Get ready to fasten your seat belts because the "Fast" family are coming back for yet another ride. "Fast 8," the latest installment of the "Fast & Furious" franchise, takes Dominic Toretto and his team to places we haven't seen before. Intended to be the first film of a new trilogy, "Fast 8," directed by F. Gary Gray ("Straight Outta Compton"), stars returning cast members Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Michelle Rodriquez, Tyrese Gibson, Chris "Ludacris" Bridges, Elsa Pataky, Lucas Black, Kurt Russell, Nathalie Emmanuel, Eva Mendes and Jason Statham reprising his role as "Furious 7" big bad Ian Shaw. New additions to the cast include Helen Mirren in an unspecified role, Scott Eastwood and Kristofer Hivju. Aside from "The Fast & The Furious: Tokyo Drift," "Fast 8" will be the first film in the franchise not to star Paul Walker, who died in a single-vehicle crash on November 30, 2013. According to Vin Diesel,"Furious 7" was for Paul. "Fast 8" is from Paul."
The "Fast & Furious" franchise is known for its high-octane stunts, action sequences and major standoffs with the primary villain. Without a great villain, the film will be a total let down, but not "Fast 8." This film will be a big success and it will be because of the film's primary antagonist, Oscar-winning actress and major badass Charlize Theron.
Charlize Theron ("The Huntsman: Winter's War") is the first female villain of the franchise. Her character, Cipher, promises to be better than all previous villains of the popular franchise. Commenting on Theron's role, franchise star and executive producer Vin Diesel says, “Wait until you meet Cipher. Of all her films you have never seen this character she has created. She has truly brought her A game to this saga and we are all grateful for it.” Franchise composer Brian Tyler also commented on Theron's role, saying “There’s no question the havoc and villainy she brings, but you’re attracted to it. There’s something where you can kind of see yourself in this villain that makes it more disturbing and, at the same time, more interesting. It’s the sympathetic villains, in a way, who really get under your skin. In a much different way, but like how Anthony Hopkins did Hannibal Lecter, where you like him, but you’re like, ‘Wait, why am I doing that? I shouldn’t be rooting for this person.’ She has that ability to do that. She’s just a fantastic actor.”
Having a female villain gives women a strong, central role in the franchise. With Michelle Rodriquez, Helen Mirren, Elsa Pataky and Charlize Theron, "Fast 8" will raise the bar for women and give them more power than previously seen in most films. Charlize Theron is known for playing a villain over the years, but I wonder what level of evil she will bring to a role like this. I do know that it will be exciting to see. As a big fan of the franchise, I can't wait to see Dom and the team go up against Cipher. I know the action sequences, stunts, and fight scenes are expected to be bigger and badder than the previous installments.
Below is a set video of a massive car explosion stunt, featuring F. Gary Gray and Vin Diesel.
The video above seems very promising when thinking about the level of stunt work being done to make it better than the previous. To all fans of the franchise, you can expect a lot of great things to come from this film. Not just from the sequences, but from the entire ensemble cast. Starring Vin Diesel as Dominic Toretto and Charlize Theron as the villainous Cipher, "Fast 8" speeds its way into theaters on April 17, 2017.