Fast and Furious 8 review, Paul Heath.
The latest film in The Fast and Furious franchise – which started all of the way back in 2001 (if can you believe that) sees Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) return with the rest of the crew for another high-octane, fast-paced big-budget adventure.
We pick up the story in present day Cuba where Dom is retreating on honeymoon with new wife Letty (Michelle Rodriguez). Following an impromptu street race through the streets of Havana at the very start of the film, we see Dom introduced to new villain Cipher (Charlize Theron), a nasty piece of work who does something very, very dark to the former street racer. Blackmailing him with something truly horrific, which we won’t reveal here, Cipher brings Dom back into his former life of crime, and tasks him with stealing a couple of massive weapons of mass destruction so that she can use them to bribe some people higher up the food chain. Mr. Nobody, Kurt Russell’s returning character from episode 7, gets wind of this and hires the only group of people who are able to track the now-rogue Dom and Cipher, and end their dastardly plans. Those people are Dom’s ‘family’ – Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson), Roman (Tyrese Gibson), Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel) and Tej (Chris ‘Ludacris’ Bridges). They must team with Furious 7‘s chief bad guy Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham), the only man who can seemingly help to locate Cipher to put an end to heir heinous plan to end the world.
Needless to say, Fast and Furious 8 is so much fun to watch from beginning to the very end. Littered with surprises that includes a wonderful new character played by Helen Mirren, as well as many unmentionable plot points, this new film also has huge action sequence after huge action sequence, every single cent of its sure-to-be-huge production budget blasted onto the cinema screen. Sure, there are many parts of the film which have you questioning it – like the plausibility of Hobbs and co. uniting with Shaw in the first place, or Dwayne Johnson single-handedly redirecting a nine-ton missile with his bare hands (!), but the true fact of the matter is that none of that matters. This is pure popcorn fun and nothing more.
Dwayne Johnson’s Hobbs is, once again a true highlight of the film, the former special agent introduced in this movie via his kids’ pressured soccer game which he is coaching, but there’s also Jason Statham as Shaw who, quite literally, steals the show with one of the most entertaining climactic fights scenes the British actor has even been involved in. Diesel is fine as Dominic Toretto, of course, but you have to tip your hat to him more as a producer here, as the man has truly delivered a motion picture not only worthy of the continuing franchise, but one that has all of the elements present that the fans really want. Big action sequences, witty banter, muscle-flexing heroism, constant surprises, character reprisals and tons of heart.
Oscar season starts here – well, clearly not, but this is probably the most fun you’d have had in the cinema for quite some time.
Fast and Furious 8 review, April 2017.
Fast and Furious 8 is released in UK cinemas on April 12th, 2017.