‘Fast & Furious 8’ – or ‘The Fate of the Furious’ as it’s known in the US – has finally landed in the laps of the critics.
But what do they reckon to Vin Diesel and crew’s latest joyride?
With Charlize Theron brought in as cyber-villain Cipher, she’s pitted against Vin band of muscular misfits, now more like a team of James Bonds than drifting petrolheads.
But it’s not impressed everyone.
Indiewire’s David Ehrlich writes: “’F8′ is the worst of these films since ‘2 Fast 2 Furious,’ and it may be even worse than that. It’s the ‘Die Another Day’ of its franchise — an empty, generic shell of its former self that disrespects its own proud heritage at every turn.
“How did Diesel and co. manage to learn all of the wrong lessons from the last two movies, delivering an episode where everything feels so fake that even the ‘family’ matters seem forced?
John DeFore in The Hollywood Reporter was similarly non-plussed: “The result isn’t as big a gear-shift as some fans expected in the wake of original castmember Paul Walker’s death.
“In fact, it recycles plot-twisting devices from earlier chapters and keeps action firmly in the street-hoods-save-the-world neighborhood entered a couple of years ago. Fate delivers exactly what fans have come to expect, for better and for worse, and it would be a shock to see it disappoint producers at the box office.”
For The Wrap, Dan Callahan writes: “The plot twists suggest the kind of games that 11-year-old boys put together on the playground during recess, with women in peril and so many different parts for everyone to play that you begin to lose track of who everybody is.”
All that said, it appears that there are still a fair few fans out there in the critical community.
Owen Gleiberman in Variety calls it ‘a dazzling action spectacle that proves this franchise is far from out of gas’.
“Most franchises, after eight films, are feeling a twinge of exhaustion, but this one has achieved a level of success – and perpetual kinetic creative energy – that’s a testament to its commercial/cultural/demographic resonance,” he adds.
Kimber Myers was similarly pumped on The Playlist, writing: “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.”
IGN’s Jim Vejvoda adds: “’The Fate of the Furious’ is as ridiculously entertaining as you might expect. It’s certainly better than its trailers — which came across more like parodies of a Fast and Furious movie — suggested. Indeed, no eighth movie in any franchise has any right to be as fun or effective as ‘Fate’ manages to be.”
It sounds much like fans of the franchise will get exactly what they’re craving, but sceptics will remain somewhat unconvinced.
You can make your own minds up across the UK from April 14.