Fast and Furious 8 is an all-out adrenaline ride, that you're sure to enjoy if you're a fan of the franchise. Perhaps not as well-scripted as movies 6 and 7, F8 falls back on failsafes like great car chases, spectacular stunts that manage to stay within the laws of physics and expand old plotlines fairly decently.
If you've watched the trailer of F8 (No, I'm not going to type the XXL-sized name of the movie out each time) the one question that's probably on your mind is what it took for Dominic Toretto to turn on his crew. His family, as he's kept reminding us for the most part of 16 years and 7 previous movies. Halfway through, you'll get your answer. And while it's not as satisfying as I'd have liked personally, it's sufficient enough for a movie with the general acumen that the FF movies showcase.
Also, I'm not telling you what it is. Too much of a spoiler that would be.
Now don't be a baby about it and bawl your heart out. Shush and go watch it on screen.
The movie opens in Cuba, where Dom (Vin Diesel) and Lettie are vacationing. There's an amazeballs car race where Dom drives a beat up jalopy-like car against a better-oiled muscle car. In true Fast and Furious fashion, there are twists and turns and saboteurs, but in the end, Dom trumps all. What's fascinating is that when the jalopy's engine catches fire, you'd think the race is over, but no, what does Dom do? He turns the car around so the fumes blow away from his face and he wins it. backwards. Woot woot, right?
This sequence is very symbolic of how the movie runs.
After Dom is cajoled (for that itty bitty reason that we shall not reveal) into running high-profile heists for an amazingly lithe and sexy Charlize Theron, who plays cyber-terrorist Cipher, there are a series of face-offs between the team and Dom. As each car-chase and gun-fight get closer to Dom being captured, he does what he does best, guns the motor, switches the car around and gets away.
What I like about this series of will-they-catch-the-Dom sequences is that the emotional quotient, which could have made things exceptionally sappy, are kept to a bare minimum. There's also very little talking. A real blessing because the scriptwriters felt the need to include lines such as "If I have to ask you to move again it'll be to your corpse."
Charlize Theron does a great job as the cold, manipulative know-all hacker. It's a pity that her overall mission in life is so lame that it feels like they picked them out of three random Bond movies - Nuclear Russian sub, nuclear codes from Defence Minster and EMP laser cannon. The novelty is killer. Not.
F8 is also accentuated by moments of great mirth — between the steroid-laced bromance of Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson and Jason Statham and the constant quips by Roman Pearce, who's been a franchise regular since the second movie. With all of them, Kurt Russell included, coming together, it's almost easy to skip over the fact that Paul Walker is absent.
I go into every FF movie wondering what new car gimmick they're going to pull out of the bag and also when they're eventually going to run out of crazy ideas. I sort of wondered if today would be that day. Between manic self-driven cars careening around New York and sportscars that scream across the Russian ice cap, today was most certainly not that day.
Fast and Furious 8
Director: F Gary Gray
Cast: Vin Diesel, Jason Statham, Dwayne Johnson, Kurt Russell