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Vin Diesel stars in El American’s Idiocy of the Week by comparing himself to J.R.R. Tolkien.
Vin Diesel, star of the Fast & Furious franchise, said in an interview for Variety that the hardest part of making a franchise like his is not the filming or the demanding action scenes, but the work behind the screen. According to him, “the thinking, the expanding” of the story is the hardest part, adding that this is “the reason why Tolkien stopped writing.”
Later, the interviewer states that “Fast & Furious is the Lord of the Rings of action movies” and Vin Diesel enthusiastically agrees, “Well said.”
Not to take credit away from Vin Diesel, since giving continuity to a “mythology” -as Vin Diesel himself calls it- of Fast & Furious must not be easy. The truth is that no one can explain how a movie about low-level criminals who participate in illegal car races has managed to have so many sequels that have made so much money.
But to compare his films with The Lord of the Rings and himself with J.R.R. Tolkien is a stretch that not even the most tuned car of his could jump. Of course, we must give him credit for his self-confidence.
Vin Diesel’s delusions of grandeur are also Hollywood’s
The comparison is unfortunate for several reasons. The most immediate is that it highlights how out of touch Vin Diesel – and most Hollywood artists – are, mistaking their commercial success in the entertainment world for having reached the pinnacle of culture, intellectuality and enlightenment. Most people in Hollywood are mere pawns of the entertainment industry, but they think they are intellectuals above the rest of us.
Secondly, it is unfortunate because Tolkien never stopped writing The Lord of the Rings despite his retirement. In fact, a great deal of his unfinished material was published years after his death, collected and edited by his son Christopher.
Without going any further, Amazon’s infamous The Rings of Power is based on such unpublished material during Tolkien’s lifetime. Interestingly, the creators of the series err on the same lack of humility as Vin Diesel, as they compare the second season of their series to literary and cinematic landmarks such as the works of John Milton, Shakespeare, The Sopranos and Breaking Bad.
More than a lack of humility, what Hollywood is infected with is relativism and confusion with aesthetics. Vin Diesel thinks that because he has written a long and successful saga, he is already comparable to Tolkien. That’s like someone who thinks that since Steve Jobs always wore the same type of clothes so as not to waste time, if he always wears the same type of clothes he is also a genius like Jobs.
Come to think of it, Vin Diesel always wears tight sleeveless T-shirts. Maybe he thinks he’s like Tolkien in writing, and like Steve Jobs in engineering and innovation. We’ll have to ask him when Fast & Furious 18 is released.
Ignacio Manuel García Medina, Business Management teacher. Artist and lecturer specialized in Popular Culture for various platforms. Presenter of the program "Pop Libertario" for the Juan de Mariana Institute. Lives in the Canary Islands, Spain // Ignacio M. García Medina es profesor de Gestión de Empresas. Es miembro del Instituto Juan de Mariana y conferenciante especializado en Cultura Popular e ideas de la Libertad.
Social Networks: @ignaciomgm