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Four Reasons the 'Fast and Furious' Franchise Matters

Dom is back ... but this time he's turned on his "family."

If it's spring, it's time for a fresh installment of the "Fast and Furious" franchise.

Muscle cars. Women in barely there shorts. Antiheroes saving the day by burning rubber. Vin Diesel's Dom and co. star in "The Fate of the Furious," sure to Hoover up cash through the rest of April ... and beyond. Diesel's character appears to go rogue as the film opens, but could it have something to do with a new franchise foe played by Charlize Theron?

The saga remains a cash cow, of course. It has cultural implications beyond the bottom line. Consider the following four reasons why these "Furious" films matter more than you think.

1. Diversity Done Right

Remember Marvel Comics? The entertainment giant is suffering from sales shrinkage, and some folks suggest it's tied to the company's diversity push. Diversity on paper is great. When a company takes its most precious resources, in this instance Spider-Man, Thor and Iron Man, and forces a social justice template on it, that's different.

The "Furious" saga is diverse to the core. Yet these characters are all new to pop culture. And we love 'em no matter our background. Or theirs.

That's the best way to approach a more diverse brand of storytelling. Introduce great new characters and let any actor bring them to life, regardless of skin color.