Tripping Through Gateways

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If prizes were awarded for the most inconsistently named franchise?  Pretty sure this franchise would own that.  If George Lucas was involved, they would all get renamed something like Dom Toretto and the  Fast and The Furious (Who care if Vin is in every film or not). By this time, our heroes have gone from criminals to underdogs to helping the authorities.  But after saving the world last time around, Dom has… Read More

The seventh film in the series that has not apparently run out of gas (and fifth film directed by Justin Lin) finds the team no longer on the run and being a family.  Dom and Letty are working on their relationship, as she has not regained her memory.  Brian and Mia are enjoying parenthood.  Everything is going smoothly…well, except the fact that somebody is trying to murder the crew…and not just the… Read More

The sixth film throws in a twist for Dom, Brian and their family.  Letty is back, but now she appears to be their competition.  Hobb’s has let the gang be, seeing as how they have stayed out of the heist scene since their last encounter…but a new crew of high precision vehicle themed criminals.  Hobbs knows he needs help and seeks the skills of Dom and the crew.  The carrot he dangles… Read More

And uh…here is where things get a little weird for the franchise.  Because, uh, the fifth film?  It is probably the best film of the franchise at this point.  This film embraces the absurd and becomes a full on heist film.  Brian has joined Dominic as a fugitive after he and Mia free Dominic from a prison bus. The three go to Rio where they join in an attempt to steal some… Read More

For the fourth film, they dropped “The” from the title.  Because…saving space on the poster?  I guess?  This film brings it back to the original.  O’Conner is working with the Feds again, while Toretto and Letty are pulling heists.  When Letty is murdered, O’Conner and Toretto’s paths cross again.  Admittedly, it is a bit of a strained relationship.  Dominic is seeking revenge on Letty’s killer, but Brian wants to bring her killer… Read More

2000 and 2001 were a good couple of years for Vin Diesel.  He had a supporting role in Steven Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan, but only a small spattering of roles before that.  His other “big” role was the voice of the titular character in Brad Bird’s the Iron Giant.  But between Pitch Black and the Fast and the Furious, Diesel’s  value rose prominently. Rob Cohen (Daylight and Dragonheart) directed this tale of… Read More

Guardians of the Galaxy was a bit of a risk for Marvel Studios.  It was really their first film that had little name recognition.  It also was their first film not closely tied to the Avengers.  And yet, under the guidance of James Gunn, Guardians of the Galaxy succeeded with a healthy dose of humor and action.  Towards the end of the film, Yondu mentions knowing who Starlord’s father is.  In this sequel,… Read More

12 years after the franchise stalled, comes an attempt to revitalize it.  Director D.J. Caruso (Disturbia) takes the reigns as Vin Diesel returns to the role of Xander Cage.  This time around, the idea is…”if one Bond is awesome…imagine if we had nine of them!”  Xander has been presumed dead, but when the CIA is hit by some highly skilled enemy agents who steal a dangerous weapon, they find Xander hiding out…. Read More

So, one year before Casino Royale, xXx is back.  Vin Diesel is not, but yeah, the Franchise soldiers on.  Although both Diesel and  Rob Cohen were both signed on, they eventually dropped out.  In a bit of irony, the film is directed by the director of Die Another Day, Lee Tamahori.  Replacing Diesel’s Xander Cage as the new xXx is Ice Cube’s Darius Stone. Samuel L. Gibson’s Gibbons is back in charge,… Read More

Vin Diesel was a star on the rise.  2000 to 2002 really cemented him as a certain type of action star.  He had a hit with the Fast and the Furious.  He followed up with the action spy thriller xXx.  The film re-teamed Diesel with his The Fast and the Furious Director Rob Cohen. As spy movies go, the clear inspiration here is James Bond.  It follows that template closely.  There is… Read More