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‘Fast and Furious 8’ Review: Flat, noisy and forgettable

While honeymooning in Cuba, Dom (Vin Diesel) and Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) are forced to save a relative’s dilapidated car from being repossessed by an unscrupulous loan shark, and true to their character, their method of saving the ride is through a winner-take-all street race.

Dom strips the car of any unnecessary metal, equips it with dangerous amounts of nitro, and battles his opponent who happens to own the island’s fastest car. They race through the streets of Havana, ending up with Dom winning and the car he is supposed to save turning into a fiery mess that ends up in the middle of the sea.

So yes, Dom doesn’t really save his relative’s car but he nonetheless gives the city a spectacular race that is too outrageous to be believed.

Expensive cataclysm

DISPENSABLE FILM. Dwayne Johnson in 'Fast and Furious 8.' Photo courtesy of Columbia Pictures

DISPENSABLE FILM. Dwayne Johnson in 'Fast and Furious 8.

' Photo courtesy of Columbia Pictures

The entirety of F. Gary Gray’s Fast and Furious 8 is similar in point and essence with its bombastic opening.

I am not talking about the film’s overly advertised moral of family being always there for each other, as shown by Dom who’d risk life and limb to prevent his relative from being car-less. I am talking about how the film doesn’t really amount to anything except being a showcase of loud and expensive cataclysm involving shiny vehicles and the men who can never exist without them.

At this point, the franchise has devolved from what initially is a somewhat interesting crime flick involving small-time carjackers and into a soulless and shapeless cash cow that doesn’t even try to differentiate itself from all other crime-busting team flicks with trite ambitions of being a mishmash of every possible genre that is still profitable.

So Fast and Furious 8 is basically the story of a team of individuals with differing skillsets who end up globetrotting to stop a heartless terrorist from decimating the world. If that sounds very familiar, it is only because that is also the plot of the latest xXx, The Expendables, and heck, even The Avengers flick.

 

 

The very little difference

Fast and Furious 8 is dispensable. It is barely a film. It is more a product that is being kept alive and breathing by the insane amounts of money worldwide audiences are willing to shell out just to see costly things being demolished.

The very little differences that Gray struggles to put into the film amount to nothing.

Jason Statham and Dwayne Johnson in a scene from 'Fast and Furious 8.' Photo courtesy of Columbia Pictures

Jason Statham and Dwayne Johnson in a scene from 'Fast and Furious 8.

' Photo courtesy of Columbia Pictures

There are some bits of real humor here and there, such as when Jason Statham massacres countless thugs while carrying a baby, or when Dwayne Johnson coaches his daughter’s soccer team with the same ferociousness he has when fighting off criminals. The drama’s commonplace and forced. The action, while at times impressive, has no real special distinction.

We’ve all seen this before, and let’s be frank and honest about it, it has already gotten very tedious.

To be forgotten

Tyrese Gibson 'Fast and Furious 8.' Photo courtesy of Columbia Pictures

Tyrese Gibson 'Fast and Furious 8.

' Photo courtesy of Columbia Pictures

Fast and Furious 8 has everything that is to be expected from a film out of the franchise.

It just doesn’t have any innovations. It is flat and noisy. It is predictable. Like the dilapidated car that ends up wrecked in the middle of the ocean, to be abandoned because it has already been replaced by a shinier one, Gary’s film will eventually be forgotten in a sea of sequels that barely have any identities. – Rappler.com

 

Francis Joseph Cruz litigates for a living and writes about cinema for fun. The first Filipino movie he saw in the theaters was Carlo J. Caparas' Tirad Pass. Since then, he's been on a mission to find better memories with Philippine cinema.