I’m not a Fast and Furious fan – I need to be transparent about that fact. I don’t like a single film in the franchise. I honestly can’t even begrudgingly call a single entry in the eight (EIGHT!) deep series good – I just can’t do it.
So instead of spending time bitching about F8, I thought I would state five positive things about the film. Believe me, this was tough.
One – Charlize Theron
I’ve been in love with Charlize ever since her jaw dropping performance in Monster. Do not get it twisted with this woman, she is not only beautiful but she is probably the best actress of her generation.
She is also the best thing about Fast 8. Although her character is tainted with the franchise’s signature stupidness, I did buy her international villainy. Her Cipher character wouldn’t look out of place in a Bond film. I could have seen a situation where if Cipher was played by a lesser actress I would have walked out of the cinema because of cringing too much, but Theron delivers her lines with such menace that I believed she was an authentic threat. I could see her character existing in the real world.
Two – the New York set piece
The film’s New York City set piece is frankly stunning. What starts off as a bog standard car chase/ heist turns into something that could be considered as genius filmmaking. The scene has a small element of horror to it, which is crazy considering that this is a Fast and Furious film.
I mean, even the silliness at the centre of the scene doesn’t feel that stupid. We are not too far away from a world where every car could conceivably be hacked. I don’t want to ruin this scene for people but watching hacked cars chase their target is crazy, but to see what they did to the ones in the car park? Jaw dropping.
Three – Tyrese Gibson
I can’t get over how talented this chap is – it makes me sick. Anyway, he was the source of many of my genuine laughs throughout this movie.
Four – Helen Mirren
Dame Mirren only appears in a handful of scenes but they are enough to remind you to put respeck on her name. She once again proves that she is a national treasure.
Five – The film’s self awareness
This film knows its audience. I don’t think it exists to win over skeptical folks such as myself and it’s not out here to win awards. This franchise is now in the money making cruise control mode that The Transformers franchise is in. It has a formula and it will stick to it until the franchise stops printing money. And that isn’t going to be anytime soon. My cinema was packed with people of all ages, laughing their ass off. This film is made for them.
Despite the above, The Fate of the Furious is not a good film – not by a long shot. Although I stayed in my seat throughout the running time, there were periods where I wanted to get up and leave.
What is the point of these films? I still don’t know the answer to that question and maybe I should stop trying to hunt it down.