fast Saga movie that’s now in the works is a film based on Dwayne Johnson’s Hobbs character. This was teased with a post-credits scene in Fast X, with Dante targeting Hobbs as much as he is Dom’s crew. It’s this set-up that can be used to properly end Dante’s storyline and set the stage for a more grounded final Fast movie.

In other words, Dante can be the villain in the Hobbs movie, which actually makes sense. After all, it was Hobbs who was integral in taking down Dante’s father, Hernan Reyes. If anything, his feud with Hobbs should be even more personal than any beef he may have with Dominic Toretto and his family. Thus, this next spinoff can officially close both characters’ chapters in an organic way. It would pave the road for Fast 11 to go in a different direction without leaving loose ends, but there still needs to be something for that movie to actually be about.

The Fast Saga Needs a Proper Conclusion

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The biggest problem with going “back to basics” for the final main entry of the Fast Saga is that in returning to the series’ roots, it will betray its development. It’s true that the franchise has gotten far too grandiose since its early days, but there still needs to be a sense of epic grandeur and sendoff for the last movie. Anything else will be disappointing and anticlimactic, especially for a series that’s been so beloved by so many moviegoers across the globe. As over-the-top as certain elements were, having a poetic showdown against the likes of Dante Reyes is the perfect way to end the series’ overarching narrative.

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To do otherwise would repeat the issues with the Disney Star Wars Sequel Trilogy. Those movies weren’t produced or written in the way that a trilogy logically would be, resulting in movies (namely Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi) that remove any sense of narrative building blocks for the following installments to use. Plots are so neatly wrapped up that the following movie has to almost justify its existence with a cobbled-together storyline with no real set-up.Fast 11 can easily suffer that same fate if Dante and other major plot threads are simply dropped or used for mere spinoffs. Thus, it’s for the best that the next movie simply ride out into the sunset with the elements that Fast X established.

At most, the Hobbs movie — which needs to release before the events of Fast 11 — can perhaps set up another villain besides Dante. That sort of heel turn can only work with at least one movie’s worth of foreshadowing, so introducing such a threat in Fast 11 (which would be too much like Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker) would be far too late for that to work. There is the potential that, as franchise star Vin Deisel once suggested, Fast 11 is only the penultimate entry, with a 12th main entry being the true finale. Given the box office performance of the 10th movie, that’s somewhat unlikely, so Universal must hedge its bets on wrapping things up for a clean and logical final lap that feels earned instead of forced.

The Fast and the Furious Film Poster
Fast and Furious

Fast & Furious is an American media franchise centered on a series of action films that are largely concerned with street racing, heists, spies, and family.

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