F8 is soaked in reality, but it needs belief to be suspended almost continuously. There is an insistence on feeling real with explosive car stunts and it’s serious nature, but it’s actually awful at getting things right and this doesn’t just go for the plot. F6 was famous for its endless plane runway but this takes it to a new level. Cars changing into top gear only half way through an incredibly long chase across an icy plain. A man falling into a lake and coming out dryer than when he went in. There is no consistency to maintaining a sense of reality, which in other parts it works so hard for. It has a very unprofessional sheen to it.
Vin Diesel deserves some praise purely for his ability to continue to get acting roles. His performance as Xander Cage in the XXX franchise is practically identical to his Dom Torreto in these. He cannot act outside of his one role, and it’s irritating that it continues to happen.
The only thing F8 has going for it is it’s car stunts. They really are a marvel and the thought behind them, making them bigger each film, is amazing. It’s just a shame that they are tainted by the bad acting and awful plot.
There are interesting stunts and this carries the film but really, the dirt poor plot and oak tree acting make this a film of undesirable embarrassment. Then again, if fast cars and bad acting get you going then you’re on to a winner. For the 8th time.