© Universal Pictures International Germany GmbH

Fast & Furious 8 (The Fate of the Furious)
U.S.A. 2017

Opening 13 Apr 2017

Directed by: F. Gary Gray
Writing credits: Chris Morgan, Gary Scott Thompson
Principal actors: Vin Diesel, Jason Statham, Dwayne Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson

How many films can claim as many successful sequels as this one? The first version came out in 2001, and, as the proud producers report, “there is already a new generation of fans.” Once again, a team (or rather a “family”) of hard-hitting protectors of the righteous and the good must fend off an evil threat. Hobbs (Johnson), Letty (Rodriquez), Roman (Gibson), Tej (Chris Bridges) and Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel) join forces, under the insistence of government agent Mr. Nobody (Kurt Russell) and his apprentice Little Nobody (Scott Eastwood), to eliminate Cipher (Charlize Theron). A newcomer in the group is Deckard Shaw (Statham), with whom Hobbs had struggled, while both were serving prison terms. Missing from the group is Dom Toretto (Diesel); he has changed sides and now works for Cipher, a cyber terrorist determined to acquire a certain suitcase with atomic codes. Let the action begin.

The real stars of the film are the tattooed muscles of Dwayne Johnson!! And then there is the baby. Although Dom preaches family, his version tends toward patchwork: he is married to Letty, begins an affair with Cipher, and learns that he has had a baby with Elena (Elsa Pataky). The third, and greatest, stars are the vehicles: cars (vintage as well as futuristic), trucks, airplanes, and submarines, which all race, crash, and fall out of park houses, with or without drivers. This choreography took an enormous amount of planning and coordination. The film boasts a cast/crew of more than 1400 (I counted) talented people who worked together for this final impressive result. It was filmed in Cuba, Iceland, and the USA (Cincinnati, Atlanta, and New York City). The scenes in Cuba are especially appealing, something we can appreciate, thanks to former US President Obama and Cuban President Raul Castor, who made peace on behalf of their countries and opened the borders to many endeavors such as this first Hollywood film made in Cuba since 1963.

Perhaps the storyline of Fast & Furious 8 will not hold your attention with the same suspense as #7 did, but it should meet the expectations of the dedicated viewers, and will pave the way for #9, which is already in the make. The premiere in Hamburg featured hot rods parked on the red carpet in front of Cinemaxx cinema. After the film, the motors were gunned up and the cars swung into the downtown traffic for a public- relations parade, perhaps slower than the film would suggest, due to the many traffic lights in the city. (Becky Tan)

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