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By Morgan Lawrence
The eighth installment of The Fast and the Furious franchise just broke a world record for the highest global box office opening ever with $532 million since its release on April 14. Universal Pictures’ film earned over half a billion dollars in a matter of three days. The previous champion of the highest box office opening belonged to Star Wars: The Force Awakens in 2015. Now, director J.J. Abrams can pass the torch to one of the most legendary Black directors, F. Gary Gray.
Gray directed this installment of the Fast franchise. You may know of Gray’s work from directing iconic films like Friday, Set It Off, and Straight Outta Compton. Gray is the first Black director and current champion to win the highest worldwide box office film, surpassing fellow director, Tim Story for his notable works like Think Like a Man and Fantastic 4. Other incredible directors like Tyler Perry, Spike Lee and Jordan Peele have impacted the film industry with their projects and Gray’s success is a success for all Black directors.
This chapter of The Fate of the Furious follows Vin Diesel’s character, Dominic Toretto, as the bad guy. Toretto teams up with high profile hacker, “Cipher,” played by Academy Award winning actress, Charlize Theron, to steal nuclear codes from the Russian government.
Besides the explosions and insane stunts, the fun aspect of the film is the characters’ super-human abilities. For example, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson head-butts a cop wearing a helmet and knocks him out. Then, he manages to steer a torpedo in full speed on ice with his bare hands. And of course, Vin Diesel wins a drag race going more than 200 miles per hour while the car is flames, backwards.
Original characters of the Fast films like Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges and Paul Walker are the foundation of the franchise. Walker died in a car crash while filming the seventh film, Fast and Furious 7, in 2013. In this chapter, his character, Bryan, retires from the fast life with his wife, Mia, played by Jordana Brewster; who also does not appear in the film.
If you thought they would have run out of storylines by now, think again. This eighth chapter of the franchise will not be the last. Tyrese mentioned in his interview for New York radio station, Hot 97, that he signed on for two more films.
Overall, F8: The Fate of the Furious is a loud, fun film that has everything every action-movie junkie could love: fast cars, explosions, hot girls, and Russians.