The Fate of the Furious (2017)

Seeing as how this movie grossed $541.9 million worldwide during its opening weekend, we’re not going to see the last of these movies for some time. Interestingly enough, star Vin Diesel was also in the movie that broke that record, Avengers: Infinity War ($640.5 million) and the movie that broke that record, Avengers: Endgame ($1.481 billion).

Following the defeat of Deckard Shaw, Dom (Diesel) and Letty Ortiz (Michelle Rodriguez) are on their honymoon when Charlize Theron appears. She’s Cipher, a cyberterrorist who coerces Dom into working against his team — and family — by holding his former lover Elena (Elsa Pataky) and their son hostage. Yes, welcome to the world of the fast and the furious and the people who don’t reveal that they’ve had a baby to the lovers they give up when the old girlfriend comes back with amnesia.

This is the first installment to be directed by F. Gary Gray, whose work on The Italian Job had to have helped. He also directed FridayStraight Outta Compton and some music videos that ruled 90’s and 00’s pop culture like “It Was a Good Day” by Ice Cube, “Natural Born Killaz” by Dr. Dre and Ice Cube, “Keep Their Heads Ringin'” by Dr. Dre, “Waterfalls” by TLC, and “Ms. Jackson” by Outkast. He had worked with Diesel in A Man Apart, Johnson in Be Cool and Statham, Theron and Olek Krupa in aforemention The Italian Job.

For those that love controversy, this was also the movie that the feud between some of its actors began.

A week before filming ended, Johnson posted this missive: “This is my final week of shooting #FastAndFurious8. There’s no other franchise that gets my blood boiling more than this one. An incredible hard working crew. Universal has been great partners as well. My female co-stars are always amazing and I love ’em. My male co-stars however are a different story. Some conduct themselves as stand up men and true professionals, while others don’t. The ones that don’t are too chicken shit to do anything about it anyway. Candy asses. When you watch this movie next April and it seems like I’m not acting in some of these scenes and my blood is legit boiling – you’re right. Bottom line is it’ll play great for the movie and fits this Hobbs character that’s embedded in my DNA extremely well. The producer in me is happy about this part. Final week on Fast 8 and I’ll finish strong. ;/ #IcemanCometh #F8 #ZeroToleranceForCandyAsses”.

This post came about as co-star and Executive Producer Diesel supposedly cancelled some of Johnson’s planned scenes at the last minute. On several occasions, Diesel didn’t show up when scheduled, leaving hundreds of cast, crew, and extras waiting on-set for him for more than six hours.

The two had a secret meeting after this message and it turned out that Johnson’s spin-off, Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw, was the major bone of contention. Co-star Tyrese would also grow upset about this and tweet how that movie would delay F9 for an entire year (pre-COVID-19, of course; now it’s even later).

Johnson stated that he would probably pass on another film in this series and wished Diesel, “all the best and I harbor no ill will there, just because of the clarity we have. Actually, you can erase that last part about ‘no ill will.’ We’ll just keep it with the clarity.”

Let’s end on a more positive note: this movie features two Oscar winners. Beyond Theron, Dame Helen Mirren joined the cast as the Shaw brother’s mother. She told Graham Norton and numerous other interviewers that she had an ambition to be in one of these films and just have fun. Diesel heard this and got her added to the large cast.

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