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The good hero, bad villain concept continued on for a very long time and with the irregular exception was the mainstay of literature and narrative until the late 16th century and the work of Marlowe and Shakespeare. Rather than utilising terms such as hero and villain the system lays out 9 possible incarnations through varying levels of good to evil and lawfullness to chaos.
He lets the confirmed career criminal get away, with his car because he likes his sister… and we cheer when that happens.
At the end of Fast Five Hobbs (huge, muscular and covered in patriotic sweat) gives Toretto a head start with the promise that he will chase him. To see our content at its best we recommend upgrading if you wish to continue using IE or using another browser such as Firefox, Safari or Google Chrome.
The hero would be a victim of circumstance and the actions of others and  thus the villain is the one who causes these circumstances or antagonises them at the detriment of the hero. Elizabethan, Jacobean and Carolinian theatres laid the groundwork for the anti-hero and the corrupted saviour and by the advent of the Romanticism and Realism in the mid 18th century a new form of hero had emerged in the form of Byronic heroism.


Now 6 films in total the Fast & Furious narrative sees Diesel cast as Dominic Toretto a dangerous and extremely talented driver who with his gang commits crimes on huge scale featuring fast paced driving, dangerous stunts and agressive tactics. In the fifth installment (Fast Five, 2011) they break into a police station (which is corrupt naturally), steal a safe full of billions of dollars, have a chase through the streets of Rio causing untold amounts of civic damage by dragging said safe behind two surprisingly powerful cars. This snap back to a more morally true universe makes us realise that really we have been rooting for someone that in a cop movie would be the villain… several times over. No longer are we accepting of a hero’s flaws from an empathetic place but rather a sympathetic, understanding and uncomfortably approving place. Mysterious men who wandered the globe doing good deeds but by the standards of polite society suffered from villainous origins or history. Rebelling against the constraints of corrupt society (and also legal society) in their pursuit of fortune across the 6 films we see Toretto’s gang actively commit crimes under the guise of morally good(ish) actions.
In the first instalment of the saga (The Fast and The Furious, 2001) we see Toretto and his bunch of badass racers (and fiery latino women) infiltrated by an FBI agent who is undercover to investigate a string of high-profile electronics thefts.


Upon reflection however we realise that many of the officers involved in the chase were just normal policemen and normal people who’ve been directed to stop the psychopaths driving through the streets dragging a safe behind them which is just for clarity illegal in so many ways.
Even now, when I think of the narrative and dissect them from a point of view where i’m not drunk on revving engines and beautiful people I find myself justifying their actions and in a way agreeing with them.
It was the second world war that massively shifted the paradigms and archetypes of heros and villains and allowed for the creation of the herovillain.



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