As I travel home on the 22:20 South West Train service from Waterloo to Reading, I consider where I have traveled in the past 17 years. Now, I do not mean the physical journeys, rather the breathtaking locations The Fast & The Furious franchise has taken us all over the planet. Of course, London is important as it is our beloved capital city but there are so many others to choose from. Remember Rio where we first met DS Agent Hobbs. How about futuristic Dubai with a car crashing into (and between) sky skyscrapers. Or Roman Pearce on the Brazilian highway jumping from his vehicle onto a moving Ford Escort RS seconds before his car is crushed by a tank (or did I dream that?)
What makes these movies so special? It is the unique formula, which perhaps only diehard fans truly understand. The films have never taken themselves too seriously. The key elements are cars, speed, incomprehensible set pieces. Actually, it surprises me that not only does somebody come up with an idea to top the previous movie(s), they have the audacity to try and pull off some of the most unbelievable things ever seen on film. While the characters are very important, the key aspect for me is the fun. It all just appears to be great fun and this is the pure escape for just over two hours, we come to the cinema to experience. If something works, why change the formula. Just keep every ingredient the same, just turn up the volume and increase the wattage.
I booked my tickets exactly one month before the showing. Conveniently I had a three-day training course scheduled in Central London and knew the final day would finish early as this involved the final part of the syllabus and exam. The plans finally fell into place, I contacted Pav and checked with him before booking tickets. We were all set for The Fate of The Furious. The countdown for me started just four days later on Friday morning (17th March) the soundtrack was released or rather selected singles became available on Spotify and landed on the New Music Friday playlist. This was the perfect antidote to get me in the mood for the return of one of my favourite movie franchises, be it, arguably second tier blockbuster. I have been blogging about them for over six years, so there are five other posts for you to read back, if you are so inclined.
As I got some bearings outside Euston station, looking for Euston House, I walked passed a bus and could not resist, taking a photograph to share on Twitter. I rarely use Instagram now as I have a library of over ten thousand images over on FlickR. However, the marketing people were in overdrive this week, with the world press tour. Cast members pressing the flesh across the US and global networks, chat shows. From Twitter, I knew something was coming to Waterloo, but I only discovered it on my journey home from my first-day training on Tuesday. I missed my train by a mere few minutes, so had over twenty minutes to kill, so took some photographs to upload to both Twitter and Instagram. The event was close, I could smell the burnt rubber on the runway.
When the final trailer was released it featured Luke Hobbs redirecting a fired torpedo. Bill Bradley, Entertainment Editor at The Huffington Post, asked a valid question of Her Majesty’s Royal Navy on the social media network Twitter. Of course, The Rock responded directly to the query. Hobbs is on another level.
The film was amazing. I loved every heart-pounding second. It was great to see at the Odeon Leicester Square. The first time I have seen a film at this particular screen since December 2009. My only complaint would be that the screen is a little low, probably to accommodate eyes from the Royal Circle. The plot is of little concern, we care about the action, the big set pieces. The cheesy one-liners, which at times were hitting us quicker than we had time to fully digest and react. Each film in the series is able to build up to the climatic final set piece with little effort expended but you still worry if this time Dom and his gang have pushed their luck that too far. Quitting while ahead, is just not their style. After the emotional rollercoaster that was Fast 7, the franchise returns to a sense of normality but with the inclusion of Oscar-winning actress in a rather unexpected cameo, it continues to push the barriers. When will we see Fast & Furious 9? More importantly, when will we get a review over on The FastCast. Those boys have been slacking recently, no official update in over twelve months?