RATING: 2.5 out of 5
“The Fast and the Furious” franchise has come a long way ever since its debut in 2001. From a movie that was for the most part about illegal car racing, it has since evolved into something else entirely. To illustrate how far the recent installments have strayed away from the original, the last two films have seen Dominic Toretto and the gang steal a device called “Nightshade” in FF6 and something called “The God’s Eye” in FF7. Sa pangalan pa lang ng mga yan, you would think that these are the things the Avengers mess with on a daily basis but not Dominic Toretto and freakin’ Roman.
Alam niyo ba kung anong ninanakaw nila dun sa first movie? DVD players. I shit you not, ladies and gentlemen. In the age of Netflix and torrents, hindi na nga worth it nakawin yan ngayon e.
The movie starts with a throwback to the franchise’s roots – a car race in Havana, Cuba where Dom and Letty are having their honeymoon. Since this is Dominic Toretto we’re talking about, I don’t need to tell you how much he kicks ass in this sequence. Aside from not looking like your average tambay kahit lagi siyang nakasando, one thing he’s really good at is driving cars while waxing poetic about family.
But Dom and Letty’s happy days doesn’t last long when a mysterious hacker played by Charlize Theron arrives in the scene and blackmails Dom into betraying his team during a mission. What does she have on Dom exactly that would make him decide to turn his back on his so-called family? Apparently nagkaanak si Dom not so long ago and Theron somehow has gotten hold of the baby and is now holding him hostage. (The addition of the baby in the story of course effectively increases the number of bald-headed actors in this movie from four to five.)
If you enjoyed the previous entries to the “Fast and Furious” franchise, then you’ll probably like “Fast and Furious 8” because the movie doubles down on all the crazy action and insane stunts you’ve come to love about these films. But if you never cared for the series to begin with, you best stay away from it altogether because there’s nothing here that would change your mind about the property. The franchise has employed various plot twists in the past and while the stories haven’t been bad, may nanunuod ba talaga ng “Fast and Furious” movies para sa kwento? We’re all here for one thing and one thing only: to see Vin Diesel, The Rock, and Jason Statham battle against each other for bald-headed supremacy.
The movie offers more of the same thing and adds Jason Statham and Helen Mirren into Dom’s family. While both additions are welcome since I would watch almost anything Helen Mirren is in, it’s actually a bit head-scratcher. Helen Mirren appears in the movie seemingly out of nowhere with no indication that Vin Diesel ever contacted her. As for Jason Statham, you might remember him as Deckard Shaw, the villain from “FF7” who for all intents and purpose is a terrorist and the person responsible for killing Han in “Tokyo Drift”. But in this movie, it seems like all has been forgiven. Sobrang daming beses atang tinamaan sa ulo ni Vin Diesel nakalimutan na ata niya yung mga nangyari in the past.
Charlize Theron as the main baddie Cipher is underused and she didn’t exactly bring anything new to the table despite her many talents as an actress. A huge reason for that is because the role doesn’t really give her much to work with. All we know about her is that she’s been monitoring these guys probably all the way back since the first movie. But other than that? Nothing really. Wouldn’t you like to know how a white woman like Charlize Theron got her dreadlocks? Nag LaBoracay ba siya at naalok ng mga ale dun na magpa-dreadlocks? Hindi ba parang interesting malaman yang origin story niyang taong yan?
There’s also this scene in the movie where she kisses Dom in front of Letty. This is shown in the trailer to make audiences think that she really has Dom under her control. But when you really think about it, ano bang point nun? Kung ikaw si Vin Diesel, bakit ka papayag pahalik e wala naman kayong relasyon? Actually, that’s a stupid question. Papayag kang magpahalik because Charlize Theron is a damn gorgeous woman. Sorry, Letty.
But as action scenes go, I think no one does them better than “The Fast and The Furious” franchise. Sure, a lot of them seem over the top. But didn’t we already cross that line about three to four movies ago? Oo, medyo grabe na yung nakikipag karera ka sa submarine. Pero last time nga nilaglag nila yung mga kotse nila galing sa airplane e! Kung yun tinanggap mo ngayon ka pa ba papalag? At this point I wouldn’t be surprised if Han suddenly appears in the next movie as the villain. Anything is possible in “The Fast and The Furious” universe.
Personally, I think I prefer the last three entries of the franchise over this one. I certainly like the previous one better. Maybe it had to do with the fact that we knew that it was Paul Walker’s last hurrah? Ewan ko lang. But somehow that movie felt like it had more soul than this one. But with this movie being an inevitable box-office hit, for better or worse it certainly seems like we haven’t seen the last of Dominic Toretto and his ever-growing family.
All pictures courtesy of COLUMBIA PICTURES
Fast and Furious 8 is now out in cinemas everywhere.