Whatever the case, the lack of interaction is doing real damage to the already-fragile narrative universe. With the absence of Paul Walker, Fate of the Furious is missing that central friendship between its leads that made the other entries hum in spite of their flaws. Fate should have a moment where Hobbs and Dom bury the hatchet -- or at least share a meaningful fist-bump -- but the egos of the two performers delay this catharsis. If the family can't break bread together, are they really family?
This speculation was given even more firepower over the weekend when The Wrap reported that, according to insiders, Diesel used his muscle as a producer on the series to squash a post-credits "tag" scene that focused on The Rock and Jason Statham's characters, who share some of the movie's strongest scenes. "They had early screenings where Johnson and Statham popped so much on-screen together that they were looking at doing a spinoff," says the unnamed source in the article. But apparently they filmed the scene without Diesel's knowledge, and the XXX star was not pleased. So, instead of a post-credits scene that sets up future sequels -- or a spinoff -- the movie ends on a slightly muted, confused note.