Review: ‘Fast and Furious 8‘ sports more exciting races and fewer driving stunts

Marcus Goh
Contributor

Should you watch this at weekday movie ticket prices? Yes.

Should you watch this at weekend movie ticket prices? If you like action films of any sort, yes.

Score: 3.75/5

Secret ending? No.

Running time: 136 minutes (~2.25 hours)

Fast and Furious 8 (United International Pictures)

“Fast and Furious 8” is an American action film in English. It is the eighth movie in “The Fast and the Furious” franchise. It is also known as “The Fate of the Furious” and “Fast 8”.

The film revolves around the betrayal of Dominic Toretto, one of the main protagonists of “The Fast and the Furious” series. He joins a criminal mastermind and becomes a new threat, forcing his former team to forge an unlikely alliance with past antagonists.

“Fast and Furious 8” is directed by F. Gary Gray and written by Chris Morgan. It stars Vin Diesel (Dominic Toretto), Dwayne Johnson (Luke Hobbs), Jason Statham (Deckard Shaw), Michelle Rodriguez (Letty Ortiz), Tyrese Gibson (Roman Pearce), Chris Bridges (Tej Parker), Nathalie Emmanuel (Ramsey), Kurt Russell (Frank Petty), Scott Eastwood (Eric Reisner), Charlize Theron (Cipher), Helen Mirren (Magdalene Shaw), Elsa Pataky (Elena Neves), with a cameo by Luke Evans (Owen Shaw). It is rated PG13.

Fast and Furious 8 (United International Pictures)

After the real-life events in 2013, you might have expected “Fast and Furious 8” to be underwhelming. Surprisingly, this instalment manages to maintain the same excitement and energy level as previous films, while concluding on a particularly poignant note. The stunts aren’t as insane in this film, but it still lets all the characters strut their stuff on the big screen.

Fast and Furious 8 (United International Pictures)

Highlights

More street races

“Fast and Furious 8” goes back to its roots by featuring more street races, rather than outrageous driving stunts. It shows us just how skilled the characters are with their cars, and why they are rightfully described as fast and furious racers. It’s a great direction to go in, and shows us that the production team behind “Fast and Furious 8” still has what it takes to depict a thrilling race.

Fast and Furious 8 (United International Pictures)

Fun, fast-paced plot

The plot of “Fast and Furious 8” is as fast as its cars, giving us humorous conflicts or epic showdowns between key characters. The writer behind “Fast and Furious 8” certainly knows what audiences want as it shows confrontations that we’ve been wanting to see (but with resolutions that favour all parties). The story is as fun for the cast to play as it is for audiences to watch, and it shows.

Fast and Furious 8 (United International Pictures)

A seemingly untouchable villainess

Cipher (Charlize Theron) is portrayed as a truly invincible hacker that can control anything from her vantage point in a mysterious base. Thanks to the ephemeral nature of her abilities, it seems that she’s able to do anything and acquire any information she wants. Since the crew of “Fast and Furious 8” have become so powerful by now, it’s fitting that they have such a strong foe to contend with.

Fast and Furious 8 (United International Pictures)

Many references to previous films

As can be seen from the cast list, “Fast and Furious 8” sees the return of multiple characters from previous films. MacGuffins from past instalments also make a return as the film references older plot threads and neatly ties them all together for a longer, grander story. By making the previous films seem interconnected, it gives greater impact to the stories that have come before it.

Fast and Furious 8 (United International Pictures)

Letdowns

Some unbelievable coincidences 

While some suspension of disbelief is required for the plots and stunts to make sense, it can get overboard at times. Opponents can get taken out by actions that seem so contrived that you can’t help but realise that this is, after all, a movie. Fortunately, they’re all in good fun, and the good guys always end up winning by the skin of their teeth anyway.

Fast and Furious 8 (United International Pictures)

“Fast and Furious 8” is another worthy entry in the series.

“Fast and Furious 8” opens in cinemas:
– 13 April, 2017 (Singapore)
– 13 April, 2017 (Malaysia)
– 15 April, 2017 (Philippines)

Fast and Furious 8 (United International Pictures)

Marcus Goh is a Singapore television scriptwriter, having written for Police & Thief, Incredible Tales, Crimewatch, and Point of Entry. He’s also a Transformers enthusiast and avid pop culture scholar. You can find him on social media as Optimarcus and on his site. The views expressed are his own.

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