Who knew I’d enjoy this quite so much! I must admit, I saw the trailer for Fast & Furious 8 before a screening of Get Out and rolled my eyes. I mean how many ways can you film speeding cars? No, I’m not a fan of car chase scenes. Yes, I’m absolutely okay with sexist comments about girls not getting it being applied here. But I’ve always hated films which rely heavily on cars speeding unnecessarily through the streets, knocking over people, water cans and strategically placed watermelons! They’re predictable, boring and obvious plot fillers. Enter 2001’s Fast & Furious, call a car chase a race and we’re in a different sort of business.
The synopsis: With Dom and Letty married, Brian and Mia retired and the rest of the crew exonerated, the globe-trotting team has found some semblance of a normal life. They soon face an unexpected challenge when a mysterious woman named Cipher forces Dom to betray them all. Now, they must unite to bring home the man who made them a family and stop Cipher from unleashing chaos.
If you know the franchise, alongside Dom (Vin Diesel) and Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) we have Roman (Tyrese), Hobbs (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson); Tej Parker (Chris “Ludacris” Bridges) and new addition to the crew, our very own British Blacklister Game of Thrones star Nathalie Emmanuel as ‘Ramsey. Making a return appearance is Jason Statham as Deckard and Kurt Russell as Mr. Nobody.
From the start of the film we’re treated to what Fast and Furious does best, a wicked car chase through the streets of Havana as Dom races to save his cousin from a dodgy debt. The end result, securing him some new loyal friends in the process. But as the synopsis alludes, Dom’s loyalty to his crew is challenged when Charlize Theron pops up as the infamous terrorist, Cipher who sets Dom a challenge that he can’t get out of. With no explanation to his ‘family’ especially new wife Letty, Dom goes rogue.
At the request of Mr. Nobody and his new sidekick Little Nobody played by Luke Evans, the team must track down Dom and Cipher before they get their hands on the world destroying hacking gizmo, ‘God’s Eye’ which by the way was created by Ramsey (get that backstory in Fast & Furious 7). What we’re then delivered are some amazing speeding car scenes (I know… but this time I was fully engaged) as nonsensical as it all is… I mean, the chase through New York is fantastical, if not a little foreboding about the advancement of auto-driving cars. But somehow you forget all common sense and the seemingly inhuman survival skills of the team and get fully behind them. We also get treated to fancy schmancy sports cars, a tank, oh AND a submarine. Travel costs be damned the Fast & Furious family cross Cuba, New York and Iceland with no thought.
Carrying bad feelings from Fast & Furious 7 and being forced to work together on the same side this time around, the banter between Hobbs (Johnson) and Deckard (Statham) lifts the film up. Johnson and Statham are good on screen together. I’ll assume Statham will become a permanent part of the crew. Likewise, Tej (Ludacris) and Roman’s (Tyrese) bickering for the attention of Ramsey also entertains. Although at times Roman’s ignorance can be a little grating, but he serves good purpose when teasing Little Nobody (Evans).
Without giving too much away. Fast & Furious 8 is exactly what you expect. The reason why Dom went AWOL will be an OMG moment for fans of the franchise. The expansion of the Fast and Furious family is welcomed, especially after the loss of Paul Walker. New additions Little Nobody and Deckard make sense. There’s also a great cameo from Dame Helen Mirren, who does turns up doing her best Peggy Mitchell.
Oh and props to Get Out. There’s a moment when Cipher says, “no, no, no, no, no”… Shout out Betty Gabriel!
Fast and Furious 8: Fate of the Furious is in UK cinemas now!