Photo Courtesy of IMDb
Story by Jonathan Austin / Contributing Writer
Fast cars, beautiful women and intense action steal the spotlight in yet another installment in the “Fast and Furious” franchise.
The latest, “The Fate of the Furious,” made a record-breaking $532.5 million during its opening. This is the largest global box-office opening ever, making the film series a $4 billion franchise.
Beginning in 2001, the film series has revolutionized the action genre while simultaneously creating a devout fan base made up of car enthusiasts and action-lovers alike.
The earlier films focused mainly on ¼-mile races, feuds between rival race gangs and organized crime. Intense race scenes filled the screen, and the crimes committed by Dominic Toretto’s team were amateur at best.
The later films, however, have taken action to the next level. Though extravagant cars and race scenes are still a major theme in the movie, intense fights and international terrorism have replaced the minor crimes.
The series has gone from hijacking semi-trucks for electronics to defending the planet from possible nuclear devastation.
The films have also incorporated an extensive storyline with very few holes that are commonly present in extended film series. Even “Tokyo Drift” had a storyline that was well influenced by the previous and future movies.
The death of Paul Walker, who played the main character of the series, could not halt the production of these record-breaking action movies. Walker, a devout car enthusiast himself, was killed in a car accident in 2013.
Though the seventh movie paid homage to the late Walker, the eighth film picks up right where it left off, and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson steps up alongside Vin Diesel to fulfill the camaraderie and companionship that has been ever-present throughout the franchise.
Johnson made his debut in the in the 2011 film, “Fast 5.” Since then, the former WWE star has been in every installment and has been elevated to one of the main characters of the series.
“The Fate of the Furious“ begins in Cuba where Dom and Letty are on their honeymoon.
While vacationing and earning the respect of the most infamous Cuban racers, Toretto is approached by a mysterious cyber terrorist named Cipher (Charlize Theron) who blackmails Dom into betraying his beloved family.
Dom, turning his back on his team, not only disrupts the common theme of the film series, but also shatters Toretto’s self-made code.
After turning Dom, Cipher makes him carry out her dirty work including working directly against his own team. The inner struggle of the main character is evident, and the betrayal of his friends and wife plague Dom throughout the movie.
With Dominic Toretto under her control, Cipher sets out to obtain control of a nuclear submarine in order to start a nuclear war and control the world’s superpowers.
And with Dom’s betrayal, the team must now catch him and stop Cipher’s plan, meanwhile trying to find out how Cipher made Dom switch sides.
In order to stop Cipher, Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) and Hobbs (“The Rock”) join forceswhile in prison. Once they escape, Shaw is reluctantly allowed on the team through the insistence of Mr. Nobody, a mysterious operative who gives the team orders.
The recruitment of Shaw onto the team is highly controversial due to the fact that it was revealed that he was responsible for the death of Han (Sung Kang) in a previous movie.
After races through New York City, a gunfight inside an airplane and a mad scramble across the ice of the Arctic Ocean, harmony amongst the family is once again restored.
Though the actions of the main characters are much different in this film, the main theme remains the same: family.
Family is the absolute reoccurring theme in the film series. It is initially deemed most important by Dom in the first film, yet all the characters, regardless of their walk of life, respect the Toretto family code first.