And yes, it does look like a live-action adaptation of a particular two-part episode of G.I. Joe.
The Fast and the Furious franchise has to be one of the odder Hollywood success stories. The first film was a hit, the second was less of one, and the third – Tokyo Drift – became the butt of jokes and failed to even crack $100m at the domestic box-office.
Pretty much any other film series would have ended there, but Universal chose the path less traveled. Eight years after the first film they revamped the series with a bigger fourth entry that shifted the focus well beyond street racing to things far more ridiculous – and they haven’t looked back since.
Each entry has earned more than the previous one ever since leading the franchise to gross nearly $4 billion worldwide, and that trend looks to continue with our first real look at the eighth film, The Fate of the Furious.
Check out the first trailer for the film below.
And that’s how you go bigger than dropping cars out of a plane.
The trailer starts with the depressing realization that Roman Pearce is still alive instead of dying between installments like I had hoped, but the bigger reveal comes in the form of Dom’s (Vin Diesel) traitorous act. I do love the idea of the story shifting towards something beyond a simple heist again, but I’m calling it now that this plot is lifted directly from a mid-’80s G.I. Joe cartoon.
1985’s two-parter, “The Traitor,” to be precise.
The story there sees Joe team-member Dusty inexplicably turn on his fellow fighters and appear to join up with the venomous enemy, Cobra. He fights against his fellow Joes and alongside the bad guys, but in the end we discover that he was actually working undercover and only Duke knew the truth. So my prediction is that Dom’s actions are similarly motivated and probably a ruse to help bring down the big bad Cipher (Charlize Theron) – and only Mr. Nobody (Kurt Russell) knows about it.
That or Dom’s fallen victim to a mind-control gas. Or he’s a robot. He’s always been the least-interesting character so whatever the explanation I’m down with the change it brings.
All that said, no one – including myself – watches these movies for the stories. We come for the action, and on that front director F. Gary Gray (Law Abiding Citizen, The Negotiator) looks to be delivering another big ball of fun. The vehicular mayhem looks ridiculous, we get a fisty face-off between Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) and Shaw (Jason Statham), and then a goddamn submarine breaks through the ice and chases them across a frozen landscape.
So yeah. We’re looking forward to the movie despite its ludicrous title.
The Fate of the Furious races into theaters April 14th, 2017.