‘Buddy’ relationships are a dime a dozen in film and tv these days. You can’t make it five minutes watching television without seeing a commercial for some new show where ‘He’s a former FBI profiler who lost his eyesight in a bass fishing accident. She’s a talking reindeer. Together, this unlike pair are going to solve the crimes the North Pole police can’t in ‘Santa’s Little Helpers.” I’m unfortunately hardly speaking in hyperbole when it comes to these sorts of things. A lot of the times it’s the same rip off of the Odd Couple, where one’s clean and conservative and anal retentive, and the other guy is a lovable slob and for no reason other than the plot needs them to exist, they’re best friends and roommates.
But a successful buddy relationship always buds from the differences in two characters and how one another still find similarities in each other. It’s a bit of a contradiction, but take Vin Diesel and Paul Walker from The Fast and the Furious franchise. Paul’s Brian starts out as an undercover cop trying to bring down a group of hijackers. Vin’s Dom was a street racer who sidelined as a thief. Despite those two polar opposites, they still realized they came from similar background in their youth and six movies later they’re still driving way over the prescribed speed limit together.
Maybe the chemistry is on screen because, as Walker told Egotastic! during our London set visit for Fast and Furious 6, ‘We’ve spent basically our entire professional careers together. In terms of the ride, nobody better understands it than he does, and he feels the same way about me.’
In the same conversation, he revealed that he feels fortunate to have access to a guy like Diesel, who doesn’t open up to just anyone, and that with Fast and Furious 6, ‘we’re really hitting our stride together.’ And if you look at the box office numbers for the Fast and Furious movies, he’s probably right.
While most franchises are on the death bed of direct-to-dvd by the fourth installment, these guys got their second wind. Cheap horror movies, easily produced with very little overhead are typically the only kind of franchises that make it to that amount of sequels. But these are big-budget, gigantic undertakings, huge risks that somehow keep paying off. And a lot of that can be contributed to the ever-evolving friendship of Brian and Dom.