MAD MAX FURY ROAD

Mad Max: Fury Road

The day ending in Y is really the only reason you need to revisit Furiosa and Friends joyriding through the wasteland, but it’s especially ripe for a double feature with F8. Theron channeled grief and grease and frustration to mold Furiosa into a franchise-fitting anti-hero, which makes her turn as a dreadlock-twirling villain in The Fate of the Furious seem like sweet perfection. The subtext of loyalty to an adopted family can’t be ignored, particularly when Splendid (Rosie Huntington-Whiteley) is so far along in her pregnancy during the Five Wives’ escape. It may also be the grand culmination of Theron’s dual-hatted career as a prestige dramatic actress and a fierce, scene-chewing action star.

belly

Belly

Say what you will about its paper thin crime plot, Belly is stylish as neon hell. The Hype Williams film also feels like a precursor to the Fast franchise, blending noir visuals, rappers-turned-actors, and aggressive action into something far more dangerous than The Fast and the Furious (which was rated PG-13). Where Fast‘s “racing crew as high-speed thieves” always felt like something out of a Bond flick, Belly is earthbound, confronting the lives of two criminals, Bundy (DMX) and Sin (Nas), as they live and die by the sword.

MUPPETS MOST WANTED

Muppets Most Wanted

Also the 8th movie in a global franchise. Also about a crew on a mission to save the world. Also featuring an evil version of their family’s fearless leader and a main character named Dominic. I’m not saying that F8 and Muppets Most Wanted are the same movie, but maybe they would be if The Rock hosted a delightful talent show while in prison. After the adrenaline wears off, it’s nice to chill out with something that sends up the globe-trotting and the spectacle. Plus, playing these films back-to-back may also make you wonder why Danny Trejo isn’t in the Fast and the Furious universe.

The Fate of the Furious

The Mix

The Fast and the Furious has gotten to a point where the insanity of the concept is built into the expectation. Like promoting a Radio Shack stockboy to Jason Bourne, we’re a million miles from Walker dude bro-ing it undercover to catch the crew scamming electronics. It’s rare to find franchises that have survived long enough to have an eighth movie (especially outside of horror), but it’s even more rare to find a franchise that essentially tanked after its third entry (the traditional trilogy money-milking studio tradition) to emerge on the other side with a steroidal boost. Even crazier? It’s not stopping here. So after bearing witness to the fresh lunacy of F8, we’ll all be left wondering how they can top it.

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