The Fate of the Furious is set to race its way into theaters next month and, to get some early buzz going, Vin Diesel just surprised a bunch of critics with a screening of the movie. The surprise screening took place during CinemaCon, which is currently going on in Las Vegas, and the initial reactions are pouring in on social media. The reactions have been incredibly positive, teasing another action-packed, emotional and insane entry in the franchise.
There have been a few surprise screenings at CinemaCon so far this year, but The Fate of the Furious seems to be the buzziest and most satisfying movie so far. That largely seems to be because director F. Gary Gray and the cast delivered exactly what everyone is expecting. This is a franchise that seems to understand what it is and Universal has really been able to capitalize on that. Here is what /Film's Peter Sciretta had to say about it, which seems to be representative of what most of the critics and industry professionals in attendance felt about it.
"The Fate of the Furious takes the ridiculousness of the franchise to a whole new level, yet feels very different. Should be a gigantic hit."
Even if these reactions had been less positive, it still seemed very likely that the eighth entry in The Fast and the Furious franchise would be a big hit. Furious 7 made a staggering $1.51 billion worldwide, with the seven movies in the series bringing in a grand total of $3.89 billion to date. Early tracking has The Fate of the Furious pegged between $110-$120 million opening weekend, but this positive buzz could push that number up a bit. Here is the official synopsis for The Fate of the Furious.
"Now that Dom and Letty are on their honeymoon and Brian and Mia have retired from the game and the rest of the crew has been exonerated the globetrotting team has found a semblance of a normal life. But when a mysterious woman (Charlize Theron) seduces Dom into the world of crime he can't seem to escape and a betrayal of those closest to him, they will face trials that will test them as never before. From the shores of Cuba and the streets of New York City to the icy plains off the arctic Barents Sea, our elite force will crisscross the globe to stop an anarchist from unleashing chaos on the world's stage...and to bring home the man who made them a family."
One interesting thing to note is that Collider's Steve Weintraub said that he didn't recall seeing any scenes with Vin Diesel and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson together in the movie. As you may recall, the two stars reportedly had some beef while making the movie, and it looks like they haven't really settled it. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the two are having to avoid one another on the press tour for The Fate of the Furious. So, don't expect to see another epic fight scene between Dom and Hobbs in this movie.
"not sure I saw even one shot in Fate of the Furious with @TheRock & Vin Diesel together. Take that how you will."
The cast for The Fate of the Furious includes returning stars Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Chris "Ludacris" Bridges, Nathalie Emmanuel, Elsa Pataky and Kurt Russell. In addition to winner Charlize Theron, the movie will introduce series newcomers Scott Eastwood and Oscar winner Helen Mirren. The movie is directed by F. Gary Gray, who most recently directed Straight Outta Compton. You can check out all of the early reactions to the movie for yourself below including one from our own reporter on the scene.