23 April 2017

Dom And Dumber

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In many ways, I think you could argue that the Fast And Furious series is one of the most important franchises in cinema right now. Firstly it presents us with a diverse cast without in anyway making a big deal of it. The team consists of characters from a variety of ethnic backgrounds, with both genders being shown to be as strong as the other. Well, mentally anyway. Because let's not forget that The Rock is in the movie and I'm pretty sure that the only woman that's of equal strength to him is the fucking She-Hulk. Which isn't a slight against women of course, being that the only way that most men could even slow him down would be if they drove at him in a tank after making peace with the fact that they're about to die in a tank crash. And of course when I say the female members of the group are all of equal mental strength to the men, that's not really saying too much. At the end of the day, this is a group that's led by Vin Diesel who I'm pretty convinced is actually a rogue potato that's made a deal with the Pinocchio's fucking Blue Fairy.

However we live in interesting times right now in which the politics of the world seem to have been shaken up by a barrage of evil, greed, prejudice, and general fuck-wittery. This seems to have been reflected in this movie, in which I literally don't know whose side anybody is fucking on any more. Originally Diesel's crew were outlaws being chased by The Rock who was working for some sort of gamma-infused World Police. However by Fast And Furious 7, The Rock described Diesel's character Dom as an 'old friend' despite the fact that they'd only known each other for about a week and they had started out by hitting each other with monkey wrenches. Then we get to Jason Statham who was originally the villain of the previous film and who has now been shoe-horned into being part of the team in this one. Originally The Rock is unhappy about having to work with Statham but the two quickly form a kind of love-hate bromance. Most of the other members of the crew seem quite happy to work with him though. Or at least more happy than you'd imagine considering he murdered one of their closest friends in cold blood in a previous film. At least I think it was Staham that killed one of their friends.. my memory is a little hazy thanks to the franchise only having shown the scene in three previous fucking movies. I guess it mustn't have been important.

However perhaps the real kick to the teeth is that of Dominic Toretto who has been forced to work against his own crew in this movie. Charlize Theron is the true villain of the film and she's managed to figure out exactly how to control him to do her own evil deeds. Theron once appeared in a sitcom in which she played a Mentally Retarded Female and with the show having the phrase "Mr. F" sung over the soundtrack whenever she did anything stupid. I have to admit that almost every time she opened her mouth in this movie I heard "Mr. F" play in my head. At one point in the show her character is trapped in a room after her captive has put the 'invisible locks' on the door. These invisible locks don't exist in reality but her character is gullible so she simply believes that she's trapped. I have no idea why Dom does so much of what she asks of him. Or at the very least, I have no idea why he can't tell his crew that he's being blackmailed which would get them out of his way, reduce the chance of hurting any of them, and increase the chance of them rescuing him from his situation. Based on Toretto's general display of intellect, I can only assume that Theron has told him that she's found the part of his brain that's capable of basic common sense and put the invisible fucking locks on it.

However with all the shit going down in the world right now, perhaps Fast And Furious 8 is reflecting the politics of our world? I mean, do we really know who the goodies and the baddies are right now? Since America was overtaken by a Gummidge haired piss-monkey, I think it's fair to say that things have at least become a little more ambiguous. Although the film's depiction of loyalty, morality, and working against our principals is probably all that it does have to connect to our contemporary society, with the rest of the movie being so batshit insane that it bears little connection to any fucking reality that I've ever experienced. Before I saw the film I read two reviews for it, with the first one saying, “it betrays almost everything that fans have come to love about the series”. "Oh dear", I thought. I read a second review that said, “cars get chased across a frozen lake by a Russian submarine”. Before I could read any further into that second review I'd dived across the room and booked my tickets for the very next showing.

I mean, who the fuck are these fans that, like the first review, felt the movie had disappointed? How can a fan of this ridiculous series be disappointed when things get so over the top here that it does include a sub chase in which the street racers must avert World War 3? Unless of course you mean fans of the pre-Fast Five movies who preferred the series to be a shit rip-off of Point Break. In which case, betraying them isn't a criticism but rather a selling point. Because another thing that distinguishes this series from reality is that for slightly over two hours it was nothing but pure joy. On the surface these are dumb movies, but then when they're as enjoyably dumb as this, I can only assume that they were made by a genius. After the film was over, my friends asked me why I thought this was better than Power Rangers which we'd seen the week before. I'd thought that film was crap whereas they'd all thought it was fun because they're wrong. Well, the difference is that Fast And Furious 8 knows exactly what it is. Power Rangers tried to be fun, angsty, for kids, not for kids, cool, cheesy.. and failed it all through sheer incompetence. Fast And Furious 8 however is simply the wet dream of an 80's beef-cake action movie. Stunts, quips, and about as much sense as there is hair on the bald, boob-like heads of The Rock, Stath, and Vin Diesel.

Which isn't to say that this film is perfect of course. On paper it sounds like a stroke of genius to have Mad Max's Furiosa play the villain, and yet all they actually do with her is have her stand behind a computer for two hours. “Why can't they track her with that Gods Eye thing from the previous film I hear you ask?” … well they try to track Diesel however it shows his location as being in multiple places all over the world. Either she's a genius that's tampered with the technology or more likely the Gods' Eye is getting confused with every other sack of potatoes on the planet. The result is that whilst The Rock and Stath are busy making the most fun film imaginable, Theron spends her time chatting bollocks to the only member of the cast that actually thinks these films should be taken seriously. At this point we're eight films into a franchise which is said to be ending with the tenth instalment. Considering how dull the franchise was to begin with, it has no right to be as great as it is now. As each new film gets even stupider than the previous, it's as though each sequel is a spoof of its predecessor. At one point in this film Kurt Russell says to “know you're audience”, and I honestly don't think this series can lose. Contrary to that sceptical review, I think that half of its audience are stupid enough to take it seriously in which case they'll go anywhere with it. The other half is smart enough to not take it seriously in which case they'll want to go anywhere with it... And next time I'm betting it goes to fucking space. Thanks for reading, motherfuckers, and see you next time.

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