The Five: Five Favorite Film Franchises

It has been a while since my last “The Five”.  But I’m back and got another list of share.  With this being peak movie season, I was thinking about film franchises.  So I thought what are the five film franchises that are go to for me.  When I say “film franchises” there has to be at least five films (works well with “The Five” don’t you think).  As always, these are in no particular order:

1.) Star Wars

If there was a film franchise that would be the first to mention on any list of mine, it would be Star Wars.  Though ironically it took the prequels to qualify for this list.  I have always been a huge fan of the series and holds a special place in my heart.  Unfortunately it’s not without its clunker (The Last Jedi) but every film franchise on this list will have one.  But as a whole, I can go back and watch these films with great joy.

2.) Mission:  Impossible

Interestingly, this is the film franchise that I would say has gotten better with each successive film (which is a rarity).  I loved the TV series (both the 60s version and the 80s version which was what I got first introduced to as a kid)  So I was super interested when it hit the big screen.  Ironically, the first film is the clunker in the series to me (mainly because I hated they turned a beloved character into a villain).  But as time has gone on, the film series has gotten better with the latest film being right at the top.

3.) The Fast and the Furious

If there was an unlikely film franchise, this would be it.  I remember when the first one released and being in college and really enjoying it.  By the time they got to Tokyo Drift (which is the clunker), I figured the series was pretty much done.  But they seemed to reinvent themselves with Fast and Furious and since then have gone in over the top and wild directions and have been really entertaining.

4.) Godzilla

Talk about a long running film franchise that I love, Godzilla is that franchise.  There are essentially four eras of films in Japan (not to mention the American versions…but we’re not talking about the 1998 version..that’s an ultimate clunker) that span decades and yet the films made are ones that I find myself going back to watch over and over again, especially the Heisei era films of the 80s-90s.  Anytime I’m in the mood for watching some big monster battles, Godzilla is my go to franchise.

5.) Rocky/Creed

This film franchise is interesting because it was one I already enjoyed (minus the clunker that is Rocky V) but when Creed came along it added even more layers of depth and enjoyment to the franchise.  Beloved characters continue to be beloved and added along new characters that are just as beloved.  That is what a good franchise does.

Thoughts on Furious 7

Yesterday I went and saw Furious 7 at the movie theater.  I’m a fan of the franchise so it was a given that I was going to see this movie and wanted to share some thoughts about the film and franchise up to this point.

The film itself was good.  You know going into this film what it’s going to be like and true to form that’s what it was.  It continues the story of Fast & Furious 6 with Dom, Brian and the gang having to deal with the brother of the villain from the previous film.  The fact that it’s actor Jason Statham means it’s a villain to reckon with.

Like some of the recent previous films, there’s a lot of jet setting around the world with crazy stunts & fight scenes.  A lot of these center around revenge (Shaw getting revenge for his brother, Dom getting revenge for Han) and protection (protecting a hacker named Ramsey & protecting the family from Shaw and his “friends”).

I enjoyed the film for what it was and the story it told.  Granted, there were some nitpicking things.  One being that Dwayne Johnson was more of a cameo role of sorts and I like the character of Hobbs.  Though I will say he did have some good scenes in his limited role.  I guess the major nitpick thing was not what you would think.  Given that actor Paul Walker died while the film was in production (which led to the delay in it’s release), there was use of digital work and stunt doubles to help fill in scenes.  But honestly, I didn’t notice which ones they were.  What did stick out to me was a scene in Japan.

Those that know the franchise know that the last several films have been “prequels” in a sense.  In the timeline technically this film follows The Fast and the Furious:  Tokyo Drift (which came out in 2006).  The end of the film featured Dom in a drag race against Sean Boswell (played by Lucas Black) who was a friend of Han.  So in this film to tie it together, they bring back the scene from 2006 where Sean is told someone wants to race him.  Then a few seconds later (after the race) Dom and Sean are talking (filmed present day).  You can tell that Lucas Black has aged (and also cut his hair) but I guess if you weren’t paying attention you wouldn’t notice it but it just stood out to me.

Overall, I enjoyed the film and I enjoy the franchise.  It’s wild that the franchise started in 2001…when I was in college.  I remember going to the movie theater to see that one (well I’ve went to the movie theater to see all of them).  I will say the first film is good in it’s own right then it dropped off some before really gaining steam from the 4th movie onward.  I don’t know if they will continue to make films in this series (given Walker’s death but they did write off the character in a nice way, and I do think that would’ve been the plan anyway given the trajectory of the character of Brian and Mia) but if they do I’m on board for it.  They’re movies that you can take two hours and just go along for the ride (sort of speak).

If you’re curious, here is how I rank the film series including the newest film:

1) Fast Five

2) Fast & Furious 6

3) Furious 7

4) Fast & Furious

5) The Fast and The Furious

6) 2 Fast 2 Furious

7) The Fast and The Furious:  Tokyo Drift