So the latest installment in the fast and furious season is out and, as usual, people (Nigerians inclusive) have lost their collective minds to watch the movie. I’m sure when it eventually premieres in Nigeria, there would be people faking illnesses and , I’m sure, at least one pregnancy or sudden childbirth to watch the movie (good luck explaining the conspicuous absence of a child to your boss in a few months on that second one). It’s been absolutely amazing how they could even come up with a plot for a new installment. Anyways, should they run out of ideas, hey, we’ve got a perfect location that comes with it’s own plot for Fast And Furious 32: Lagos Traffic and Fast And Furious 33: Road Safety Run! Here’s why I think so:
C’mon, if they even need stunt drivers, have they boarded a danfo that the driver is trying to dodge LASTMA, Nigerian Police, VIO or Road Safety or any of the 500,000 uniformed outfits that litter Lagos roads? That’s the day they would know that Vin Diesel and co have not been fast or furious enough. Just last week, I boarded a bus from CMS to Ojuelegba and the way driver took off, careened around corners and overtook vehicles, I’m sure my ancestors must have been concerned that they might be getting an early visit. My heart was virtually in my mouth all through the trip and in spite of the cries of “driver, gently na” and “die die” (is that how it’s spelt? I’m not Yoruba so I must be forgiven), the driver drove like was auditioning for a role as Vin Diesel’s stunt double. So they won’t even need to ship down a load of stunt drivers – we’ve got them by the bucketful, and for much cheaper too.
But it’s not just danfo drivers that drive crazy – it’s basically all the other drivers too. The way a good number of Lagosians drive, I wouldn’t be surprised to look into any car and find that red anger personality from Inside Out at the wheel. Lagosians drive like the road is a battlefield and the war can only be won by the element of surprise. It’s in Lagos that you would be cruising along, thinking it’s just you on the road and suddenly, one Okada would appear in your front like it manifested from another dimension. Wouldn’t it be just perfect for all those high speed, downtown chases where Vin Diesel has to weave through traffic – just that thus time, the traffic is so unpredictable, it might as well be diabolical. Sure, it might result in one or two crashes, two people parked at the center of the highway and traffic that would stretch into Ogun state but tell me that wouldn’t look solid in HD!
Of course there would be concerns about the danger element – I mean, what’s a Fast and Furious movie without dangerous cliffs, explosions and driving cars of planes in flight? Well, the producers can be rest assured that we’ve got loads of danger, and of the variety they’ve never seen before! Falling trailers, tankers falling off bridges (there’s actually a lot of falling involved), cars suddenly going up in flames from overheating and needing a sewage truck to put out the fire, potholes the size of volcano craters….the possibilities are endless! Infact, there would be so much danger, the producers would be asking Lagos to tone it down! That’s movie production gold right there and you don’t even have to create it or script it – it’s all here for free and the unpredictability of some of these would certainly make audiences gasp and the ladies spontaneously get pregnant from all the awesomeness of it all.
Need to drive a car off a bridge into a large body of water for cinematic effect? Third Mainland and the Lagos lagoon would be the most picturesque location for that scene. Sure, the emergency service personell may never recover the vehicle (or the driver for that matter) mainly because half their marine retrieval equipment are probably wooden canoes owned by shanty dwelling fishermen but if you get the shot right first time it would be totally worth it and save you the cost of having to dump several cars into the Lagos lagoon with little hopes of retrieval.
Why It Might Not Work
Let’s face it, if The Fast And Furious was ever shot in Lagos, it would most likely be “Fast And Furious: Slow And Steady”. Lagos traffic is legendary with a capital “L”. Instead of high speed, adrenaline pumping chases, we’d probably get Vin Diesel trying to figure out if that narrow road is one-way so he can avoid the traffic coming from The Island in the evening. Like half of the movie would be about Tyrese and Ludacris pricing gala and La Casera in traffic while heading towards Ikeja and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson trting to convince LASTMA officials that he’s shooting a movie, not trying to park illegally. Not to mention all the agberos they would have to “settle” for “shooting rights” in various locations across the city. The producers would probably get frustrated and move to Ghana instead instead, where they would shoot “Fast And Furious: Seriously, Our Jollof Is Better. No, Seriously”.