The Fate of the Furious review – Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson ensure franchise still has va-va-vroom
The latest instalment of the car-based action thriller also called Fast & Furious 8 has lost none of its zip, and even gained Charlize Theron, Jason Statham and Helen Mirren
The resurgence of Fast and the Furious from straight-to-DVD-destined three-wheeler to multiplex monolith has been one of the more unlikely cinematic successes of recent years. This was a franchise that, with 2006s endlessly lampooned Tokyo Drift, looked less in need of a tune up than to be scavenged for parts and left up on bricks. Five instalments later and its as close to a bankable vehicle as it gets in Hollywood.
Of course, cynical sorts might suggest that the untimely death of Paul Walker midway through filming of Fast and Furious 7 gave the series a sympathetic second-look from audiences that might have otherwise abandoned it. That though would underplay the strangely appealing alchemy of the franchise in the past several instalments, which has seen it evolve from a gruff drag race B-movie to something far more universal: a turbocharged mix of cars, quips and explosions, with just the merest hint of sentimentality to keep the date-movie crowd sweet.