Reviews: hit the gas time – Fast & Furious 8
The Fast and the Furious 8,
Directed by F. Gary Gray,
Starring Vin Diesel, Luke Evans, Dwayne Johnson, Charlize Theron, Jason Statham, Michelle Rodriguez
The next instalment in the franchise that just won’t stop hitting the Nitro. This time Dom and Letty are on their Honeymoon when a mysterious woman ‘Cipher’ approaches Dom. Something is shown to him. When a call comes in from Hobbs it leads to Dom betraying the adopted outlaw family that he holds so dear. This is just the first step in a series of events that lead them down a darker path than ever before.
There is a soft spot in me for these films. I know nothing about cars or tight T-shirts, so don’t ask me to explain it to you. I do like an action film that I don’t have to think about too much, and can just melt away the problems in life. Each one of these films gets more silly, more insane, and more incredible stunts. You finish each film with the one thought, and this happens over and over again, how are they going to top this one? It does seem impossible each time you leave a Fast movie that they could do anything to top the previous one. Here we are though, at number 8, now at the same level as Police Academy movies, if I remember right.
This time we’re totally without Paul Walker, though his character is mentioned, and if I’m honest you don’t feel the loss of Bryan. Joining the remaining members of the cast are Scott Eastwood as a by the book company man, working for Kurt Russell’s character. Also we have Charlize Theron as the villain Cipher, I can’t tell you exactly why she is on the road that she is on, she does explain her end game, but it seems to be just a tit for tat against any government that abuses its power (no shortage of those!). Theron uses a whispering technique through the whole film that becomes very irritating during long moments of her talking. She’s a better actress than that. Then we have Helen Mirren, that’s right folks, The Queen herself is playing some form of Cockney Gangster. She’s the Mother of Luke Evans and Jason Statham.
Jason Statham is the best thing about this film. His performance as the villain from the last film is just great, and his chemistry with The Rock, or Dwayne Johnson as he tends to go by now, is a delight. However it’s the fight scene on the plane later in the film that just shows that the personality of Statham is going to endure. The man can throw down with the best of them, and also deliver some great comic one-liners as he is doing this. Dwayne Johnson looks as though he’s getting bigger with every movie he makes, and at some point he’s going to reach critical mass, once again his steady performance as Hobbs is the moral compass of the film.
The film pins most of its hopes on the stunts, as you’d expect, and Director F. Gary Gray seems to borrow from the Michael Bay book of direction. I’ll be honest with you here and tell you that the action scenes, at least those featuring the car chases, felt like Bay was standing behind the camera. It doesn’t take away from what this film is, just an insane adventure ride in a comfortable chair. By that I mean that we know these characters, we know where they are going and what they are going to do. I will give Fast 8 more credit though as it has a harder, darker edge than some of the previous instalments in the series. The twist of why Dom turns against his family is a perfect reason for the betrayal.
Where will they go next? Who knows! All I can say is that I’ll be there with my popcorn, drink, and my expectations of my action/adventure quota being met for the month in a single visit to the cinema!