[Spoiler free review: page 2 for deeper analysis]
They’re back. The only difference is that the team is minus 1. 😦
After the tragic death of actor Paul Walker who is an integral part of the fast franchise, his character Brian O’ Connor received the best farewell he could get in the 7th instalment although the film itself couldn’t do justice to his character. Then, later on, I saw the trailer of Fast 8 and the trailer revealed Dom going rogue. It is quite obvious that he was being manipulated by Charlize’s character Cipher who is the antagonist. As much as I despised the excess action that makes the movie more like superhero flick than a street race film, there was a theory that pissed me off; Dom went rogue because Cipher killed Brian and is keeping Mia and Jack hostages. I thought to myself if this is the case then I will boycott the film plus Vin Diesel didn’t do justice to Paul’s wishes of wanting the franchise to come back on streets. As always, the curiosity didn’t leave me and therefore I went on to watch the film. Thankfully it wasn’t that bad.
Dom (Vin Diesel) goes Rogue and due to Letty’s (Michelle Rodriguez) ability to read Dom’s facial expressions and body language, the team is convinced that he will “come back”. Knowing the skills of the cyber terrorist Cipher (Charlize Theron), Mr Nobody (Kurt Russell) recruits Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) as he has an unfinished business. Fast and furious 8 is full of plot holes and points that are thrust into heads like a hypodermic needle. In spite of all this, the movie is worth watching. I didn’t feel the passage of time and the action sequences are less severe in terms of its ability to make your brain explode, better than Furious 7, in that sense. The team stuck to their words and left Brian (Late Paul Walker) of the action, even after they lost complete confidence at one point. We will feel Brian’s absence and thankfully we will feel his presence as well. Charlize Theron’s version of a fast villain is enjoyable though her subtle whispers and stinging looks reminded me of Queen Ravenna from Snow White and the huntsman. The hairstyle gave her a grunge look though she is spared of the traditional way in which women are depicted in the fast franchise, objectification. Cipher is slick, clever and manipulative. She hits everyone right where it hurts. But did she have to be *that* ruthless? Vin Diesel’s version of Toretto finally delivered depth to the character and this is the only movie where we could actually see Dom as a person since the first film, as opposed to the over confident macho dude we see in predecessors. He is sensitive but he knows what to do what and when, though he almost got several teammates killed. I mean he wrecked Roman (Tyrese Gibson), Tej (Ludacris) and Letty’s cars. It might not kill them, literally, but it will definitely give them fractures or sprains. Roman and Tej are the jokers and apart from that one moment in the climax, we will be pissed off with his slimy sense of humour, mostly targeted at Ramsey’s (Nathalie Emmanuel) sex appeal. Ramsey’s presence would make no difference. Tej is no different but atleast, he runs the show. Scott Eastwood is there, just there, to spare us of Brian’s absence, but he is no Brian O Connor. Michelle Rodriguez has her moments to shine, she barely received the upper hand in previous films. The movie, however, belongs to Jason Statham and Dwayne Johnson with their action, dry sense of humour and punchy acting. Notably in the scene where Hobbs threatens Deckard saying, “I will beat you like a Cherokee drum”. Only Dwayne could make dialogues like that effective and cool. 😛
The 3D effects and sound effects will make the experience worthwhile. The plotholes will give you days of wondering but if you leave all that aside then the film is enjoyable.