2015’s Furious 7 would have made the perfect send off for The Fast and The Furious franchise. With Paul Walker‘s unfortunate demise, the end of the movie wrapped up that story arch nicely (queue up Wiz Khalifa‘s “See You Again”). Nope, there are THREE more movies announced. Now, in defense, these movies have been getting progressively better as they go on fully embracing the action and heist movie spectacle. What is left for Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and the gang?
The first full trailer was released a few days ago for the forthcoming spring blockbuster and my first thoughts are “really?” Dom is the bad guy now by either blackmail or mind control? Did we not previously go through this with Letty (Michelle Rodriguez)? Ok, I’ll buy it.
Furious 7 built a lot of time building up Jason Statham‘s character, Deckard Shaw as this formidable villian, but now he’s teaming up with the crew. To me, this seems like what they are doing with the Transformers franchise – the main movies are centerpieces for possible spin-offs to come. Maybe now we’ll get a Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) and Shaw cop team up movie.
Charlize Theron has entered the franchise as the criminal mastermind, who is now working together with Dominic against his old group. Theron can play the sinister role well and given the last shot of the trailer, her character and Letty will probably engage in some fisticuffs.
Bottom line is that these movies are visually appealing and if anything, they have mastered that to get to this point. It seems like this new wrinkle is to compensate for the loss of Paul Walker, but it’s better than if they tried to bring his character back. It just would not feel right and given the emotional ending to the last movie, would be looked at as a cash in of some sort.
The last movies had tanks, this one has cars speeding away from a submarine. How many crazy stunts can you do to keep this franchise going? Hey, we’re up to eight and honestly, given the stunts and banter between Tej Parker (Ludacris) and Roman Pearce (Tyese Gibson), this movie will probably be a fun watch heading into the summer movie season.
Fast & Furious 8: The Fate of the Furious is due to hit theaters on April 14th, 2017.
Main Photo Picture: Court