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When The Fast and the Furious (《速度与激情》) appeared in 2001, it seemed unlikely that the movie would be the opening chapter (开篇) of one of the greatest success stories of contemporary (当代的) movies. However, the action movie became a franchise (系列作品) that has made Universal Pictures billions of dollars. The eighth movie in the series, The Fate of the Furious (2017), sped past a global box office record after it came out on April 14. According to Variety, it “drove off with a $190 million (1.3 billion yuan) opening weekend win at the Chinese box office, breaking lots of records in the country.”

2001年《速度与激情》上映时,谁也不会想到它会成为当代最成功的电影之一的开篇之作。然而,这部动作片后来却成为了一个系列作品,并为环球影业赚了数十亿美元。今年4月14日上映以来,该系列的第八部电影 ——《速度与激情8:宿命》(2017)便快速打破了全球票房纪录。据美国权威影视杂志《综艺》报道,该电影“登陆中国票房的首个周末便以1.9亿美元(约13亿人民币)的票房大获全胜,打破了该国的多项纪录。”

So what is so special about the Fast and Furious series?

所以“速度与激情”系列到底有何特别之处呢?

Above all, the movies are part of the most successful genres (类型) of recent years: superhero films. As movie review site Screen Rant put it, Fast and Furious is a “superhero franchise in disguise (伪装)”. Like the Avengers movies, fans love the spectacle (壮观) of teams of heroes, each individual with a special skill, as well as the group dynamic (活力) that develops when they work together.

首先,该系列属于近年来最成功的电影类型之一:超级英雄电影。正如电影评论网站Screen Rant 所指出的那样,“速度与激情”是一个“经过伪装的超级英雄系列”。就像“复仇者联盟”系列电影那样,影迷们喜爱壮大的英雄队伍:每个人都有一种特殊能力,而在他们齐心协力时,又有着群体的活力。

And although the Fast and Furious heroes are only human, the movies attract the same kind of audiences as Marvel’s superhero stories.

尽管“速度与激情”系列中的英雄都只是人类,但这些电影吸引的观众群和漫威超级英雄系列电影的相同。

Yet the main difference that sets the Fast and Furious series apart is the diversity (多元) of its cast (演员). The franchise is about teams of male and female heroes drawn from every major ethnic (种族的) group in the US: Latinos, African-Americans and Asians. In 2011, Boston Globe film critic Wesley Morris wrote: “The most progressive (进步的) force in Hollywood today is the Fast and Furious movies.” He pointed out that the series “features race as a fact of life as opposed (相对的) to a social problem or an occasion (场合) for self-congratulation.”

但“速度与激情”系列和其他电影的主要区别在于演员的多元。该系列讲述了车队中男女主人公的故事,他们来自美国各个主要种族:拉丁裔、非裔以及亚裔。2011年,《波士顿环球报》影评人韦斯利·莫里斯写道:“在今天的好莱坞中,最进步的一股力量就是‘速度与激情’系列电影”。他指出,该系列“将种族视为一种现实,而不是一个社会问题亦或是什么沾沾自喜的理由。”

Its multi-cultural cast is much like its audiences. Everyone who goes to see one of these movies sees someone like themselves on screen. According to Entertainment Weekly, the film franchise is doing a much better job of reflecting (反映) its audience than others in Hollywood.

其多元文化的演员阵容和电影观众十分相似。每个看过该系列电影的人都会在大银幕上看见与自己相似的身影。据《娱乐周刊》报道,该电影系列在反映观众的这一角度上,做得比好莱坞其他任何一部电影都要好。

As US actor Vin Diesel, one of the series’ stars, told Entertainment Weekly: “It doesn’t matter what nationality you are. As a member of the audience, you realize you can be a member of that ‘family’. That’s the beautiful thing about how the franchise has developed.”

就像该系列的明星、美国演员范·迪塞尔在接受《娱乐周刊》采访时所说的那样:“国籍并不重要。作为一名观众,人们能意识到自己是那个‘大家庭’的一份子。那便是这部系列电影所要表达的美好事物。”

“The message is clear,” wrote Entertainment Weekly. “Multiculturalism sells.” Box office receipts (收据) certainly don’t lie.

“这已经显而易见,”《娱乐周刊》写道。“多元文化主义大有销路。”票房数据当然不会说谎。

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