Fast & Furious 8, The Fate of The Furious (2017)
Directed by: F. Gary Gray
Written by: Chris Morgan
Starring: Charlize Theron, Chris 'Ludacris' Bridges, Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Kurt Russell, Michelle Rodriguez, Nathalie Emanuelle, Scott Eastwood, Tyrese Gibson, Vin Diesel
Almost beyond parody, we have an eighth Fast and Furious movie. This terrible franchise obviously hasn’t been skipping leg day, as astoundingly, it seems to just keep going. Fast and Furious has always been a ridiculously inconsistent series, with only a couple of them being remotely entertaining. So is it even worth seeing how Dom Toretto can turn his back on family? My God, yes.
First things first, leave your brain at the door. Trying to find logic in some of the goings on in the film is unnecessary. There isn’t any. Everything that happens is because why not? After turning heel and betraying his “family”, Vin Diesel’s Dom is in bed with the bad guys, resulting in Kurt Russell’s Mr Nobody, recruiting the rest of Dom’s street racing, computer hacking, all action team, along with The Rock and the previous films nemesis, Jason Statham, with the latter, stealing every scene he’s in. Furious 7 saw his character almost mute, but here he’s armed to the teeth with cocky charm and one liners, as well as some of the better fight scenes of the film, too. The Rock, also comes loaded with smart quips and ridiculously big muscles. Remember the 80’s heyday of muscle man films, where they’d lift a car with one hand, or throw a man like he’s a stone picked up off the floor? Fast and Furious is bringing that back with manic glee. The Rock picking up people and pinning them horizontally to the wall by their throat, or simply using a concrete wall in lieu of a punchbag, is reminiscent of the likes of Commando, and it only adds to the silly fun. Charlize Theron is ice cold as the techno-terrorist Cipher, but only feels necessary in order to keep things moving.
The film starts as it means to go on, and is exactly as it says on the tin. The action comes thick and fast, rarely letting up for its two hour plus running time, with ridiculous set pieces and fantastic stunts, overshadowing all that has come before it. The cast all have their moments to shine, including Scott Eastwood, who’s Kurt Russell’s number two, but ends up joining in with the hi-octane action. The Rock and Statham make a great double act (and if rumours are true, we can expect more of these two, as they’re getting their own spin-off, apparently). Ignore the technicalities of the plot and just go with it. It’s big, dumb, and full of fun, and much better than a Fast and Furious film ever deserves to be. How things have gone from an undercover cop infiltrating a street racing gang, to cars fighting a nuclear submarine is bit of a head scratcher, but as is the way with this film, just go with it. Don’t worry about having seen the others, references to previous films are present, but it’s not relevant to what’s going on. And given the history of half the characters in it, it really is a moot point. Sit back, buckle up and enjoy the ride.