The Fast and Furious franchise is truly a wonder to behold and I would be very interested in an in-depth article on the evolution of the franchise. From moderately bankable racing films to blockbuster action movies, the one thing you are guaranteed is a ludicrous plot and horrendously cheesy lines about family.
The plot this time is whether Dom (Vin Diesel) has gone rogue (no prizes for guessing the answer here) and has truly turned his back on his family to help new villain Cypher (Charlize Theron). Plot aside, this film gives you exactly what you would expect, explosions, car chases, and utterly bonkers and preposterous situations.
Now, more than ever, the franchise is more Bond film than racing film. In fact, this time around we get rid of the mandatory street race scene straight away and from my perspective, they could do with ditching those entirely. The bawdy leering at women and cars the only remnant of the terrible first four films aside from Vin Diesel’s ham acting is something that should be jettisoned. Visiting Cuba, New York, Germany, and Russia with a ret-con giving us a super villain in Cypher, the team now act as spies for Kurt Russell’s Mr. Nobody.
The cast continues to grow as well. Along with Charlize Theron, there is Helen Mirren and Scott Eastwood. But more importantly, Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham now take second and third billing and it is their star power where this franchise now shines. Whilst Theron is wasted calling the shots from a plane and Diesel is failing to emote, Johnson and Statham realise the fun is in the sheer crazy nature of what is happening. It is when Johnson is performing the haka and Statham is channeling Chow Yun Fat in Hard Boiled when this franchise flies.
So, probably not as good as 5 and 7, but definitely better than the rest.