What’s weirder: that a poorly acted Point Break ripoff from 2001 spawned one of Hollywood’s most financially successful movie franchises of the modern era, or that the Fast & Furious movies only started to find their real identity around the fifth installment? In any case, after Furious 7 hit a fiscal and creative high for the series two years ago, The Fate of the Furious (The F8 of the Furious remains a missed opportunity) is on its way to make another billion dollars and further push the boundaries of how far “car-based action” can be taken as a subgenre.
As the film’s previous trailers have suggested, Fate will involve the sudden and confusing betrayal of Vin Diesel’s Dominic Toretto, the paterfamilias of the series’ central crew of former street racers, elite hackers, convicted felons, brainwashed amnesiacs, and The Rock. You can also now add “international terrorists” to that list, as Jason Statham’s heavy from the previous film will be…breaking out of the futuristic prison he was put in at the end of the last film? Well, that was fast. Anyway, they’ll have to contend not only with the sudden yet inevitable betrayal from Toretto, but also with Charlize Theron’s hacker, who in the trailer alone manages to control hundreds of cars with a tablet. (The series’ highly creative understanding of what hacking is and can do is just one of its many ridiculously fun aspects.)
Look, if you’re not already on board with a movie like The Fate of the Furious, nothing that we can say or do is going to sway you. The Fast & Furious franchise has embraced its most cartoonish instincts, and it’s made a lot of money doing it, and the hope is simply that F. Gary Gray will be able to pick up the absurdist torch laid out by those before him (James Wan and Justin Lin) and fly even closer to the sun with it. From what this latest trailer suggests, with all the tanks and submarines and car hacking, he’ll do just fine.
The Fate of the Furious will pack theaters on April 14th, and if you haven’t heard, will have a runtime usually reserved for Oscar hopefuls.
Meanwhile, a Fast & Furious live-arena tour is set to kick off early next year.