Sometimes when people mention the Seven Wonders of the World, for a few seconds I think they’re talking about the Fast and Furious movies.
The Fast and Furious franchise has gone from low-budget street racing movies to big-budget street racing movies to big-budget action movies to even bigger-budget action movies. It is a franchise running out of combinations of “and”s, “the”s and words starting with “F” to use for movie titles. It is a franchise that went from Vin Diesel playing a street-racing criminal to Vin Diesel playing an indestructible superhero. It is a franchise so far removed from logic that its chronological order is 1-2-4-5-6-3-7-8.
The trailer for the eighth film was released last Sunday, right before my linear algebra final exam, which is unfortunate, because, on the test, whenever I looked at two matrices being multiplied, all I saw was two cars crashing into each other. I could also swear that Vin Diesel was proctoring my test.
Anyway, I’ve waited 20 months for this trailer, so I’m going to analyze the s*** out of it.
0:07-0:18 – We get a series of five one-liners from Tej, Letty and Roman that appear to be delivered in the same scene in succession, even though they have basically no connection to one another. The screenwriter of this movie is Chris Morgan, who has written every movie of the franchise except the first two, and by “written” I mean “went into a kindergarten classroom and observed five-year-olds playing with toy cars to get ideas for three key action scenes, then downed five shots of Svedka and figured out a way to string those three action scenes together.”
0:29 – HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
0:46 – We get our first classic Vin Diesel angry over-the-shoulder turn-around stare that looks like it’s happening in slow motion even though it’s not.
0:50 – Holy s***! The family man to end all family men just turned on his family!
0:50 – It wouldn’t be a Fast and Furious movie if there weren’t at least one scene in which a sports car causes major damage to a much larger, heavier, armoured vehicle and drives away without a scratch.
0:55 – Can I get an over/under bet on the number of times the word “family” will be said in this movie? 100? 1,000?
1:03 – Okay, before you start freaking out, chances are that Dom is only a bad guy for a small portion of the film, because there’s a history in the franchise of people flip-flopping between good and bad. Most memorably, in Fast and Furious 6, Letty went from good to bad to good, while some random woman working with Hobbs turned out to be bad in one of the most poorly-explained movie plot twists in recent memory, and one that makes more than a few scenes irredeemably confusing on the second viewing.
1:04 – Wow, The Rock is in prison. Does this mean we’re getting a prison break-out scene?
1:07 – These two Letty lines clearly come from different scenes. Her voice wouldn’t just randomly drop two octaves mid-sentence. How stupid do they think they I am?
1:11 – Charlize Theron’s character is apparently “the very definition of high-tech terrorism.” This is so lame. They’re really going to take an actress coming off the most badass female lead performance in an action movie since Sigourney Weaver and throw her behind a computer screen?
1:14 – Can someone please remind me why Kurt Russell’s character is in these movies? I genuinely don’t know the answer.
1:20 – WHY IS CHARLIZE THERON WEARING A HEADSET AND NOT DRIVING A CAR!?!?!
1:29 – 1:38 – I have absolutely no clue what happened during these 10 seconds, but I guarantee you it was bulls***.
1:39 – Is it me, or is Charlize’s hair getting whiter with each subsequent appearance in this trailer? Was her part was so boring that it took 20 years off her life?
1:40 – Roman states, “This is impossible,” which could refer to a number of things, such as the mere existence of an eighth Fast and Furious film, or whatever bulls*** Vin Diesel did during that last scene.
1:43 – We’re more than halfway through this trailer, and it stinks. We’ve gotten hints at two relatively tame actions sequences, no Helen Mirren, and more lines of dialogue from Tyrese Gibson than from Vin, The Rock and Jason Statham combined, which would be like if JaVale McGee took the most three-pointers in a Golden State Warriors game this year.
1:47 – I take it all back. “I will beat you like a Cherokee drum,” even without context, is one of The Rock’s best quotes of the series. I hope the producers realize that The Rock is the MVP of this franchise and use him as such. He didn’t deserve the Kevin Love treatment they gave him in Furious 7.
1:50 – We ARE getting a prison breakout scene!
1:52 – I take it ALL back.
1:58 – I mean, if they’re not going to give me a specific date to put on my calendar then I’m just going to have to not make any plans between March 21 and June 21.
2:09 – Okay, enough with the backstory, guys. You’ve got quite a few empty boxes left on the Fast and Furious Trailer Checklist, including a hip-hop song, the beginning of a street race, some extras dancing in bikinis, a fistfight between two secondary characters, and anywhere between two and five sports cars flipping over simultaneously.
2:12 – There we go.
2:21 – An unidentifiable man in a suit is shooting through a sunroof at approximately 50 oncoming cars, most of which are taxis. Fascinating.
2:23 – The last time The Rock said something along the lines of “I’m taking you down, Toretto,” we got a glorious fight resulting in two broken walls, two broken windows, a broken mirror, Vin Diesel’s eyes nearly exploding out of their sockets, and the two enormous men ending up exactly where they started even though they decreased their altitude multiple times during the fight, but never once increased their altitude. Anything remotely resembling that, and I’m in.
2:35-2:43 – A tremendous montage that checks off every box on the aforementioned checklist in the span of eight seconds.
2:48 – Dear Fast and Furious franchise, I would like to sincerely apologize for ever doubting you. Please forgive me.
2:49 – It wouldn’t be a Fast and Furious movie if Ludacris didn’t curse into a walkie-talkie.
2:50 – I love how Hobbs’s immediate reaction to seeing a 200-foot submarine smash through a glacier is “we’re going to need a bigger truck.” For goodness sakes, can we give The Rock an Oscar already?
2:52 – Yeah, Fast and Furious 9 is going into outer space for sure.
2:54 – Do you think they spent more than two minutes brainstorming this title? Because I think they didn’t. I bet Vin Diesel did a angry slow-motion over-the-shoulder turn-around stare at the other producers during a meeting and, without any context whatsoever, grumbled, “The Fate of the Furious… that’s our title,” to which the producers responded, “Vin, that’s a horrible title,” to which Vin grumbled, “That’s the title, take it or leave it.”
2:55 – FYI the Japanese title for this movie is “Wild Speed: Ice Break.”
3:11 – In case the audience didn’t understand the metaphor, we get a shot of Dom literally turning his back on his literal family.
3:12 – After Dom said “Our last job,” “Our old life is done” and “One last ride,” in the trailers for 5, 6 and 7, respectively, it’s refreshing to get a F&F trailer for once that doesn’t pretend like a franchise that rakes in hundreds of millions of dollars per installment is about to end.
The last minute of that trailer was near perfection, but I can’t say I’m entirely convinced. For me, the Fast and Furious movies are all about the quieter moments, like Letty wrestling Ronda Rousey in Furious 7 on the 80th floor of a skyscraper in Abu Dhabi. It’s two bros bonding late at night on a porch in Fast Five as Dom, in an indecipherable mumble, reminisces, “I remember everything about my father.” It’s Brian being utterly convinced that Letty is dead at the beginning of Fast and Furious 6, but, after a mere six syllables from Dom, is all in on leaving his newborn child to embark on a dangerous mission with essentially nothing to be gained. It’s every time Roman eats a snack. These are the moments that keep me coming back to the theater.
Yea, f*** it, this movie’s going to be amazing.