I had seen snippets of various films in the ‘The Fast and The Furious’ franchise before — half an hour here, 10 minutes there — but I’ll freely admit this sort of things doesn’t generally float my boat and I’ve never watched a whole film from the series before.

However, ‘The Fast and The Furious 8 (The Fate of The Furious)’ came to the Sky Premiere channel and I thought I’d give it a try.

Ye Gods it’s terrible.

Some films that are objectively bad have a certain subjective something that acts as a redeeming feature. I watched a series of George A Romero zombie films a while back — ‘Night of the Living Dead’, etc. — and objectively they’re quite poor. The continuity is terrible, the plot is suspect, the acting is mediocre at best and zombies just aren’t that good a subject to make a film about anyway (why don’t people just run away? Zombies are so slow.) But there was a certain charm to them; a je ne sais quoi that somehow made them bearable, even mildly enjoyable.

With some things, the very appallingness of them is amusing, as anyone who’s watched an episode of ‘Diagnosis Murder’ will know.

Alas ‘The Fast and The Furious 8’ doesn’t have any redeeming features. The plot is thinner than a stripper’s knickers, the dialog appears to have been written by a five year old and the acting from the two leads is woeful. I am astounded that Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson are amongst the highest earning actors in the world today because they’re more wooden than my coffee table and hammier than Porky The Pig. In fact, they are Steven Segal reincarnate.

Even the action scenes are poor. I can happily suspend belief when I’m watching a film. One has expectations depending on the individual film in question, and the willingness one has to suspend belief matches the context of the film one is watching. We all instinctively know where the line is and we know when something is unjustifiably “over the top”. ‘The Fast and The Furious 8’ is consistently the wrong side of that line and the context of the film just doesn’t justify it.

Cars do impossible things. That alone — in a film that justifies it — would not be a problem, but it just doesn’t fit here. The action scenes cash cheques the film’s plot and context simply can’t afford. The action just doesn’t grip you in the same way a good, well-produced, well-directed car chase might, for example.

If this film was to have a saving grace it would be Charlize Theron. She may not be the best actress in the world but she’s many (many, many) levels above Diesel and Johnson (as, in fact, are most of the rest of the cast), but it’s just not enough to give this film a valid redeeming feature.

Avoid this film like the plague. If you want a more enjoyable evening, sit on the sofa and smack yourself in the face with a brick instead.