The Fate of the Furious (AKA Fast & Furious 8) – Movie Trailer Review
Playing major theatres starting in April 2017. Unrated but probably worth an R rating because of all the Corona product placement. Also because only real men can handle Paul Walkers death.
Only in the world of movies, or maybe rap music videos can you imagine a scenario where you have to turn to the man who killed your best friend to take on a double-crossing traitor.
That’s exactly the scene set in the newest iteration of the ‘Fast and the Furious’ franchise, a series of deeply-interconnected character stories wedged between car commercials and Corona product placements. This time around, the plot designed to distract you from the perfectly detailed new cars and surprisingly reliable old cars involves the group’s leader, Dom Toretto (played by Vin Diesel) converting to the dark side and screwing over all his friends to impress his high school crush, Furiosa, played by Charlize Theron. It’s a age-old story really, I think it happened to all our bros back in the day.
That means the crew, which includes our old friends Roman (played by Tyrese Gibson) Tej (Ludacris), Mia (Jordana Brewster) and Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) are joined by bad ass Hobbs (played by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson) and former murdering bad guy Deckard Shaw (played by Jason Statham.)
That last character is the latest interesting wrinkle that contrasts the treachery of Dom, as devout followers of the franchise will note that Shaw was retconned into the series as having killed former good guy and fan favorite Han. But hey, now all is cool because it’s a new movie and there’s already been seven of them, so it’s time to do something unexpected right?
Here’s what is completely expected though – cars, and lots of them. The trailer starts with the crew conducting some kind of heist when the leader, Dom decides to change his loyalty. He does this by scrapping Hobbs’ huge-ass Jeep with his tiny car. Hobbs truck rolls at least three times, so perhaps the heist took place on the moon where such physics may be possible.
As Hobbs goes to jail, probably for blinding an aircraft by using his shiny biceps, we’re given a very basic introduction of Dom’s new squeeze. An unknown guy in a suit, played by Kurt Russell (who you remember from John Carpenter’s ‘The Thing’) describes her as the type to get into your head, which in Furious-land means she’s got a booty that just don’t quit. Anyways, he lets the Rock/Hobbs out of jail and convinces the old bad guy Statham-Shaw to join forces with the leaderless crew. Oh and he gives them unlimited resources to find their old friend Dom, and that means there’s a fuck-ton of cool cars. Is anyone even paying attention to the plot at this point?
Now when it comes to finding someone and ending up in the same location as them, most cars are up to the task, as long as you’re not driving on ice. Well shit, the crew finds themselves on a giant ice bed racing their sports cars on the tractionless surface and looking helpless. Oh and a nuclear submarine joins the action, because the last movie had a huge cargo plane and they had to up the ante somehow. Rumor has it the next movie will have Voltron.
Needless to say, there’s copious amounts of explosions (like those ones that just have to be done in slow motion) there’s brain dead banter (“we’re going to need a bigger truck” in response to the nuclear submarine chasing the heroes) and lots of nonsensical physics ( a single muscle car wins a tug of war against at least four other cars).
Does the movie make sense? Hell no, but it doesn’t have to because we’re family now. Through seven iterations of the Fast and the Furious movies, we have shown that we can watch literally anything. We saw a guy gain a criminal’s trust just by racing his car against him. We saw modified cars drive underneath 18-wheels without being destroyed. We saw the Rock and Vin Diesel settle their differences with a fist fight rather than a talent show. Literally anything could happen — an alien invasion could begin and the only way to stop it is to involve these guys — and we’d believe it. Hell, Doc Brown could show up in a DeLorean and we’d be okay with it.
What do I think? If you’ve made it this far and watched the trailer or any of the last movies then you know what you’re getting into. If you like cars, explosions, crappy banter, glistening biceps or weird plot twists where the heroes become the villains, then you’re going to love this. However, if you’re still angry that they didn’t call this movie F8 of the Furious (in reference to it being the eighth movie) then you should follow through on that threat of not watching the full movie. I give it 967 gear changes out of 1,000.