The eighth (yes, EIGHTH) installment of the Fast & Furious series wasn’t as much a drag as the series itself. The action-packed franchise is designed to deliver on its promise. But the question is, how much do we expect from a Fast & Furious movie anyway?
The only new addition to the cast, Charlize Theron and her evil character ‘Cipher’, did not meet my expectations and was a tad bit disappointing. Jason Statham, on the other hand, was brought back into the crew and forced to work with Hobbs which added some fuel to the fire. The absence of Paul Walker was immensely missed along with the smoothness he brings to his character ‘Ryan’.
As the Plot Thickens
When it comes to the plot, to be honest, they did have a lot going on. Like the more recent movies in the series, it wasn’t just about cars and racing. Without revealing too much, the movie is about Dom turning rogue as suggested in the previews. The overall subject stayed in line with the series – Cars & Family while the plot revolved around the currently popular theme of hacking and security.
The movie was a bit disappointing to those waiting for something different to happen. As a die-hard Fast & Furious fan myself, I think that’s a lost cause. The template still hasn’t changed. Cheesy dialogues at tense moments with a hint of comedy sprayed here and there, coupled with tons of crashes and unrealistic action scenes. Even though pieces of the plot were a bit far-fetched at times, they still don’t compare to cars jumping from one 80-story building to another.
An Action-Packed Adventure
The action sequences were quite commendable and were nothing short of what is expected from Gary Scott Thompson. The opening credits lead into quite a thrilling ‘Cuban Mile‘ race with Dom driving a flaming 1951 Chevvy Fleetline which is soon followed by a hot pursuit in Russia with Tez using a massive bulldozer to smash through a dozen cars before getting away. The New York scene where nearly 300 cars were supposedly driven autonomously via a remote computer was cool to watch as long as you don’t care about the specifics. To remind the audience that this is a Fast & Furious movie, there is the customary scene of a car driving into the ramp of a moving plane on the runway. If you choose to ignore all the hacking jargons (which sounded made up) and everything you know about technology, these scenes were directed pretty well.
Without Paul, the emotional burden of the film relied entirely on Vin Diesel’s shoulders, which was a bit hard to digest. There has been some talk about his kiss with Letty, though I didn’t really find anything odd about it. The good part is that you don’t get an overdose of the emotions except maybe in the first few minutes.
I think it’s a good one to watch if you are a FF fan and even if you aren’t. It is so not close to being the best film within the franchise and I really hope they don’t make another one as they are clearly running out of ideas. If you have been patient enough to watch the first seven movies, I really don’t think it would hurt to watch another one.