Writer: Chris Morgan (Screenplay) Gary Scott Thompson (Characters)
Starring: Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Charlize Theron, Jason Statham, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris, Kurt Russell, Nathalie Emmanuel, Elsa Pataky, Kristofer Hivju, Helen Mirren, Scott Eastwood
Plot: When a mysterious woman seduces Dom into the world of terrorism and a betrayal of those closest to him, the crew face trials that will test them as never before.
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Verdict: Watchable Fun
Story: Fast & Furious 8 starts as Dom (Diesel) and Letty (Rodriguez) travelling through Cuba finding themselves in a new location for a street race. Making new friends and preparing for the next stage of their lives, Dom finds himself approached by a mysterious woman Cipher (Theron) telling him they have crossed paths and she wants him to work for her giving him no choice.
Hobbs (Johnson) gets his latest off the record mission and calls upon Dom and the team, Letty, Roman (Gibson), Tej (Ludacris) and Ramsey (Emmanuel) to get the job done. With the mission complete and escape assured Dom turns rogue on his team leaving Hobbs to be captured and locked up.
Mr Nobody (Russell) and his latest rookie Little Nobody (Eastwood) offer Hobbs an easy way out but Hobbs refuses finding himself needing to share a prison with Deckard Shaw (Statham), but Mr Nobody has a plan to break them both out to create a new team to track down Dom and learn why he is working with cyber terrorist Cipher.
Thoughts on Fast & Furious 8
Characters – Dom the man who lives for his family turns on them for what seems like an unknown reason but it soon becomes clear why, he tries to keep his morals but finds himself being pushed to the limits. Hobbs becomes the leader of the team, replacing Dom if you like as they hunt down Dom, he is all intensity and being forced to work with Deckard means we get plenty of insults between the two. Deckard joins the team to get his own revenge on the person truly behind what happened to Owen, he is easily the most skilled within the team both in combat and behind the wheel, making him a great addition and one that works for the film. Letty is by far the strongest character in this film, she never gives up on Dom, knowing there must be a reason behind everything, we also see her at her strongest in combat. Cipher is a great villain, emotionless, bigger threat and ruthless when pushed, that is until the final act and she just loses control which does disappoint. Mr Nobody is good once again, not giving too much away about who he works for but being there to fill in all the blanks. Little Nobody is clearly added to the franchise to offer us a replacement to Brian while Roman and Tej continue their chemistry. Ramsey is the biggest disappointment when it comes to character, I feel there is a lot more potential in her character but all we see is a passenger who does the same as Tej.
Performance – This is solely about what I think of the performance not the character. I felt Vin Diesel did lack the range for the motivation behind his character, he just looked sulky for the most part and continues to show he hasn’t been improving on the levels Johnson and Statham have. Talking Johnson, he is good, this isn’t his best outing in the film but he does the job well. Statham looks like he is enjoying this franchise a lot, almost like he has found his own new franchise for the Expendables. Rodriguez gives us what I think is her best performance in the franchise to date. Theron is good in the lead villain role. Eastwood is good but you feel he will always get compared to Paul Walker. The rest of the cast all have fun in the film without being their best performances in the franchise.
Story – The story does work for the franchise, in fact it does feel like the newest season of your favourite TV where the previous bad guys are good and the good guys have gone bad. Yes, this does sound almost negative but we all knew the stories couldn’t maintain the levels from the previous outings. The darker tone comes through in places but the jokes do seem to miss at times. I do also think the picky fans will be able to pick holes from within the film.
Action/Crime/Thriller – The action is big like you would expect but truly I found the scenes shot slightly uncomfortably, the crime side of the story is what you would also come to expect, let’s get the weapon of mass destruction before the villain uses it.
Settings – We continue to be placed in settings which are designed to add to the bigger picture, Cuba, Berlin, New York and Russia, they are all fine and used creatively for the action.
Final Thoughts – I do have a few issues with parts of this film, I didn’t like how the action sequences were shot and I feel there is a lot of cloak and dagger attempts at twists to complete the story. I also feel some of the characters seem less relevant and small moments from the previous films have been forgotten. When it comes to mindless action you can’t go wrong here though.
Overall: This does what you expect, it isn’t great, it is fun though.