FAST & FURIOUS 8
Direction: F Gary Gray
Actors: Vin Diesel, Charlize Theron
Rating: 3 / 5
They have thrilled gear-heads with car-fuelled mayhem for 16 years. The former professional street racing gang puts pedal to the metal once again for an over-amped action juggernaut that has already raked in upwards of $4 billion globally.
Staying true to its roots, Fast & Furious 8 kicks off in overdrive, with the team leader (Vin Diesel) tearing up the streets of Havana in a souped-up automobile.
The franchise’s overall theme of loyalty to friends and family is undermined by the arrival of a techno-terrorist (Charlize Theron, a welcome addition) who turns the ace wheelman to the dark side.
It’s now up to his racing buddies, including an ex-federal agent (Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson), an English badass (Jason Statham) and the African-American motormouth (Tyrese Gibson), to marshal their collective skills and ensure the survival of the human race.
Typically loud, long (two hours plus change) and abrasive, F&F 8 is a lot of, fun despite all its limitations.
One could punch enough holes in the flimsy plot for a SUV to drive through. But the computer-generated car-nage keeps the viewer engaged.
From the shores of the Cuban capital to the alleyways of Manhattan and the ice-glazed coastline of Siberia, the testosterone-driven stunts are expertly staged. It must be said that some of the CGI fails dreadfully, especially the sequence where cars (so obviously toy models) plummet from high-rise parking garages into oncoming New York City traffic.
On the other hand, the latest installment is arguably the funniest in the franchise, with abundant repartee and an adorable infant who turns into a total scene-stealer in the last act.
Old-timer Kurt Russell in the role of a bemused law-enforcement official, newcomers Scott Eastwood (Clint’s eldest son) as his rookie deputy, and the redoubtable Helen Mirren as a resourceful mother add immensely too.
Fasten your seat belts and get set for a bumpy ride.
Watch the trailer for Fast & Furious 8 here