There is no Fate of the Furious. It doesn’t exist in my head or this realm, and anyone who pays to see it this weekend is a stupid animal, and the 65% of Rotten Tomato critics who gave it a left-handed, “what the hell” pass can never be forgiven.

Posted on 12.12.16: “The fact that I adore grimly serious fast-car movies means that I have no choice but to loathe the Fast and Furious franchise, and to condemn F. Gary Gray‘s The Fate of the Furious (Universal, 4.14.17) sight unseen. Because this franchise has steadfastly refused to invest in any semblance of road reality, and has thereby locked me out of the action time and again.

“Because I really love that low-key Steve McQueen machismo thing. I worshipped the driving sequences in Nicholas Winding Refn‘s Drive. Those screeching, howling tires and clouds of smelly white smoke in their wake. The kind we can really believe in. Hey, guys? McQueen is looking down from heaven, and he thinks you’re all pathetic. Particularly Diesel and Johnson.”

Posted on 4.2.15 (and the dates don’t matter because the Furious franchise is a steady sewage stream): “When a big, stupid, assaultive franchise flick is about to open and break the box-office, as is the case with [fill in the Furious blank], most critics play it smart by ‘reviewing’ with a light touch. Like smirking bullfighters, they toy with the beast rather than plunge a lance. ‘What’s the point of actually taking this one on?,’ they seem to be saying. ‘A pan will just make me and my newspaper or website look old-fogeyish and out of touch with the megaplexers.’

“And what perverse fun it is, when you think about it, to give a pass to a corporate muscle-car movie that is totally and in fact purposefully opposed to the organic, real-world excitement of a classic fast-car flick like Bullitt or Gone in Sixty Seconds or Drive.”