When we last saw the Fast & Furious crew, they were relaxing on a beach and driving off into the sunset and no you were crying in the theater about it all. Well, after an extended break (which included alleged on-set drama and concerns about how the franchise would adapt after the death of Paul Walker), we now have an update. Kind of. We have the first official trailer for the eighth film in the franchise, recently titled The Fate of the Furious. And there is a lot going on. Like, do you want to see roof-mounted machine guns? They got you. Jason Statham doing parkour in a maximum security prison? Done. Snowmobile chases that appear to take place on glaciers? Yup yup yup. The only thing of note that isn’t in there is Helen Mirren, who is actually in this movie, no I am not kidding, I would never joke about something like that.
There’s also a… let’s say a “big development.” We discuss this shortly. But if we’re going to break down this trailer properly, we have to start at the beginning. We have to start with the wrecking ball.
And away we go.
One nice thing about this franchise is that it knows exactly what it is. And so, after the teeniest, tiniest possible establishing shot of a city skyline, WHAM cars flying through walls ZOOM the chase is on RATATATAT guns are fired KABOOM Ludacris pushes a button and a giant wrecking ball swings down and wipes a half-dozen cars off the road like a baby brushing Cheerios off his tray. I have no clue why any of this is happening or if I should be happy that all of the drivers of those cars just got their heads crushed likes grapes, but I do not care. This is exactly what is supposed to happen in the first 30 seconds of a Fast & Furious trailer. Everything is as it should be.
Wait a second. Why is Vin Diesel making his “You guys, I’m evil now” face at The Rock? What is going on here? Is he… no. Impossible. I refuse to believ-
Noooooo! Someone help me! Vin Diesel is trying to kill The Rock! My dads are fighting!
This seems like a good opportunity to bring the official synopsis to your attention:
Now that Dom and Letty are on their honeymoon and Brian and Mia have retired from the game—and the rest of the crew has been exonerated—the globetrotting team has found a semblance of a normal life. But when a mysterious woman (Oscar® winner Charlize Theron) seduces Dom into the world of crime he can’t seem to escape and a betrayal of those closest to him, they will face trials that will test them as never before.
Yup, Dom is breaking bad now. I’m sure there will be an Act III twist that reveals he was being forced to do it or was deep undercover the whole time or whatever, but right now the bigger issue is that I’m suddenly furious no one has ever tried to seduce me into a world of crime I can’t escape. Like, I don’t want to actually do it. But it would feel nice to be asked.
Here is Charlize Theron’s character. Later in the trailer, Kurt Russell describes her as “the very definition of high-tech terrorism,” which is fun when you remember that the bad guys in the first movie were street toughs who had a disagreement with Vin Diesel about stolen DVD players. It’s good to think about that sometimes, like when you’re watching Dom drive up the cargo ramp of an airplane as it speeds down a runway (quick note: in the last two films Dom has exited airplanes by driving out the nose as one explodes and backing out of another in mid-air after having his muscle car outfitted with a parachute, so history tells us this will not end with a standard landing), presumably at the behest of a stunning 5’11 blond cyberterrorist who is on the radar of a top-secret government intelligence agency headed by a character named “Mr. Nobody.” We’ve come so far, you know?
Anyway, The Rock is in prison, for as-yet-unspecified reasons. And it’s not just any prison he’s in, either. It’s the same prison that holds Jason Statham’s character from Furious 7, because a) obviously, and b) one presumes there are a limited number of federal facilities capable of holding a character played by Statham and The Rock. Not that this one can. More on this in a minute.
Uh oh, looks like Dom’s old team has him cornered and roped off like a rodeo bull. Don’t see how he’s gonna get out of this one. No, sir.
Ahhhhhhhh. I stand corrected.
Some sort of jailbreak ensues. Chaos breaks out. The Rock tells someone — presumably Statham — that he will beat him “like a Cherokee drum” and then clotheslines two dudes at once in the second-best clotheslining moment of the series, coming in just behind the thing in Fast 6 where he and Vin Diesel did the old lift-’em-up, high-low on a bad guy inside a plane.
But the big thing here is the introduction of Parkour Statham. Jason Statham! Doing parkour! In a Fast & Furious movie. It’s like someone reached into my subconscious and physically pulled it out, like in Inception, but if Inception had starred a parkour-loving character played by Jason Statham. Which it should have, in hindsight.
Guys, I have news, and it is terrific. Statham is on the team now, to help them catch Dom. This continues the tradition they started with The Rock, where a big action star is brought in as an adversary and then is folded into the family. I’m sure Ludacris and Charlize Theron’s characters will get married by the end of the next movie.
Do you remember the show Fastlane? Here’ the short version: Kelly Kapowski, Bill Bellamy, and Mike Dexter from Can’t Hardly Wait were an elite law enforcement team that used a warehouse full of confiscated high-end stuff — Ferraris, diamonds, etc. — to go undercover and bring down the worst criminals in the area.
I bring this up because, based on the part of the trailer where the team walks into an airplane hanger full of high-end neon sports cars stored on racks like humidifiers at Target, someone might owe the producers of that show a check. Call the lawyers.
In Fast 6, Ludacris famously watched a tank explode out of another vehicle and begin destroying cars on a highway, which caused him to hold his walkie-talkie up to his mouth and say, “Uh, guys, they got a tank.” It was wonderful. And now, only two films later, Ludacris has his own tank. I’m so happy for him that I could cry.
Also, remember how I pointed out how far the crew has come over the franchise? Well, please do take a second to remember that Ludacris was introduced into this series while he was holding a bullhorn and officiating jet ski races. Now he has a tank. This is a very good movie franchise.
A solid 10 percent of this trailer is people firing large weapons while riding in or on speeding forms of transportation. Again, this franchise knows exactly what it is and why it is here.
I like that Vin is just pulling his mask on at this point in the street shootout, while a black SUV is engulfed in flames next to him. It says, “I’m serious about safety and secrecy, but also a reckless loose cannon.”
Hey, here’s a question: What movie do you think has destroyed the most black SUVs? Because whatever movie holds the title now could be in for a run for its money. Why isn’t this a statistic I can find? Baseball dorks have entire websites devoted to insanely specific stats. Let’s get one of them on this.
Okay, so there’s a big dramatic chase and fight that takes place on an ice sheet. It’s best if you just accept this. And everyone is driving and shooting and shooting and driving and it’s all pretty straightforward, really, as far as ice sheet action scenes go. But there’s a moment in there that you might have missed if you blinked, and I think it’s worth pulling out and discussing.
Tyrese smacks a guy off of a speeding snowmobile with the detached door of his orange Lamborghini. Look at it. It honestly might be the most Tyrese action moment ever. And kudos to whoever cut this trailer for making it look like Tyrese hit the guy so hard that he exploded. That’s A+ editing.
A submarine! There’s a submarine! Crashing out through the ice! A submarine! I called it! I literally wrote a dumb post 18 months ago that was titled “Scenes From ‘Fast & Furious 8,’ Which Will Probably Take Place On A Submarine Or Something,” and now there’s actually a submarine in the movie! I did it!
I swear to God they will end up in space one day. I started saying that as a half-joke a few years ago, but I am dead serious now.
“Dominic Toretto, this is NASA. Someone has stolen the moon.”
“I’ll get my car.”
“But… how will you get into space in a car?”
“I’ll need a ramp and a tanker truck filled with NOS.”
I love it.
The trailer ends with Vin Diesel making out with Charlize Theron and quite literally “turning his back on his family.” I… I kinda like Evil Dom? And shouts to executive producer Vin Diesel for giving himself a makeout scene with one of the world’s most beautiful women. A small part of me hopes that was the entire motivation for his character’s dark turn. A very small part, but still.
You know who does not like Evil Dom, though? Some of Vin Diesel’s Facebook fans. A sampling of the 17,000 comments from there under the trailer:
“Lame, big fan of the franchise up to this movie. This trailer really has me questioning whether I’ll even see it. Disappointed in the whole concept. ?????????”
“Not liking this twist Vin. I hope this doesn’t end with Dom as a bad guy. Wasn’t sure how there could be a F8 without Paul as Brian but I’m a diehard fan so please please please don’t make me regret it. Fast 7 ended beautifully. I’m worried about 8.”
“Was really excited to see this movie…until I saw the trailer. The whole theme has been family and then they go and do this?? Really making me question this now…not a good trailer at all!!”
“I think I died a little inside watching this. i mean Dom and Letty are relationship goals… What?!! no way he turns on her or the family. No way!!!”
Also, Tyrese hopped into the comments on Vin’s Facebook page to say “Thank you guys for the love!!!! Make sure you jump right now to www.VoltronMotors.com to check out the jeeps that was featured in #FAST8 Loving this energy!!!!!!!!!!!!,” because Tyrese is never not closing.
But anyway, yes. We’ve got an evil Dominic Toretto, a Parkour Statham, upset fans, and a goddamn Arctic submarine. This is an excellent start.
I hope they let Ludacris drive the sub.