Vin Diesel recently released the date of the next Fast and Furious installment, entitled Furious 8. Although the actor has expressed his enthusiasm towards the upcoming film project, the question needs to be raised as to whether the saga will ever be the same again and if dedicating involvement to continued films is even worth it in the end.
Furious 7 hit theaters on March 26 of this year, and has been subject to mixed reviews. Many viewed this latest installment of the saga as being the best, crediting Diesel and his co-workers for continuing to pull out all the stops in terms of delivering a stellar performance and keeping the audience on the edge of their seats. However, some viewers felt that the film was nothing more than dramatic action stunt after action stunt, and that the multiple explosions etc. did nothing to cover the fact that the movie had zero substance within it whatsoever.
Although it is not to be ignored the cast’s (particularly Diesel) effort in dealing with the death of fellow co-star Paul Walker in terms of both their own emotional stability as well as their filming duties, it cannot be denied that the situation was extremely up in the air in the time following the philanthropist’s untimely passing.
Walker had filmed a good part of Furious 7 before his tragic accident, and the production crew were left to decide whether they wanted to continue on without him or cease the process altogether in the wake of his death. After careful deliberation, however, the choice was made to film the 40-year-old’s unfinished scenes using his brother Cody. The two beared a strikingly similar likeness when they were both alive, so producers went with the choice upon acknowledging that this decision would be better than either using digitally recreating the actor’s likeness or scrapping the project overall.
However, when looking at the diminishing popularity of the franchise, the idea that it has run its course is becoming more and more prevalent. An exception was made, it seems, in regards to the tragedy that struck Diesel and the rest of the cast and crew in regards to the loss of one of their own. For this reason, many skeptics and critics alike have been turning a blind eye to what they would normally tear apart for not being up to par.
Furious 8, Diesel has revealed, will be released on April 14, 2017, and will go full-steam ahead despite the aforementioned passing of one of the main cast members. The question remains, though, as to whether the franchise will ever be the same or even worth the effort without the existence of Walker. The actor’s character was a key plot in the films, and even though it can go on without him many Fast and Furious diehards have stated that they do not wish to view another installment without him.
Given the effort cast and crew put in to film and produce Furious 7, it made sense for that movie to come to fruition despite having lost one of their core members. However, even though Vin Diesel promises Furious 8 to be the best and baddest yet, it seems clear that there may not be that much point in continuing the saga and that the effort in itself may not even be worth it in the end.
Opinion by Rebecca Grace