Fast and Furious: what was once a small sleeper hit B-Movie franchise has turned into a huge blockbuster extravaganza in the space of seven films! The impressive thing is, the films just keep getting better and better.
With the addition of brand new cast members and a new director, we look at 6 different ways why Fast 8 will be bigger, bolder and better than its predecessors and why you should buckle up for a tyre screaming, rubber burning, adrenaline filled action-fest that will last in the memory and won’t be gone in 60 seconds!
1. There's a brand new director
The Fast and Furious franchise has seen a lot of directors come and go. It all started with Rob Cohen for the first instalment, which grossed $200 million worldwide. Then John Singleton, director of the celebrated Boyz N The Hood, took on the second film, continuing the success.
From the third to the sixth film, the little known director, Justin Lin (he of this summer's Star Trek Beyond), boosted up the franchise and gained love from both critics and fans. Lin made his name with Fast and Furious and it was the success of these films that helped him secure the directorial helm of Star Trek, taking over from JJ Abrams.
Fast and Furious 7 saw Saw and Insidious horror master James Wan direct, who took the action to a new level whilst also paying a heartfelt tribute to the late, great Paul Walker. The brand new instalment, Fast 8, will be directed by F. Gary Gray, director of last year's acclaimed NWA biopic Straight Outta Compton (see below).
Given the gritty tone of Gray's previous movies, will our seemingly untouchable heroes be given a layer of vulnerability that we haven’t seen so far in the series?!
2. New cast members!
Joining the Fast 8 cast list are three big name actors! The first is Scott Eastwood, the son of legendary actor and director Clint Eastwood. Scott has starred in films such as Gran Torino (with his father) and Fury alongside Brad Pitt.
Other actors include Oscar-winner Dame Helen Mirren herself (yes, really), and if we've learned anything from action-comedy RED and its sequel, it's that she's not only capable of giving a classy performance but can also handle herself as a first-class action lady!
Finally we have Charlize Theron, one of the finest actors working today, who definitely knows her action films after starring in one of the most exciting the decade, Mad Max: Fury Road. We cannot wait to see what this stellar cast bring to the table, especially the new female leads!
3. More extreme stunts!
One of the best things about the Fast and Furious franchise are the stunts. Some of our favourite feats are also the most extreme, such as the freeway sequence in Fast and Furious 6, where Letty jumps off a tank on a motorway bridge, and Toretto, going the opposite direction, jumps off a Ferrari and catches her, both managing to survive by landing on a car.
One of the most memorable sequences of that film, the scene sticks in the mind as an awesome set piece. So how could they top it in Fast 8? We are hoping for more danger, more daring and more dynamism. How about a mid-air exploit involving, cars, planes, bombs and real peril for even The Rock!?
4. Wilder vehicles
Speaking of the motorway sequence in Fast and Furious 6, another way Fast 8 can up the ante is by introducing new vehicles. The seventh episode enthralled and excited us with a series of cars skydiving out of a plane and parachuting onto a mountain road.
Given that each new Fast and Furious movie keeps getting crazier and crazier, we know they can get even more insane in the eighth! Will we see giant construction machinery, juggernauts and more military vehicles? Or something a little more unexpected? We can’t wait to see what they surprise us with!
5. Cars, cars and more cars!
We all know that the Fast and Furious films are big and fun action movies, but the one thing that a Fast and Furious movie obviously needs is cars – lots and lots of them, in fact.
The first few films were more about street racing rather than heists and terrorist plots, but full-throttle motors have been associated with the franchise from the very beginning. Imagine a Koenigsegg CCXR Trevita, the most expensive car in the world, driving through the streets of New York City. Or a purple Lamborghini Aventador driving off a multi storey car park. The possibilities are endless.
6. And finally – street racing!
This is how it all started in the first place. No one could forget the scene in the first movie way back in 2001, where Dom Toretto and Brian O’Conner narrowly miss getting hit by a high speed train – by centimeters! Or the opening half hour of Fast and Furious 6, where the whole crew chase Owen Shaw’s gang through the streets of London, with twists, turns and flips from every corner.
It's been announced that Fast 8 is to be set in New York City, so imagine a street race all around the Big Apple and the Empire State Building. Or a high-speed chase across the Brooklyn Bridge and around Coney Island? Expect the cinematography to be sublime and the chases to have you on the edge of your seat. Plus, new director F. Gary Gray is a veteran of the streets and knows how to bring them to life on the big screen.
This is definitely one film that would be the perfect IMAX experience, so make sure you catch it at your local Cineworld.
So Fast 8 has a LOT to live up to, but we reckon it could be the best one yet. Tweet us @Cineworld with your favourite moments from the franchise, or your ideas for the 8th instalment. Fast 8 roars into cinemas on 14th April 2017.