What follows is a lightly edited transcript of Film Critic J's session with Dr. [redacted]. Our critic continues to insist that she was "broken" by Fast and Furious 8; little progress has been made, as demonstrated here.
There's no point there's no point there's no point what's the point? No one cares what we think anymore [maniacal laughter], if they ever did. Critics, film nerds, cineasts, reviewers, whatever we are. We're all "biast," right? We hate the things that "real" movie fans love, right? Critic-proof they said! Proof that critics are out of touch they said! Opening weekend tracking says a hunnerd mill or something crazy. I don't know, I just don't know. Why bother? [sobs]
It's like a tease in Fast and Furious 8, how it opens with some authentic-looking street racing in Havana. Havana of all places, Cuban car culture, cool old cars so great that out of necessity, impoverished and cut-off car lovers have had to keep going with spit and paper clips or whatever. It feels like the first Fast and Furious movie, back-to-basics street racing with real cars, until Vin frakkin' Diesel has to be driving a car that is on fire and he still wins the race (of course he does). And then he is beneficent in his triumph, he's like the Jesus of street racing. Please kill me now.
So that's kind of the legacy of the original move, just chewed up and thrown away, and you know it's going to be so ridiculous from then on. I mean, this is a movie about street racers and petty criminals who are now like the greatest secret agents in the world and only they can stop World War III and if that's not the best example yet of the death of expertise and the disdain for experience and authority I don't know what is. [sobs]
It's barely coherent; it's just stuff edited together, like from a dozen different movies, all from different genres, and no one cares. [sobs]
Is it meant to be funny? I dunno, but it's so serious, like, how can that even be? "I'll grab the team and meet you in Berlin" so we can find that stolen EMP device? Who says that except Jason Bourne? Oh, except he has no team, I know that, but you know what I mean. God, an EMP doesn't even work like that, this one is supposed to be able to take out a whole city and then it can't even futz up a single helicopter? [sob]
All the genres! So many! Why? Cyber-thriller and prison break and of course street racing, and spy shit and an odd couple buddy comedy with Jason Statham and the Rock, and also soap opera — I mean, really there's like secret offspring and someone is someone's surprise mother and people who are meant to be dead aren't really dead. Oh, and comic book people fly in wearing Iron Man suits. [sob] Fossil fuel porn. These movies made fossil fuel porn a thing. [sob]
OK, sure, it's cool that the villain is a woman — Charlize Theron with dreadlocks — and she's so cyber-badass that "even Anonymous won't mess with her," haha, but she has to be able to read minds in order to know how to sneak her way into the plot, and how is that even possible? It's like all the cyber stuff is the new magic.
And also Michelle Rodriguez seems to be able to read minds, too, but is still dumb enough to wear nothing but a little tank top and a thin leather jacket for the finale in the Russian Arctic, where they have to stop a nuclear submarine (something about nuclear codes that Charlize stole), but it's been days, and wouldn't they change them once they know the codes have been stolen? [sob] They have to stop a submarine with nothing but high-performance sports cars, which are probably not the best choices for icy places with no roads but what do I know? [sob] Fast and Furious on ice, oh fuck, don't give them any ideas, Fast and Furious on ice, dear god.
The camera is all up in women's asses and in their tits, but the villain is a woman and there's lots of brown people here so it's all progressive and diverse. It's junk, but it's progressive junk I guess. I guess that's something. [sob]
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