It's been one wild ride on our "not-so-fast Fast and Furious re-watch" series, but like all good things, it must come to an end. The Fate of the Furious (or F8) is the eighth film in the Fast franchise and catches us up to the release of F9 on June 25. Now, for those wondering why Hobbs & Shaw isn't the final film in this re-watch series, it's because fellow writer Andy Wilson has already written about it right here and made some great observations. So, let's dive in and see the "fate" of Dom and his fast family, shall we?
Right out of the gate, it cements itself as an utterly bonkers action film by having Dom (Vin Diesel) race a car that is actively on fire – and win. After that, Charlize Theron's awful white lady dreads are an absolute disappointment, not like they would ever be okay, but they just extra suck coming off of that sick action sequence. I hate her character so much – mostly because her motives make no sense. Why are her and Tormund (Kristofer Hivju) super evil dicks and making Dom turn against his family – just for funsies? I would have liked to see an actual motive for the villains from the get-go, and I really resent them turning the beloved main character evil for what we see (or don't see) as no real reason within the first 15 minutes of the film.
I get their baddies, but come on – at least Shaw has motivation for being a dick. Besides, Dom seemed pretty shocked when she revealed that Elena was her hostage – so what was on that cell phone that made him play for team Cipher, dick picks? Him setting fire to puppies? An old tweet that would have gotten him canceled? Seriously, it makes no sense. I almost would have preferred if she zapped him with some sci-fi technology that brainwashed him into being bad – at least that would have preserved Dom's integrity and stayed true to the character.
Speaking of Shaw, I know they're setting up Hobbs & Shaw here as it comes after this film in canon, but all the wacky scenes, like the Soccer game haka and prison scenes and their one-line zingers towards each other were straight up out of a comedy film, which is my only real complaint with Hobbs & Shaw. The comedy was hilarious, but then it seemed to remember it was an action movie in the Fast and Furious world – the back and forth gave me a bit of whiplash, which I felt in F8 too. Though I appreciate the humor, I would have preferred a bit more of a through-line; at least something that helped it feel like I wasn't watching two different films hastily spliced together.
I do not appreciate, however, the re-introduction of Elena Neves (Elsa Pataky) just so they can fridge her so Dom and Letty can have a son. I hate it, thanks. He's Dominic Toretto, for goodness sake, not James Bond!
Why didn't they make that kidnapping meaningful, like have them take his cousin instead since they were with family in Cuba? Give the cousin a single-dad tragic backstory, saddle Dom with the guilt of one of his family and now a baby to take in and raise, and boom – a much better plot than the convoluted mess we got. That would have made more sense than bringing back a character we weren't emotionally attached to, haven't seen or heard about since basically a cameo at the beginning of Furious 7 (and honestly, I kind of blocked out that she was even in that) and introducing her secret son. It was too much, especially for a character we have nearly zero emotional connection to, double especially now that Letty is back in the picture.
Besides, it would have fit perfectly with the franchise's whole theme of family by having Letty and Dom's kid be one they took in because he had nowhere else to go, and well, they're family. I'm honestly just mad now that we didn't get that. Instead, I had to sit through two hours and fifteen minutes of a terrible weird plot about Dom's secret love child. Him just being an evil asshole for like half the film just because "bitchy white woman who works in IT and just got back from holiday in Jamaica" dug up an old tweet and is holding it over his head.
As much as I love Furious 7, I really dislike F8; it lost me in the first hour, and though it does fill in some pretty crucial blanks in the last half, it felt like it was too little too late. Since it came out, F8 has seemed to be a "love it or hate it" film, and for me, it's never even come close to living up to the high bar set by Furious 7 or really any of the other Fast and Furious movies 4 – 6 for that matter.
That concludes our re-watch series – I hope you've enjoyed my opinions on the Fast and the Furious franchise. Now that we're all caught up, remember F9 comes out in cinemas on June 25.