Did anyone ever think that a movie about street racing would turn into one of the biggest franchises in movie history. With the fifth movie, the series switched gears (no pun intended) and turned more into a heist series with amazing stunts and cool cars. This, along with the addition of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, turned the series into the blockbusters that we know today. Of course, the real life death of star Paul Walker put the future of the series in jeopardy. The 7th film ended perfectly and gave his character a terrific sendoff. However, $1.5 billion dollars later, there was no way Universal Studios was going to let the series go, and now we’re getting three more movies in the series.
After saying goodbye to Brian in the 7th installment, the team is living a peaceful life. Dom (Diesel) and Letty (Rodriguez) have gotten married and are on vacation in Cuba. While here, Dom is approached by Cipher (Theron), and she forces him into joining her team and betraying the one thing most important to him – family. With Dom now rogue, Hobbs (Johnson) assembles the team and they must try and stop Dom before it’ too late. To help, Deckard Shaw (Statham) is brought on board as he and Hobbs are the only two people to successfully track Dom down in the past.
After seven movies, each of which improved on the prior release, it was only a matter of time before things started to go the opposite way. While by no means a bad film, the 8th installment in the series is the worst since the 4th film. It still has the same car chases and crazy stunts that fans of the series have grown to love, but it seems as if something is missing this time out. Paul Walker’s absence isn’t really noticeable as all the other players make up for it, so I guess some of the magic that made the last few Fast films so entertaining is still intact. The best part of the movie (aside from the crazy 30 minute final action sequence) is the banter and chemistry between Johnson and Statham. The two shared very little screen time in the last film, and this film more than makes up for it. I can honestly say that I would go see a spin-off film revolving around these two characters in a heartbeat (rumors arose today that this was actually going to happen until Diesel went all diva and had it shut down).
As I’ve said before, it is remarkable that this series has endured as long as it has. What should have been put to rest after the third film has blossomed into a blockbuster franchise with no signs of slowing down. Yet I still can’t help but think that it truly should have ended after the last movie. The higher ups have stated that the series will end after the 10th film. Let’s hope they keep their word.