What’s the old saying? Fool me once shame on you, fool me eight times, shame on me! Perhaps it was some level of delusion that led me to go Rathmines yesterday to view the redoubtable Fast and the Furious 8. I mean, who doesn’t love a good buddy movie? Particularly one with a babbling Charlize Theron, a ridiculously pointless turn from Helen Mirren and some of the most banal dialogue ever. Even by Fast and Furious standards.
I must confess to a fairly tumultuous relationship with the Fast and the Furious franchise. The original, The Fast and the Furious is the best in the series and still, in this humble opinion, a great action movie. Things went downhill for a while, plateauing in the third instalment, Tokyo Drift. Both entries in the Fast canon are noted for the absence for Vin Diesel, the backbone of the franchise.
Dom Toretto (Diesel) returned for the fourth episode, which looking back now, isn’t all that ridiculous. It was the introduction of Dwayne Johnson, better known as The Rock, for the ensuing chapters which led to the all-out suspension of disbelief and discarding of all sensibilities. It’s only with hindsight that I realise that Paul Walker’s tragic and untimely death hit the nostalgia switch inside me. Suddenly, I decided to dive into a series which I’d happily left behind in my mid-twenties.
Let’s jump a car through a skyscraper
A lot had changed in the ensuing years. Viewers, and there were millions of them, were treated to the most ludicrous scene in history when…… Oh, look it’s easier to just watch….
So, as you see, Vin Diesel just jumped a car through three buildings and… ah, who cares!
Of course, 7 ended with the admittedly tear-jerking exit of Paul Walker from the series with his brother actually standing in for the scenes filmed subsequent to Walker’s death. However, I realise now that this is where I should have left the series.
The eighth instalment is beyond ridiculous.
The Ringer’s Shea Serrano established the Fast and Furious bad guy theory whereby the previous film’s villain becomes an ally with the gang in the next instalment. Reading this should have been enough. Jason Statham and his brother – who have previously killed more people than in Laden – have suits that allow them to fly and catch a spy plane. Meanwhile, Toretto and Co. and Theron’s incredibly annoying villain cause the deaths of tens of thousands of people. And the end is outrageous even for this franchise.
Still, like I said, if it takes me this many viewings to figure out this rubbish then it truly is shame on me.