(Material Contains Spoilers!!)
The 8th installment to the Fast & Furious universe. The story resumes with Dom and Letty celebrating a steamy honeymoon in Havana Cuba. Which let’s be honest — was a great choice on the part of the production’s location department. I’m sure the studios will be flocking to those open borders for dozens of projects in the near future.
Back to the story — Dom’s cousin, Fernando, gets himself into serious deep shit with a local bully, Raldo, who threatens to tow his piece of shit car. Let’s be honest. It’s a dump. Dom does what he does best and bets Raldo that he can spank him in any ride, giving him that “It’s not in the car, but in the heart and quality of the man” speech. Sure thing bud.
Dom strips Fernando’s car down to the frame and engine, then adds his famous NOx. Gosh how many checks do you think Nitrous Oxide (Nox) distributors are cashing from Universal Studios? The race scene commences with Dom and Raldo. Dom’s piece-of-shit engine catches fire and starts to burn out of control. So what does he decide to do? He puts the thing in reverse and drives it backwards down the finish line, beating Raldo’s car by a mere inch. A little far fetched for my liking. I’m far too analytical to believe he could drive a lit matchstick into the harbor, and still manage to stop, tuck, and roll out of the car virtually unscathed. I’m no expert — but realistically he should look like a burnt, fried piece of Freddy Krueger. Extra crispy please.
Raldo is amazed and offers his car keys along with his respect to Dom. After all he won his car fair and square. What a nice loan shark…Dom tells Raldo to keep it, and throws his cousin the keys to his Impala instead.
Dom meets Cipher, A blonde white woman with dreadlocks who eerily resembles one of those freaky ghost twins from the movie, Matrix Reloaded. Ultimately she threatens Dom to join her with something the audience doesn’t see but we can imply that it’s pretty juicy.
Meanwhile in Hobb’s universe, he cheers his kid on at her soccer game –The epitome of a single, stay-at-home-dad. I just love it when you see those big, intimidating, buff guys like the Rock take on more placated roles such as The Toothfairy or Vin Diesel in The Pacifier. Only real men wear tootoos afterall. Anyhow Hobbs leads his daughter’s team in some crazy, funky-chicken, Haka dance, which was strangely reminiscent of Moana — In any given moment, I thought he’d burst out in a rhyming couplet with a matching tap dance number. What else can I say, besides “You’re welcome!”
(I’m sorry for all you sad individuals who didn’t get that reference.You really should still go out to see Moana. It was actually quite majestic.)
Moving on — An Agent approaches Hobbs about a potentially dangerous high-class EMP which could be highly dangerous in the hands of criminals. Why do people keep making these things for more criminals to steal?! Sigh. Fist to face — Ultimately Hobbs calls Dom to assemble the team.
Fast forward. Hobbs and the Fast Team have already stolen the device, which is “safely” secured in Dom’s Charger. Now the trailer truly ruined the suspense (in my opinion) so I was completely able to anticipate how their lives were about to unravel in the subsequent scene. As suspected, Dom wrecks Hobb’s car, steals the EMP, and betrays everyone he knows. To heighten the mood, Hobbs informs the team in a dramatic batman voice “Dom’s gone rogue.”
Hobbs gets a class-A ticket to the pen. But before seeing the inside of the penitentiary and eating ramen noodle sandwiches, Hobbs meets Mr. Nobody and Little Nobody whom offers him a job and a clean record. Hobbs refuses, suspecting he can’t trust them. Fair enough — Hobbs is thrown into a cell across from Deckard Shaw. Convenient. But the two spew a ton of G.I.Joe, sailor, buff guy shit talk. It’s pretty great.
Suddenly the systems go down, Hobb’s cell opens, the guards try to seize him, and Shaw manages to escape. Hobbs, the good samaritan, follows in pursuit after him. Again one of my favorite scenes in the movie. Its like any classical, movie prison riot you’ve ever seen but everything’s better with Jason Statham. Honestly. Everything…(Except 007. He’s still not cool enough to play 007. And honestly neither was Daniel Craig — Sue me).
Shaw and Hobbs make it outside the pen and they realize the system shut-down was a ploy of Mr. Nobody, who used the glitch primarily as an opportunity to employ them both.
Hop to the good stuff — The Nobodies gather the The crew, Hobbs, and Shaw to brief them on Cipher (whom they understand at this point is using Dom just as she used Shaw’s brother, Luke). The Crew decide to locate Dom’s position using God’s Eye. However, they find out he’s in the building. All that government money and no decent security system? In that same moment, Cipher and Dom bust through the doors, incapacitate everyone, steal God’s eye, swap spit in front of Letty, and leave. Letty must be losing her touch. In the first film, no broad would have been able to pull that off, and still use her lips to blow soup, let alone her man.
Back on the plane, we see why Dom’s betrayed everyone he loves and cares for. Cipher holds Elena, his ex-lover, hostage with his secret, never-before-mentioned lovechild. Eye roll. This is when Hollywood starts to become a tad too Jerry Springer for my liking. Can we at least see a DNA test to prove the child is in fact the fruit of his loins? C’mon…
Shaw and Hobbs get chummy. They find out they have more in common than they might think. Still arrogant assholes though.
Dom does the ol’ switch-a-roo and makes a secret rendezvous with Magdalene Shaw, (Helen Mirren). AKA, badass Victoria from RED.
The crew chases after Dom, he steals the briefcase with missile launch codes in a texas-chainsaw-like-fashion, and the crew hooks his famous Dodge Charger (but apparently even four cars can’t stop what’s under his modded-out hood). I have no clue why this scene was slightly reminiscent of Underworld 2 when the Death Dealers attempt to chain the lycan beast, William Corvinus. In this case, I’m not sure which beast is the greater monstrosity.
Anyhoo back to plot — Cipher hacks into every car in the city, Dom shoots Deckard Shaw dead, but then hesitates to shoot Letty.
Cipher is peeved because of Dom’s inability to choose sides. She shoots Dom’s baby mamma, ultimately saving Letty the man-stealing, child-support, baby mama drama later. Oh Hollywood, you. I see what you did there.
There’s this cool 007 ice fortress, mission scene. Though I must admit, I’ve never been a fan of ice. Not even in The Empire Strikes Back. Sorry to all you Star Wars “Episode 5 is the best movie in the whole franchise” fans. The best part of that film was seeing Luke’s arm get chopped off. Let’s be real.
Back to story. Ultimately we find out that Dom’s necklace on the plane was a homing beacon, Dom didn’t kill Deckard Shaw but orchestrated his death so that him and his brother Luke could sneak onto the plane and steal back his bastard child. Which, quite frankly is a pretty awesome adorable scene with the little tyke. Whoever said frivolous murder, blood, and children don’t mix clearly have yet to see this film.
Some funky explosion happens from a torpedo Cipher launches, Dom uses his car to trap the missile, the crew shields Dom (thereby symbolically reuniting as a family), and Deckard comes close to killing Cipher but (as expected) she escapes. Say hello to another ongoing sequel. Sigh.
The crew barbecue on the rooftop as usual, and Deckard hands Dom his prize possession baby. I swear that kid better be the most obedient, loving, well behaved brat the world’s ever seen after all the shit his dad had to deal with —
Of course the movie ends with family and laughter. And finally Dom introduces his loved ones to his child, whom finally adorns the name: Brian. Touching. Not going to lie — The characters just don’t explain why Brian and Dom’s sister Mia, would be missing from this close, intimate family gathering. Hate to sound so analytical. In real life we understand and know what took place — On second thought, I’ll just give that one a pass.
All in all, despite the classic Hollywood non-stop, soap opera-like story telling, and the eerily similar aesthetic to Vin Diesel’s earlier blockbuster film, XXX — The film was redeemable for it’s action-packed quality, stellar punch lines, all-star cast, and the occasional side-splitters.
Overall I’d give this movie a rating of: fingerlicking good.