Despite going out on a bittersweet note that made grown men cry and seemed to wrap up the insane franchise perfectly, Vin Diesel and family are back.
At this point, you either love the direction the Fast and Furious movies have gone, or you hate them. They are by no conventional measure “good films.” But what they are is insanely fast and furiously entertaining. And F8 is the most ridiculous and most entertaining yet.
The eight film in this mega franchise has more in common with comic book action heroes and the Mission Impossible movies than the small crime drama centered around street racing that started the whole thing. Preventing world war three by taking down an elite hacker, Cipher (Charlize Theron), who can control a city’s car population with the touch of a button is the name of the game this time. And Cipher’s got the invincible Dom (Vin Diesel) by her side to make sure her plan comes to fruition. Don’t worry, there’s a good reason for him to betray his family and the world like this.
With Dom on the sidelines as a villain’s henchman, this movie turns into the Hobbs show. And seeing as how Dwayne Johnson is pretty much the singular most compelling entity on screen at the moment, that’s a good thing. Throw in an over the top Cockney dose of Jason Statham plus a few surprises, and things are ready to get amazing. Johnson and Statham are, in fact, the real heart and soul of this movie, trading barbs like a pair of muscular demogorgans. What, too soon? It’s not all wordplay though, together they prove themselves to be two of the most effective action stars today. In fact, the prisonbreak scene early on, featuring the two of them, makes me wish I could see them star in the remake of The Raid. No disrespect to that action masterpiece.
The transformation of this franchise into a souped up action soap opera that defies logic is now complete with this entry, and it couldn’t be better off for it. Faces from the past, surprising revelations, and Family (of all kinds) intertwines into a story so outlandish you just have to go with it. Stunts so impossible you just have to grin. Moments so contrived you just have to applaud.
Come on, you and I both know that this was not going to be a good movie. But what it is, is a fantastically entertaining bombastic experience that dips into some dark places, isn’t afraid to be ridiculous, expands the Toretto mythology, and is just plain bonkers. It’s ludicrous (no pun intended) in the best way possible and I enjoyed the heck out of it. Sometimes you just need something that lets you check your brain at the door and sit back for some good old movie magic. Bring on Furious 9.
Mrs. Hamster did not screen this film
Brother Hamster says:
“It’s loud, it’s dumb, and it’s a lot of fun. Will somebody please shoot the tires though?!?”
My rating: Five out of five hats
The Fate of the Furious roars speeds drives races into 4,311 theaters, including IMAX 2D, April 14