Thursday, April 13, 2017

The Fast & The Furious tempts Fate 8

by Phang Kuok Sing

I recall watching the first movie The Fast & The Furious not on the big screen, but on the TV. What got me hooked was the brightly lit and loudly modified street racing cars featured in the movie. Never would I have thought the franchise would become what it is today, and have such an impact on pop culture. From small time thugs and street racers, the team has since find themselves often involved in international missions which require their specific skill sets of driving really fast cars. Some would even think the last few films were directed by Michael Bay (not true). The team has come a long way and so has their following of secret agencies and baddies. Despite all the madness that happened in the last few films, Family is still the end goal.

The first movie of the franchise released 16 years ago in 2001.

Current leading man of the franchise, Hollywood bad boy Vin Diesel stepped into the shoes of Dominic Toretto in 2001 for the first movie, The Fast and The Furious. He was then on hiatus for the subsequent 2 movies and returned to the role of Dom after 8 years for Fast & Furious in 2009.

The other films in between introduced Dom's associates around the world, whom eventually became part of the Toretto Family - Brian (the late Paul Walker), Letty (Michelle Rodrigeuz), Mia (Jordana Brewster), Roman (Tyrese Gibson), Tej (Ludacris), Han (Sung Kang), and Gisele (Gal Gadot). We are all too sure towards the plot of each movie so we won't dive deep into the story line. Instead we will attempt to fill in the gaps of some "unconnected scenes" & recurring characters.

Brian shows up in a pimped out Skyline GTR in the beginning of 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003). We bet a lot of us were wondering how he'd just show up with a ride like that, after giving up his 10-second Supra to Dom whom ended up Baja California, Mexico.

Brian's Nissan Skyline GTR R34

There is actually a short film in-between the first and second movie, known as "The Turbocharged Prelude for 2 Fast 2 Furious", released with the DVD in 2003 which follows Brian's journey after parting with Dom, and how he became the established street racer/hustler.

Turbocharged Prelude For 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003)

Does it make sense now?

Chronologically, Tokyo Drift (2006) happens after Fast & Furious 6 (2013), which explains the sudden reappearance of Han in the Dominican Republic, helping the crew in stealing the oil tanker in Fast & Furious (2009), where we were also introduced to 2 new faces, Leo & Santos (Puerto Rican singers Tego Calderón & Don Omar respectively). Now, the duo did not just mysteriously appear as new characters, like Brian's GTR in 2 Fast 2 Furious. They were actually introduced to us at an earlier time, in the form of a short film included as a bonus on Blu-Ray & DVD, known as "Los Bandoleros" in 2009 prior to the fourth movie.

Los Bandoleros (2009)

Now that we have cleared the past, let's connect the dots in the future especially the new characters introduced between Fast 5 and Fast & Furious 7. Firstly, Agent Luke Hobbs played by Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson:

Diplomatic Security Service Agent Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson)

Hobbs first appeared in Fast 5 (2011) when Dom & Brian stole a Ford GT40 on-board a train, which was seized by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) as it was linked with Brazilian drug lord Hernan Reyes. As Hobbs pieced the puzzles together at the end of the chase, he gave Dom & Brian a chance to flee as they have earned his respect. Hobbs returns in Fast & Furious 6 (2013) to find Dom as the case he is working on, Owen Shaw (Luke Evans) involves his supposedly dead-girlfriend Letty (killed 2 movies back in Fast & Furious). Hobbs was successful in securing the computer chip with the help of Dom's team and gave them full pardon for their assistance. 

Owen Shaw (Luke Evans)
Owen Shaw in Fast & Furious 6 (2013) was a former British SAS Major & Special Operations Soldier & his team of tech & weapons experts was out to steal several high tech components to create a deadly device, and intends to sell it to the highest bidder. One of the members included Letty - Dom's supposedly dead girlfriend. Shaw recruited Letty after discovering her amnesia after being rescued by Gisele. It was later revealed that Shaw is connected to Mexican drug lord Arturo Braga, whom Gisele used to work for. Surprise, Surprise! Owen suffered severe injuries from the crashing plane at the end of the film and is bedridden in a hospital.

Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham)
We get the first look of Owen's big bad brother Deckard Shaw in the intro of Furious 7 (2015), as a flashback to Han's crash sequence in Tokyo Drift (2009), showing Deckard responsible for Han's death. It is revealed that Deckard is out to avenge his brother Owen by taking out Dom's family one by one. Highly skilled in tracking people with background in the British military, Deckard plays the "you can't find me, but I will find you" role as he only appears when he wants you to see him. Deckard pursues in attempt to disrupt Dom's team while they are out on missions orchestrated by Mr. Nobody played by veteran action-star Kurt Russell. Despite these attempts he fails but ends up in a one-on-one brawl with Dom but lost and disappears in the collapse of the parking lot. He is later found in the rubble by Hobbs and locked away in a high-security prison.

Mr Nobody (Kurt Russell)
Nothing much is known about Mr Nobody (Or is he?) besides being the leader of a covert operations unit. Nobody offers Dom to get back to Deckard if he helps to find a high tech device known as the God's Eye. With the help of Dom's team & Hobb's return, Nobody successfully secured God's Eye.

Elena Neves (Played by Elsa Pataky)
Elena first appeared during Fast 5 (2011) in Rio de Janeiro as a local police officer, selected by Hobbs to assist in tracking down Dom & his team. Elena retrieves Dom's cross necklace after a minor gun-fight in the favela, whom visits her later that evening to claim it back. Elena returns with a minor role in Fast & Furious 6 (2013) she and Dom were approached by Hobbs seeking help to bring Shaw in with the reveal that Letty is alive. Elena sees that Dom still loves Letty & tells him to accept the job. That was the last of Elena. Perhaps.

Got all that? Take it all in to help digest what's being served for the 8th installment of this blockbuster movie franchise:

The Fate Of The Furious - In Cinemas 12 April 2017
Official Synopsis:
Now that Dom (Vin Diesel) and Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) are on their honeymoon, Brian and Mia have retired from the game, and the rest of the crew has been exonerated, the globetrotting team has found a semblance of a normal life. But when a mysterious woman seduces Dom back into a world of crime that he can't seem to escape, the crew will face trials that will test them as never before.

The Fate Of The Furious, better known as Fast & Furious 8 in Malaysia, is now showing in cinemas nationwide. The Outpost Movie Recon Team (M.R.T) has done some homework to find some Fast8 goodies for furious fans. Check it out!

Fast 7 Furious Combo with drink tumbler and popcorn from TGV Cinemas
TGV Cinemas is offering Furious 8 combo of 1x regular popcorn & 1x 44oz (1.3L) tumbler. Relating to that, they are also selling movie marathon tickets featuring Fast 7 & Fast 8 at selected cinemas. Plus, you get unlimited soft drink refills throughout the marathon. WOWZERS!

TGV Cinemas Fast Marathon recap on the preceding movie before jumping into Fast8.
TGV Cinemas is also running the Furious Showdown contest giving away a trip for 2 to Universal Studios Hollywood to experience the official Fast & Furious Supercharged ride. Head over to TGV Sunway Velocity this Sunday 16 April between 12pm to 4pm to witness the Furious Showdown Finals as 10 racers compete to score the Grand Prize. Actually the runner-up prize don't look too shabby either with an entire hall given away for a private movie screening!

TGV Cinemas' Furious Showdown

GSC Cinemas on the other hand have a tamer but interesting combo. A drink & popcorn bucket together in 1 oil barrel-like container. Say what?! Yes your popcorn remains crunchy!

GSC Furious Combo

We kid you not!
Similar to that, MBO Cinemas is also offering a tumbler combo, but with a more traditional approach. Race gauges anyone? You'll even get a special FF diecast vehicle with the Ultimate combo!

Want more Fast & Furious movie merchandise? Then join the online contest by United International Pictures Malaysia. Visit one of the green screen simulators at  Gurney Paragon Mall, Mid Valley Megamall or Johor Bahru City Square to "star" in a trailer reel with Vin Diesel, then post that clip online for the chance to win stuff! Find out more at their Facebook page:

FAST & FURIOUS 8 | Contest | In Cinemas 13 April
[CONTEST] It's your turn to ride or die with the #FastFamily!🔥Our exclusive #F8 green screen simulator lets you star alongside Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Dwayne The Rock Johnson and many more! So, show your best #F8FASTWEI face and WIN exclusive F8 merchandise! Just follow these simple steps: 1. Visit the #F8 green screen simulator at Gurney Paragon Mall, Mid Valley Megamall or Johor Bahru City Square for an experience of your life! 2. SHARE your customised clip with the hashtag #F8FASTWEI on Facebook and Instagram before 16 April, 12pm! 20 of the best stand a chance to WIN exclusive #F8 movie merchandise! Participation is FREE. T&Cs apply ( FAST & FURIOUS 8 opens nationwide this 13 April. Book your tickets now! 🎬
Posted by United International Pictures Malaysia on Wednesday, 5 April 2017

#Fast&Furious #Fast8 #FastFamily #F8FASTWEI

Disclaimer: The Fast & The Furious and its trademarks are copyright to Universal Pictures, referenced here for fan service announcements without intent to infringe.

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