Fast & Furious 8 trailer review: a reassuring, obscene platter of murder

Article from https://www.theguardian.com/film/2016/dec/12/fast-furious-8-trailer-review The Fast & Furious series will soon be eight films long, which means that nothing it can offer will be remotely surprising any more. Over the course of the last seven films, a formula has been devised and rigidly stuck to and – even though I’m writing this before I’ve pressed play on […]

Article from https://www.theguardian.com/film/2016/dec/12/fast-furious-8-trailer-review

The Fast & Furious series will soon be eight films long, which means that nothing it can offer will be remotely surprising any more. Over the course of the last seven films, a formula has been devised and rigidly stuck to and – even though I’m writing this before I’ve pressed play on the new Fast 8 trailer – I already know what to expect.

There will be much talk of “family”, all of it delivered in an indecipherable sub-bass rumble. There will be good guys who turn bad, and bad guys who turn good. There will be sequences where Ludacris says “Oh shit” into a walkie talkie. And, naturally, there will be an obscene platter of endless joshing murder. So, can the Fast 8 trailer actually surprise me? Let’s break this thing down.

family
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The word family is mentioned four times over the course of this three-minute trailer, with inflections that range from “Hooray, we’re a family” to “How dare you do this to your family?”. Also, just to underline the point, the word appears in text. Extrapolating from this, given that this film is likely to be two and a half hours long, we can expect the film to contain upwards of 180 usages of the word family.

badgood
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Right. OK. The main thrust of the film seems to be that Vin Diesel has gone from being the good guy to being the bad guy. To help bring him down, the Fast family enlists the help of former bad guy Jason Statham, who is now a good guy. The person who enlists him is The Rock, a good guy who was once a bad guy. And let’s not forget Michelle Rodgriguez, who was good and then went bad and is now good again although we probably shouldn’t rule out the possibility of her temporarily turning bad to win the trust of Vin Diesel (who is now bad).

oh shit

Never let me down, Ludacris.

murder
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It would probably be more expedient to simply list all the instances of murder in this three-minute trailer than to put them in any sort of context. So, clockwise from top left: a demolition ball smashes into between five and seven cars, each likely to be carrying a minimum of two people. Jason Statham smashes a man’s skull against a wall as hard as he can. Four jeeps, again carrying a minimum of two people each, are blown up. Three more jeeps are destroyed by a submarine. A man is blown up. A multi-vehicular road collision. A man with a machine gun opens fire on at least 12 cars, many of which are taxis. Several cars are taken out by a gigantic slow-motion arctic explosion. Estimated murders within three minutes: 65, plus the negligible effect that last explosion is likely to have on the environment.

So far, so inevitable. However, despite all these hoary old tropes, the Fast & Furious franchise is still capable of surprising its audience. To conclude, here are the two biggest surprises to be found in the Fast & Furious 8 trailer:

The Fate of the Furious trailer

Charlize Theron’s baddie – described in the trailer as “the very definition of high-tech terrorism” – looks like she bought her hair from a town centre market stall that specialises in nylon offcuts.

surprise two

The official title of Fast & Furious 8 is actually The Fate of the Furious, possibly because they held a competition to name it, and the only entry they received was this one, and they felt ethically bound to go with it even though it’s such a truly abysmal name for a film that they could have just phonetically copied down the noise a dog makes when it farts and gone with that, and it would have been a better title than The Fate of the Furious. I mean, for God’s sake.

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