The first trailer for the next film in Universal’s Fast and the Furious franchise—hilariously titled The Fate of the Furious—was released Sunday, and it looks like just the thrill ride the nation needs to cheer up after the election. In this installment, Charlize Theron joins the cast as an international terrorist who has somehow convinced Dom Toretto (Vin Diesel) to work with her against the rest of the family (the Rock, et al). The results are explosive—in the trailer alone, a military convoy, about a block of New York traffic, and what looks like most of a multibuilding manufacturing facility are blown to smithereens.
Speaking of explosions, when Rex Tillerson—CEO of ExxonMobil and Trump’s front-runner for secretary of state—made the papers for the first time as an adult, it was for creating some fireworks of his own! On Nov. 11, 1986, an Exxon pipeline in Baytown, Texas, exploded with no warning, destroying the house of local resident Bill Smith and damaging other homes. (No one was killed; the Smiths’ dog, Cookie, was burned but survived.) Within a few days, the Texas Railroad Commission found that the explosion was caused not by Dom Toretto’s treachery but by a valve that had been left closed by mistake, a decision its representative was careful to characterize as “human error” rather than “negligence.” An Exxon spokesman said he “didn’t know if the company would ever comment publicly about the case.”
That’s when Tillerson, then an operations manager, stepped up to the plate as heroically as the Fast and Furious family, addressing the local civic association, members of which were understandably a little concerned that Exxon had blown up a house in their neighborhood. “I told [the head of the civic association] our investigation still isn’t complete,” Tillerson told the press five days after the Railroad Commission announced what had caused the explosion. “I hope within the next two to three weeks we’ll be done.” ExxonMobil is still in the Baytown disaster business, incidentally: Its plant there had “a large mysterious fire” just last April; a few months later it had to evacuate residents after a dilute propylene leak. In both cases, internal investigations were announced—presumably by a crack team just like the one headed by government bounty hunter Luke Hobbs (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson) in the Fast and Furious movies.
Of course, the Fate of the Furious crew wouldn’t film anywhere as dull as Baytown, Texas, no matter how often it’s on fire. Instead, in an effort to outdo Furious 7’s amazing Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirites, scenes, they shot spectacular ice driving sequences in—where else—Iceland, which are on full display in the trailer. Roman Pierce (Tyrese Gibson) streaks across the ice in an orange Lamborghini, dodging bullets and outrunning tanks while trading quips with Tej Parker (Ludacris). And was that a military submarine Charlize Theron was commanding?
Also as long as we’re talking about Iceland, did you know that climate change is making the very Earth there rise nearly 1.4 inches per year as its glaciers melt away to nothing? Or that the vanishing glaciers and seismic change are, in turn, causing an increase in volcanic eruptions? Imagine how exciting The Fast and the Furious 16 will be when they can return to Iceland to film a car chase across a tropical island covered with towering cliffs and flaming magma! If ExxonMobil CEO and possible Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is concerned about the global consequences or foreign policy implications of climate change (beyond awesome car chases), he’s hiding it well—maybe even as well as Dom Toretto hides his secret plans with Charlize Theron. In 2012, he told the Council on Foreign Relations that climate change was overblown, thanks to an “illiterate public” when it came to math and science, the nefarious work of “activist organizations” that “manufacture fear,” and “lazy” journalists. Tillerson, who heads a company that allegedly hid its internal knowledge of the risks of climate change while funding denialist cranks, emphasized the need for “sound science” instead of fearmongering. What should we do to head off the consequences of climate change, according to the man who may set our foreign policy? Not very much, as he told an audience member who asked about it:
We have spent our entire existence adapting, OK? So we will adapt to this. Changes to weather patterns that move crop production areas around? We’ll adapt to that. It’s an engineering problem, and it has engineering solutions. And so I don’t—the fear factor that people want to throw out there, to say “We just have to stop this,” I do not accept.
He really said all of this—here’s the entire video, twice as jaw-dropping as a computer-generated-imagery car driving into a CGI cargo plane just seconds before a CGI takeoff, even with no special effects:
But there are even more revelations in the new trailer (and Rex Tillerson’s career). It looks like Dom’s betrayal of his Fast and Furious family is going to send Luke Hobbs to prison in the new movie—the same prison where Furious 7 villain Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) is being held! Speaking of jail, can you guess where ExxonMobil executives didn’t go after the Exxon Valdez spill or—under Tillerson—dumping strontium-packed fracking wastewater into the Susquehanna River system, crude oil into the Yellowstone River, or diesel oil into the Mystic River? If you guessed “jail,” you’re gonna love The Fate of the Furious, in which international criminals avoid long-term consequences, legal or otherwise, for leaving smoking piles of rubble all over the world.
Come to think of it, if you like piles of rubble, you’re probably excited about the Trump administration already. And maybe Tillerson will be a good secretary of state—after all, stonewalling after blowing up the wrong thing is an essential part of U.S. foreign policy. One thing’s for sure: The Fate of the Furious and the Department of State under Rex Tillerson will both be very fast, unbelievably furious, exclusively powered by fossil fuels, and really, really expensive.