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Your essential round-up of the week's Fast & Furious 8 news

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Tearing into Cineworld this week, Fast & Furious 8 takes the automotive franchise to ever-more stupendous heights courtesy of director F. Gary Gray, plus an assortment of A-list faces including Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson and Charlize Theron.

To get you ready for the movie (which previews tomorrow and Thursday before properly opening on Friday), we've rounded up some essential news highlights.

The reviews are in!

Currently sitting at a not-too-shabby 79% on Rotten Tomatoes, the eighth Fast & Furious movie has enjoyed a broadly positive reception. 

"A dazzling action spectacle that proves this franchise is far from out of gas", raves Owen Gleiberman in Variety.

Writers Kimber Myers in The Playlist: "The film brings Charlize Theron on board as villainess, as well as a nuclear sub in the Arctic, a horde of cars speeding through New York City streets, a prison break battle royale, and a giant wrecking ball. It would be too much if it weren't so awesome."

And says Tom Eames in Digital Spy: "There's no 'back to basics' here, it just gets even more insane. They haven't quite gone to the moon yet, but it's getting there."


Feud? What feud?

Unless you've been living under a rock, you can't fail to have heard about the alleged bad blood between beefy A-listers Diesel and Johnson, all stemming from a social media post sent by the latter last year that referred to the film's male cast members as "candy asses".

Well apparently both men are willing to let bygones be bygones. In fact, Diesel is flat-out denying that such a feud exists.

"In my house, he’s Uncle Dwayne," Diesel told Entertainment Weekly. "I protect the franchise. I protect everybody, including Dwayne. I protected Dwayne more than he’ll ever know. And it doesn’t matter. He doesn’t have to know."


Scott Eastwood on joining the movie

The son of movie icon Clint has steadily been making waves in Hollywood over the last few years with roles in blockbusters like Suicide Squad. Eastwood, who plays the lackey of Kurt Russell's Mr. Nobody, was in fact a close friend of the late Paul Walker, who died during production of the seventh movie, and says that acting in the movie presented emotional challenges.

"[Saying yes] wasn’t a no-brainer," he tells The Independent. "I think it was a little emotionally charged because of Paul. But then I realised that this was an incredible opportunity to be a part of something that continues on his legacy. I was like, 'I've got to do this thing'."

He continues: "There were definitely days that were hard... There were days that were emotional, days that would hit you left-field. But there were days you just knew he was watching down over all of us. We would tell stories about Paul. It was nice. It was really nice."


Screenwriter Chris Morgan on Dom turning to the dark side

The plot of the eighth movie sees Toretto turn his back on family and side with villain Cipher (Charlize Theron). And according to Morgan, there was a very good reason why his character was the one lined up for dramatic plot developments.

"For seven films, Dom and the crew worked together and solved a big problem, and they stayed together as family," he tells EW. "We all started thinking, if we’re gonna do something really different, let’s take that and turn it on its head. What Dom has been preaching for seven films — family, family, family, that’s the code you stick to it, no matter what — what happens if your father figure, your brother, the guy who has been giving you your moral compass for your entire life suddenly breaks his? It comes down to a question of faith. Do you hold close to that code anyway? Do you abandon it? I think that was what was most intriguing for us."


Click here to book your tickets for Fast & Furious 8.