AHHHHHHHH! The eighth installment of Fast and Furious proves yet again that this franchise is the best at delivering exactly what their fans want. No experimentation into depth, no trying new things — uh uh — Furious will always be grandiose explosions, cheesy lines about family, and wordplay on “one last ride” that will by no means be the last ride as long as we’ve yet to speed through the rain forest, Middle Earth, or space. We got the ocean now though! And you best believe we called that shit. (See the Official Fast and Furious drinking game and drink responsibly or Furious cliches will most definitely kill you.)
In its first complete film after the passing of Paul Walker, Furious 8, officially titled Fate of the Furious, takes advantage of the broad cast it’s developed since the series gradually developed to include A-list names like Jason Statham and the highest-paid actor in Hollywood, Dwayne Johnson. But of course they were unsatisfied, because Furious’ best asset is its reckless ambition to exaggerate everything to its max, so Fate of the Furious signed two more big names in Charlize Theron and, more unexpectedly, Helen Mirren. Yes, Academy Award Best Actress-winning Charlize Theron, and yes, Academy Award Best Actress-winning Helen Mirren. Those actresses. Acting alongside Tyrese and Ludacris. This is Furious, dammit, anything is possible!
And look at this trailer! Look at it! One of my favorite things about Furious is the film’s unabashed murder of literally countless unnamed people yet making the squad completely unaccountable as heroes, and they start murdering extras in like the first 5 seconds! The only thing that could’ve made it better is if soft music started playing a la Face/Off‘s “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” gunfight with Miley Cyrus singing about how she came in like a wrecking ball.
And of course they had to find a reason to turn enemies into friends — if you’ve been paying attention, that’s pretty much a staple theme of the series. Dominic versus Brian turns into Dominic plus Brian! Dominic and Brian versus Hobbs turns into Dominic and Brian plus Hobbs! Dominic plus Letty turns into Dominic versus Letty turns back into Dominic plus Letty turns back into Dominic versus Letty! It’s fucking brilliant! And you can tell they saw season 2 of Daredevil and were like, how about we do that Frank Castle prison scene… except — wait for it — we turn The Rock and Jason Statham against each other! Hobbs versus Ian Shaw turns into Hobbs plus Ian Shaw! In prison!
Obviously the unspoken “twist” teased in the trailer is why in the world Dominic would turn on his family, but really, nobody cares. Let me tell you right now — if you came here for logic or thoughtful intrigue, you came to the absolute wrong place. Furious are not real movies, they’re the intellectual equivalent of a dubstep beat drop and the film equivalent of a wet dream you wouldn’t question. It couldn’t matter less why Dominic turned on the team, the plot only matters as a fanboy’s thought experiment of “who would win if so-and-so fought so-and-so.” It could be government brainwashing and I wouldn’t mind. It could be aliens and I wouldn’t bat an eye. He could rip off his face like Ethan Hunt and reveal himself to be Gal Gadot who’s angry the team let her die in Furious 6 and I would understand. That’s the beauty, you guys. Turn your brain off and enjoy it! (Most likely he’s being blackmailed and plays the long game in a triple-cross like every season of 24 but I’m hoping for aliens, setting up Furious 12 in space.)
Fate of the Furious hits theaters this spring, April 14th. And it can’t come soon enough.