The Fast and Furious Franchise is a strange series. It has multiple entries, up to 8 now, as well as short films, theme park attractions, toys, video games and models, all from a series about people who drive cars well. Despite the financial success, it has less than a stable critical reception, with each entry’s quality changing drastically from feature to feature. Now that we have got to 8, otherwise known as The Fate of the Furious, is this one going to be one of the better ones or is it one of the bad ones.
So Domonic Toretto has turned on his family/gang of drag racers and criminals to join cyber terrorist, Cipher. To track him down Dom’s team including an ex-DSS agent and street racers must team up with a rogue special forces assassin to stop Dom and Cipher from acquiring the means to …. actually, I am not sure what they want to do, and I don’t think it is important.
I haven’t seen the other films in the Fast and Furious oeuvre, so I cannot comment on how it matches up to the other films, but as a stand alone movie it is a subpar forgettable action flick.
The visuals are cooking cutter and bland with only the bombast of a submarine and a whole load of self-driving cars to save it from being a boring blur. Most of the action set pieces are heavily reliant on explosions and the actors reacting to said explosions. It is essentially a film that was shot exclusively by a second unit.
The characters are similarly uninteresting, Game of Thrones Nathalie Emmanuel and Kurt Russell are not even trying to act, while Tyrese Gibson’s Roman Pearce only stands out because he is intensely annoying. Similarly, Helen Mirren who makes a small cameo as the mother of Jason Statham is doing a strange British accent that made me question whether she was an actual Brit.
For a movie that is just B-Roll of people driving, there were some elements that I did enjoy. There is some great chemistry between Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson’s Luke Hobbs and Jason Statham’s Deckard Shaw, both swaggering hyper-masculine chunks of muscle. Charlize Theron plays a villain so wicked and stomach clenchingly infuriating you cannot wait to see her get her comeuppance. It is her hateability as a villain that helps tremendously when it comes to the final climax. However, due to the story, she does not face the consequences of her actions and is left alone with hopes she will appear in Fast and Furious 9, which is quite frankly unforgivable.
Finally, I also found this film to be morally questionable. Right from the first shots of the movie, the women and cars are shot in similar contexts, both as objects. From there the
I was terribly bored when I was watching Fast and Furious 8, I cannot really recommend it, as it was a shallow show of flashing lights and loud noises that never really appealed to me. If you are a fan of the franchise already then feel free, but Fast and Furious 8 is a film that I will likely forget about after writing this review.
You can see Fast and Furious 8 at Odeon Cinemas now