Look, I’m a guy to give credit where credit’s due, especially when it comes to the colossal Fast & Furious franchise (2 Fast 2 Furious is one of the most misunderstood masterpieces in the history of cinema), but there’s not an awful lot I can give to its eighth instalment. Fast & Furious 8 (or The Fate of the Furious, which is its far more exciting US title) is what a bursting bubble of gasoline looks like; it’s corrosive, flammable and it stinks.
The action kicks off when team leader Dom (becoming less and less intelligible it goes along) inexplicably betrays his apparent ‘family’ for villainous hacker Cypher to help her steal a number of devices that could well start WWIII, and the action keeps on kicking off until there’s no more kicking left to be done.
Now, if you’ve been following the franchise over the last 16 years, you’ll know that family is the lifeblood of the series. Every instalment brings in at least one new member and they all have a BBQ, Coronas in hand, and it’s all fine and dandy. See, the problem with F8 is that it prioritises the concept of family over many things, including light themes like, oh, I don’t know, GENOCIDE. When all is revealed about Dom’s betrayal, it’s not only total narrative fluff, but also staggeringly idiotic and absolutely selfish. It’s difficult to talk about this situation without spoiling the plot, but heck, once you realise the direction this wild ride is going in, it’ll annoy you.
“the problem with F8 is that it prioritises the concept of family over many things, including light themes like, oh, I don’t know, GENOCIDE”
Sure, the action’s still competent, it opens with arguably the best street race of the franchise, and our very own home-grown hot potato Jason Statham gets a solid John Woo reference in the finale, but this is a ridiculous film beyond all logical and moral belief.
It exists on a plain so far beyond realism that all we’re paying for is empty explosions and a deep-seated distance from actually sadistic sequences of death and destruction. ‘Fun’.
More like this: Need For Speed (2014)