The Fate Of The Furious Delivers Plenty Of Choreographed Car-nage

Eight movies in, the Fast and Furious franchise has finally let us know what it thinks of the self-driving car revolution with a single spectacular scene in The Fate of the Furious.

Translation: not a whole lot—as would be expected from a series of movies centred on stunt driving, stunt crashing, and stunt blowing-stuff-up. What fun is a car programmed to avoid collisions when the whole point is to see who comes out on top when you collide?

Zero fun… unless, of course, you’re an evil computer genius with skills superior to all the members of Anonymous combined. In which case you can hack into every semi-autonomous car in downtown Manhattan to cause the traffic jam to end all traffic jams (collision avoidance programs disabled, naturally).

That’s exactly what Cipher (Charlize Theron) does while in the midst of her own personal global nuclear weapons scavenger hunt. Using Dom’s (Vin Diesel) oft-repeated allegiance to ‘family’ against him, Cipher makes the team leader her errand boy by blackmailing him with a video—we don’t find out what it is that makes him throw over one ‘family’ for another until about a third of the way in.

By then, Dom’s betrayed his entire team, sent Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) to jail, and made out with Cipher in front of his new wife, Letty (Michelle Rodriguez). What could make a guy pull up stakes half-way through his Cuban honeymoon and take off with a blonde, dreadlocked cyberterrorist who seems to live full-time on an private jet? Certainly not the airplane food.

Directed by F. Gary Gray (The Italian Job, Straight Outta Compton), this eighth Fast and Furious movie manages to choreograph new ways to demolish all manner of wheeled vehicle (and one Russian nuclear submarine) while sticking to a fairly simple plot that matters much less than the cast’s quippy one-liners and explosive racing sequences.

In addition to Diesel, Johnson, and Rodriguez, the rest of the core Fast crew, including Tyrese Gibson and Ludacris, are also back. Jason Statham, whose character Deckard does an amazing end-run at 40,000 feet with the movie’s most precious cargo under arm, returns too (and nearly steals the show until Helen Mirren shows off a very entertaining and very un-Helen-Mirren-like East End London accent as his domineering, leopard print-loving mother). Missing, of course, is Paul Walker’s Brian O’Connor. Walker died mid-way through filming the previous Fast and Furious movie, and this new one offers up several sweet tributes to the actor.

So start your illegally-modified-for-street-racing-engines, Fury fans: The Fate of the Furious crashes into theatres on Friday April 14. Watch the trailer below: