So there I am performing my morning ritual of checking my movie news sites and the title for the new FAST AND FURIOUS movie got released today. For those of you not up on your car porn, the series (and I use that word loosely) is THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS (2001), 2 FAST 2 FURIOUS (2003), THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS: TOKYO DRIFT (2006) and the upcoming… wait for it…
FAST AND FURIOUS.
Yeah. You read that right. They dropped the “The” from the first title and that’s the new title. That is the most retarded thing I’ve heard since Keanu Reeves declines SPEED 2 (1997)(smart movie, Kiki) and Fox decided to recast the cop as a different character (Jason Patric, who’s pretty much been eating out of trash cans since LOST BOYS (1987)) and bring back the hostage… because that makes sense.
I almost want to let it slide because I don’t give James Cameron shit for ALIENS (1986) and all he did was make the previous film’s title plural but there is a subtle wit there. The first film had one alien and the second film had many aliens. For that matter ALIEN3 (1991) had the pointless exponent which means I should get at least three aliens and instead I only got one (and a shoddy looking one at that). It reminded of a Motley Crue Behind The Music where they were in Germany and ten thousand people were mispronouncing the band name and someone told them those little dots over the letters actually mean something. Morons.
I like wit. I loved that Warner Bros actually toyed with the idea of calling the SCOOBY-DOO sequel SCOOBY-DEUX but since Americans didn’t get it, the joke is lost. The WAYNE’S WORLD sequel was originally WW2: THE BIG ONE. I’m always in favor of telling a joke 95% of the audience doesn’t get as long as they don’t know there’s been a joke because that 5% makes me happy.
Sure, I could give a pass to 2 FAST 2 FURIOUS because you see, it’s the second sequel and they worked that in there, you know, number two. And the third one, they’re in Toyko… and they’re drifting. Admittedly, I have seen the first one and detested it. I watched the second one because John Singleton, who I believe is the most underrated director in Hollywood, needed to prove he could direct a movie that made money and it’s better than the first the way a kick to head is better than a kick to the groin. I kinda like Vin Diesel for his ridiculous name and as the eighties action hero throwback he is and Paul Walker is the new Jason Patric. Honestly, I liked the movie more when it was called POINT BREAK (1991).
And that brings us back to Keanu.
But you have to call these damn things something. And here I would like to blame James Cameron (or at least his marketing people) for something. Summer 1991 and TERMINATOR 2: JUDGEMENT DAY is released and marketed as T2. Everywhere. Soon everybody starts marketing their movies with initials like they were elements. We don’t need words anymore… all the kids talk in TextSpeak. D2, AFO, MI2, MI3, CA2, X2, TMNT, LXG, AVP, AVP-R, MIB, MIIB.
In most cases, these are sequels. The X-MEN sequel was X2 but the third one was X-MEN: THE LAST STAND. And ALIENS VS PREDATOR became AVP but the sequel was ALIEN VS PREDATOR: REQUIEM (note the singular Alien) and I am pretty sure 90% of people who paid to see that movie don’t know what ‘requiem‘ means. Then the MEN IN BLACK sequel isn’t MIB2 or the completely incoherent MIBII. They stuck the Roman numeral in with the other ‘I’ making it MEN II BLACK.
My head hurts.
I can give a pass to JASON X being clever and copyright conscious since Paramount sold the Jason Vorhees character to New Line Cinema but retained the FRIDAY THE 13th title for their own use forcing them to call their ninth film JASON GOES TO HELL and their tenth film JASON X. Get it, X is the Roman numeral for ten… even though it sounds like he should be some kind of mongoloid slasher activist.
HALLOWEEN: H20 (1998) which is actually the seventh film in the series which was released on the twentieth anniversary of the original, not the twentieth sequel (like my roommate at the time thought). Of course none of the ads called it HALLOWEEN H-TWENTY. They all referred to it as HALLOWEEN: H-TWO-OH because a horror movie with the abbreviation for water makes perfect sense.
Then there is ID4 which somehow means INDEPENDENCE DAY FOUR? Fourth Of July. Independence Day. I get it… it’s just stupid. So would the sequel be ID4-2?
I picture movies in years past using this technique. WIZARD OF OZ would be WOZ, THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN (TM7), THE DIRTY DOZEN (D12), TM6: SONG OF THE THIN MAN, THE GREAT ESCAPE (TGX) and THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH (TMWKTM).
But then, maybe I shouldn’t expect originality out of a sequel.