The Fast and the Furious series is now at number 8. While the struggle in the beginning was real, this franchise has reached new heights I didn’t think anyone envisioned happening. You would think at this point in the series they would have run out of things to say or they continue to pull the same tricks as over and over again. I can tell you that after watching the latest entry of the series that they show no signs of trouble when it comes to entertaining and doesn’t plan on slowing down or stopping in the near future.
The film is changing things up this go around by making the leader of their family go against his team and everything he stands for. The advertising was very smart to show that Vin Diesel’s character Dom decides to work with new villain Cipher (Charlize Theron) a tech wizard hell-bent on world domination but keeping secret what brought Dom to work for evil. I’ll start by saying that the reason I didn’t see coming at all but if you have been following these movies you do have a little hint as to what makes him turn to the darkside.
That brings me as to why I really like going to these movies. The continuity of these movies is a really good sell. Each movie that comes out connects very well with the previous and it also rewards its fans who have been watching since day one with a storyline that makes you feel you are in it with them. You get that extra feeling to connect with the characters because you know their back story. So the plot is very rewarding.
What I also love about this franchise and this movie is that the main cast has not changed. Sure, there are characters who are no longer in the movie but none of the main characters have been replaced and with each new character they bring in brings something new to the table and are not boring to watch. I.E. Kurt Russell and Jason Statham Mr. Nobody and Deckard respectively from Furious 7. Both characters brought in for a significant reason and has a purpose as to why they do what they do and why they are up against our team of racers. With a cast so big, each character has a purpose and just as entertaining.
F. Gary Gray (The Negotiator, Friday) is the latest director in this series and with him and the combination of the “Go big or go home” mentality continues to work in their favor as you will see scenes in this film you thought you would never see executed. Gray brought a lot of fun to the film and has a way of bringing out personality in his characters and not making them look like fighting robots. Aside from being fun, in your face with amazing fight scenes, great car chases and race sequences; the stakes are high in this one. The ability to continue to raise the stakes with the group makes it more thrilling to come back each time for their next expedition around the world. When I say stakes I mean villain. With action movies I look at it like a batman film. The movies Is only as good as your villain. If your antagonist sucks and doesn’t make it hard to save the day, the movie has a big potential to fail *cough cough Fast and Furious cough cough*
Which brings me to the rising action star with the stare of fear on point Charlize Theron playing Tech legend Cipher. The brains of the operation who has every step planned out also being two steps ahead of the team. Theron’s performance is believable, intimidating, and a force to be reckoned with without even driving a car or punching her way to get her power. Cipher’s tactics are very effective and with Theron’s action chops forming with each latest role, Mad Max: Fury Road and the upcoming Atomic Blonde it makes sense to make her a part of the Fast and furious family.
The Fast and the furious franchise is no longer a guilty pleasure for me and I proudly admit I am a big fan of the series.
The bottom line is that this series is at #8. If you have been watching up to this point, clearly you are a fan and know what you are getting yourself in for. On that note alone, this movie doesn’t disappoint at all. Watching this in the theatre, the audience clearly had a lot of fun. There were lots of moments of laughter, applause, definitely cheers and satisfying moments that makes hardcore fans bow at its accomplishments. There is also a cameo in there for some reason I forgot was going to show up and this person shined with the limited time they had on screen. Let’s just say that you haven’t been keeping up or maybe you skipped one or two of the bunch and wondering if this one is any good. As a stand alone movie, it is fun to watch. Not knowing much of the back story that started around part 5 of the franchise you will miss out on a lot of moments that could have accelerated the fun and wow factor for you but nonetheless will still entertain you. It would be my recommendation to watch the previous films before watching it but it is not the end of the world if you happen to watch this first and go back to watch the rest.
Most critics will find this movie very repetitive and too flashy and definitely over the top with its stunts defying the law of physics, gravity, and reality but SO DAMN WHAT!!! If it’s not your cup of tea, this movie is not for you. This series at the end of the day knows that and is okay that these movies were not made for anyone. Also, the tribute mentioned from Vin Diesel on his ride or die brother Paul Walker and his character Brian O’Conner is a very nice tribute. The Fast and the furious franchise is no longer a guilty pleasure for me and I proudly admit I am a big fan of the series. From the way it ended I don’t see them pushing the brakes anytime soon and I look forward to the next one.
P.S. No need to stay through the LONG ending credits as there is no post credit scene after.
5 out of 5
Moviegeeks, what did you think of this review? I hoped it help shedding some light onto what to expect. Do you happen to agree or disagree about this film or the series. Comment and make sure to follow my Twitter moviegeek81 and Instagram moviegeekrob. I’ll see you at the movies.