I’m fairly new to the ‘Fast and Furious’ universe, having only watch the original film, which was released in 2001, in January this year in preparation for this 8th installment. The trailer, if i’m being honest, looked bat-shit insane and so much fun, so I thought it was about time I watched the films to see what all the fuss was about. I grew up with friends who all loved the films but I just never saw the appeal.

‘The Fate of the Furious’ begins with Dom Toretto (Vin Diesel) and Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) on their honeymoon when a mysterious woman, who we later learn is called Cipher (Charlize Theron),  coerces Dom into turning on his team and working for her. After betraying his family as they finish a job, the team are brought together by Mr. Nobody (Kurt Russell) to stop Dom and bring an end to the chaos Cipher is causing and find out the reason for Dom’s sudden and uncharacteristic betrayal.

The thing I love most about this film is the fact that it knows it’s a little silly in places, and it just goes with it without actually taking things too far and putting you off the film. I found myself just laughing at some of the plot points and scenes because of how ridiculous they were, but you know that was their intention. Each film, from the 4th one onwards has just tried to one-up itself in terms of the absurd stunts and situations the gang find themselves in, but it’s clear to say this one blew the others out of the water.

Standout performance for me has to be Jason Statham, for reasons I cannot justify in this spoiler-free review, but trust me, if or when you see the film you’ll know exactly why he’s my choice. Another notable mention goes to Helen Mirren, who does the best Barbara Windsor/Peggy Mitchell impression going.  I was looking forward to her appearance in the film since she was announced as a member of the cast, and however short her screen time may be, she absolutely leaves a lasting impression! I hope she makes an appearance in future films.

The rest of the gang are just as brilliant as ever, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris, Nathalie Emmanuel and of course Dwayne Johnson all bring their A-game and you can really tell that they’re all pretty close to one another, both on and off screen. There are some hilarious exchanges of dialogue between Roman and Tej, as fans of the franchise have come to expect, but I think the scenes with Deckard and Hobbs will be the most memorable this time round.

I have to hand it to director F. Gary Gray and his team, the outrageous yet brilliant action scenes were superbly shot. I went to an IMAX screening and the shots of each location the gang visited over the course of the film were shot beautifully. The car races, chases and downright outrageous ‘what the fuck’ moments were fantastic to watch, and in some scenes you find your eyes constantly scanning the screen to see what’s going on over on that side, and what’s going on on the other, and I’m sure I’ll need another viewing to see what I might have missed.

To wrap this up, I highly recommend a viewing of ‘Fate of the Furious’ or ‘Fast and Furious 8’, whatever they’re calling it. If you’re a fan of the most recent films in the franchise, then this will be right up your street. It’s fun, it’s action packed, a ton of bass drops out of nowhere and as always, a brilliantly fitting and upbeat soundtrack to go with it. This might just be my favourite entry in the franchise, bu the question is where does the franchise go from here!? Either way, I’m excited to see how they try and one-up themselves next time.

Rating: 8.0/10