Vin Diesel goes rogue as Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham team up

The first trailer of The Fate of the Furious – yes, that’s the official title of F&F 8 – has just been released, and it’s an absolute doozy. The usual cast of characters all received prominent screen time, but just as everything appears to be what we’ve come to expect from the Fast & Furious franchise, the swerve we got tipped off was going to happen actually did.

In wrestling parlance, Dominic Torreto turned heel.

The face of the franchise has gone rogue, joining forces with the movie’s lead antagonist Chiper, played by Academy Award-winner Charlize Theron. Apparently, Cipher is a “high-tech terrorist” who now works with Toretto, making for a pretty formidable team that the rest of the crew will have to deal with. So, to combat their former leader, the crew turns to Luke Hobbs (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson) and Furious 7 main baddie Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham).

Okay... Wait, what?

The trailer played it careful not to divulge too much of the movie’s plot, but based on how the build-up went, it looks like the studio had to show Toretto’s swerve in order to establish the tone of the entire movie. Expect Dom’s heel turn to happen at the start of the movie, which would lay the foundation for what’s going to happen the rest of the way.

As for the rest of the movie, it’s a typical Fast & Furious production, right down to the high-powered cars, explosions, and the physics-bending stunts. I didn’t know the 1970 Dodge Challenger had so much torque that it could flip cars hooked to it by reversing. That’s a new one, guys.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

Well, that was interesting

So this is what’s become of the Fast & Furious franchise, huh? While I didn’t think that the last three movies would follow similar heist templates like the last four before it have done, I am actually surprised that the story gave us such a dramatic swerve from the unlikeliest of places. So Domenic Toretto, the guy who couldn’t stop piping about the importance of family being “the only thing” that matters in this world, suddenly turns on said family for reasons we still don’t know about?

I gotta say, he better have a good, if not deep-founded reason for this change, because anything other than that would look cheap and desperate, potentially even tainting the franchise moving forward. I am optimistic that from a storytelling point of view, evil Toretto would have believable reasons for turning on his family. Maybe the loss of Paul Walker’s character, Brian O’Connor, forced him to reevaluate the importance of “mi familia”? Maybe it’s something completely different. Maybe Toretto and Cipher have a past history together, which would be my bet given how she seems to be too familiar with his personality in the trailer.

But I’ll leave the speculation for another day, because the movie is still four months away from hitting theaters. I’m not spending more time than I should dissecting the “story” of the first trailer.

From a spectacle standpoint though, it’s nice to see director F. Gary Gray continue with the long-standing Fast & Furious tradition of mixing all that action and suspense with splashes of science fiction. No aliens here, but like I said above, the stunts in the trailer are just as scientifically perplexing as anything the franchise has done in the last seven movies. And oh, by the way, there’s a submarine there too. Yep. The countdown to Fate of the Furious has definitely begun.

What do you think?
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