Check this dialogue sequence out:
Girl: Are you one of those boys who prefers cars to women?
Vin Diesel: I appreciate a good body regardless of the make. ………
Girl: What do you look for in a woman?
Vin Diesel: It starts with the eyes. She has to have those kind of eyes that can see through all the bullshit, to the good inside.
Having read that, if you instantly felt like retching, out of disgust, then you better turn the page, as you are not the target audience, for the Fast & Furious franchise.
You see, the world is divided into two kinds of audiences: The first, are those ,who feel the films insult the viewer’s intelligence, as nothing that happens there is even remotely plausible, and that they are merely a wry parody of stupid racing movies. The second kind of audiences that love these movies, are Men.
The Fast & the Furious movies are tailor-made for the guys, with their fast cars, hot chicks, awesome stunts, tough muscular men, and huge explosions. There’s something about the visual of a loud car roaring through the air like a mighty jungle cat, leaving behind a trail of destruction, which makes the male species, feel alive.
What mainly differentiates each of these testosterone flicks in the series, is the casting of the actors, that play the tough guys. The fourth film celebrates the resurrection of the true original action star Vin Diesel, considering he’s been doing movies like Babylon AD and The Pacifier. The chemistry between the three leads: Diesel, Walker and Brewster, is the strongest to be yet seen.
It goes without saying, that this is not a movie that is going to win any Academy Awards, but it will keep you entertained for an hour and forty five minutes. The action packed film starts with the bang of a propane truck hi-jacking ,when things get out of control. The truck barrels down on the hi-jackers, goes full throttle ,racing down a Los Angeles street ,and then through an underground tunnel shaft. Once the characters get in their respective cars, all action-movie lovers get their much needed shot of adrenalin.
What’s up with men’s fascination with fast cars? Let’s put aside fast cars for a moment. Ever watched a guy walk into an electronics store, to buy a set of speakers? In reality, he may only need very basic computer speakers, yet he will spend hours standing next to a set that stands as tall as his waist, while he tests the 5.1 surround sound system that has a sub woofer, that practically blows his face off (grin still intact),while the bored shop assistant nods on in fake enthusiasm.
Perhaps the male mind is very result oriented. Looks certainly play a part, but results are paramount. So while a car is at its most basic level, a tool, designed to transport a person from point A to point B, men instinctively desire the best tool available, that will transport them from point A to point B in the least amount of time possible. That’s the most practical explanation for this male fascination.
On an emotional note, the invigorating, life affirming thrill men get as they command their machines to hurl them at ever increasing speeds, is for them, a shot of life and testosterone induced independence.
Scientists say ,the effect of a fast car on a man’s body is a form of ‘sexual signalling’ – where males compete for the attention of the opposite sex. Concordia University John Molson School of Business study has found, that men’s testosterone levels spike, when driving ostentatious cars. The most potent effect was ,when volunteers were driving through town, where there were plenty of potential female admirers. Also, driving a car that few individuals could afford, prompted their testosterone levels to rise significantly.
On a humorous note, perhaps the fascination is to compensate for something else…if you are driving down a highway in Australia, you are likely to read a road-safety slogan: “Speeding: No one thinks big of you”, and you might think it was referring to people looking down on law-breakers, when it is in fact aimed a bit more below the belt, suggesting that a man who speeds has a small p*n*s! In fact, in the Aussie TV ad version, reckless drivers are mocked by unimpressed women ,who wave their little fingers at the drivers in a parody of their manhood.
Although men have been the traditional target audience for action films, with today’s expanding social conceptions of gender, many action filmmakers from the 1990s and 2000s began adding female heroines, in response to glorifying the strong female archetype, to break the stereotyping.
But the Fast and Furious franchise, sticks to tradition, clinging to all stereotypes, while developing a cult following, and promoting the “pimp-my-ride” culture. The movies are all about fast cars and the fast car life, and the moral police can have a hay day talking about the dangers of their influence on the minds, and lives of the youth. Though they have a point, others can argue, that this is mere entertainment, and should not to be considered material for role-model.
Yet, one can argue back that since prehistoric times, heroes have served the needs of ordinary people, when cavemen huddled in the dark and mythologized about their great warriors. It is no different than in the present time, though most heroes now come from reel rather than real life. Starting with the he-man image of John Wayne on horseback to the F & F movies today, the image of the hero stays intact, with a slight tweak of imagination replacing the horse with the super fast car.
Whatever the practical, emotional, psychological, sociological or anthropological reasons and arguments may be – men love fast cars, and that’s that. For all the F & F series fans, there is still more fun to come, as the fourth one, leaves the door wide open for Fast & Furious 5…