I was pleasantly surprised after walking out of the eighth – and staggeringly, not the last – instalment of the ‘Fast and Furious’ franchise.

For a series with pretty much the same plot line in every film, the filmmakers have somehow made #8 feel different.

Once again, it’s a film full of nice cars and insane stunts, but this time there was a twist.

This time around they tried actually making it different that by giving Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) a ‘heel turn’; having him go rogue and betray his ‘family’.

What they didn’t know is that he was only doing that to protect the son he didn’t even know he had.

It sounds like the plot from a ‘Neighbours’ episode, which is fitting because this series feels like a soap opera, with the ending to this film laying the foundations for a ninth instalment.

When you consider how much money the films grosses, you can’t really blame them.

The film itself wasn’t that bad.

Sure Vin’s acting (if you can call it that) wasn’t great, but the solid banter between Jason Statham and Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson made for some enjoyable viewing – if you’re into that kind of thing.

Charlize Theron also did a great job playing the role of villain Cipher, making it feel as though there was really something at stake.

However, the film was long. Far too long. I’ve never thought a Fast and Furious film was that good, but I keep going back because I’ve never been bored.

At 136 minutes, with half of that time dedicated to people doing stunts we have seen before, I finally got bored.

The film also tried a bit too hard. I usually find the side-dialogue in these kinds of films endearing, but this time most of it was just cringe.

It was the movie equivalent of a stand-up comedian telling jokes to an audience that just won’t react.

Plus, after movie #4 of the series, the character development seems to have come to a complete halt.

All of that aside, when I wasn’t bored, I was invested. As invested as I have ever been watching one of these films.

The drag race scene at the beginning, Dwayne Johnson’s and Jason Statham’s insane individual fight scenes (Statham hijacks a plane holding a baby for goodness’ sake!) and the Russian military outpost infiltration actually made for some intense viewing that had me on the edge of my seat. Immediately followed by shame that I was on the edge of my seat when I realised just how ridiculous all of that was.

This movie is just not for everyone, no matter how hard it tries to be.

But hey, at least it was better than movies than movie #7, and the ending of that made grown men cry.

Some films in the franchise can be enjoyed by a wider audience, the first two in particular, however this one really just for fans of the series.

So, if you are a fan – go! You’ll have a great time. If not, don’t, or else you might end up feeling like you’ve wasted two hours of your life, and you will probably be right.

As for me, well, I think eight films is enough. This probably won’t be where it ends, but I’m not excited to see what lies ahead.

With that said, in two or three years, when ‘Fast and Furious 9: This Time It’s Personal’ comes around, I’ll probably go and watch it. I mean it can’t be any worse than Tokyo Drift?

Score: 3/5

Featured image via Quirky Byte 

This film was seen courtesy of Dendy Canberra