Remember “The Fast and the Furious”? We mean the original. It was 2001, and the summer movie season was gifted with a simple entertainment in which two up-and-comers — one Vin Diesel and one Paul Walker — played ripped dudes who drive cars real fast. It wasn’t “realistic,” but compared to the outlandish, surreal, OTT events of the last few sequels, it’s an English period piece At some point a relatively small, Roger Corman-style exploitation movie about cars morphed into a franchise where the Rock battles a helicopter and our heroes drive a car between two separate Abu Dhabi skyscrapers.
Both those events hail from “Furious 7.” Perhaps you remember the longest airline tarmac in the world from “Fast & Furious 6”? There are even sillier sights in the new “The Fate of the Furious.” Where on earth could they go next? How could they top a series that no longer has much to do with the stripped-down original? Well, we have some suggestions:
Heading beyond the stars is the idea that’s been most rumored about by flabbergasted critics, who were surely peeved that the eight installment wound up still stuck on Earth. Series writer Chris Morgan even addressed this suggestion when asked. “The only way I’d go to space is if I had something good,” he replied. Well, how about this? Having pissed off too many people on the planet, Dom and fam turn their cars into space cruisers and strap them with engines that go light speed. They battle alien overlords a la the old “Flash Gordon” serials and free indigenous races. They’d also get to use big alien guns. And lord knows Vin Diesel knows his way around the cosmos.
Under the sea
Over 70 percent of the Earth’s surface is ocean. That’s a lot of new places to drive around. Dom equips his team’s gallery of sweet rides with aquatic capabilities, much like that Bond car from “The Spy Who Loved Me” that can turn into an underwater cruiser. Their adventures could be of the Jules Verne variety, with our heroes discovering mermaids and fantastical deep sea monsters. And the hand-to-hand combat could be done in the style of the hilarious underwater fight that capped off the ZAZ parody “Top Secret!”
Don’t remake “Back to the Future,” as execs have occasionally threatened. Just let the “Fast and/or Furious” team go back in time. Instead of a tricked-up DeLorean, we’d have an even faster ride that can jump to the past in about three seconds. Dom et al. could kill Hitler or save Rome from burning or fight in the Revolutionary War or tussle with the armies of Alexander the Great. They could become cowboys or centurions or hang with Genghis Khan. Or they could go back to the first film and tell everyone how ridiculous the series would become one day.
A mash-up movie
Batman has fought Superman. The Men in Black once nearly paired with the “21 Jump Street” reboot team, for some reason. Why not do some crossover episode involving the “Furious” hot rodders? We’d like to see them battle the Transformers, with one army of speed racers vs. another in a cross-country marathon — basically “The Cannonball Run” but with a part where the Rock and Bumblebee beat each other up.
Straight-up racecar movie
Or they could return to their roots. Having caused enough mischief around the globe, our team could retire and go back to their Los Angeles digs. But you can’t keep good speed junkies down for long. Eventually Dom would secretly nip off to some old-fashioned illegal races, while Letty could slip off to steal some goods. Along the way they teach some young kids how to do what they do. They could be played by Ashton Sanders of “Moonlight” and Jacob Tremblay from “Room.” And thus the series could live on into the infinite.