- on Thursday, 13 April 2017 22:46
- by Loron Hays
Big DUMB fun. Amen to that.
Look, at this point in the Fast and Furious franchise, you either “ride or die” with its ongoing vehicular antics or you simply thumb for another ride. It’s really quite that simple. The series has managed to win over most critics and even a few skeptics by doubling down on the b-movie vibes that it ultimately is. From a wild prison break to a car jumping over a nuclear submarine, the 8th movie in the franchise has enough juice to keep the series running.
Based on the high of The Fate of the Furious, the franchise shows no sign of pumping its brakes anytime soon. Hell, I wouldn’t be surprised if we see these characters in space sometime soon. Thankfully, we aren’t quite there … yet.
Sure we’ve pretty much ditched the whole carjacking and street racing life. It’s here in the opening sequence only for show and, trust me, the opening race IS the weakest part of the movie. Our heroes are now connected with other law agencies that has them on spy-light globetrotting adventures against brutal criminals, but that doesn’t mean we’ve no place to go. Director F. Gary Gray (Friday, Set It Off, The Italian Job) brings the noise with yet another successful installment catapulting our heroes to and from Cuba, New York City, and the coldest parts of Russia.
Written by series scribe Chris Morgan, Fate sees Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) being coerced to work against his family by the mysterious Cipher (Charlize Theron), a criminal mastermind, with no problem of killing to get what she wants. But why would Dom turn? Family. Family. Family. You know Dom’s code, so why does he do it? Think about it. If you’ve been following the series, you can take a big guess.
So, once the realization sets in of his apparent betrayal on their first pledged assignment with Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson), Dom’s crew – minus Brian and Mia – assembles to figure out just what the hell is going on. This means that Letty (Michelle Rodriguez), Roman (Tyrese Gibson), and Tej Parker (Chris Bridges) are once again asked to do the impossible.
And it starts with getting Hobbs out of prison. Thankfully, they have a bit of help from Mr. Nobody (Kurt Russell) and his protégée, Little Nobody (Scott Eastwood).
The sheer ridiculousness of The Fate of The Furious works in its favor. These installments continue to be mad pictures; they are fun and they are full-throttled in their approach to the action. And The Fate of The Furious, while a bit clunky in its handling of some of the exposition, never forgets what it is: pure popcorn-munching entertainment.
And when the set-up fails to make an impression, there’s always the cast to get you through. Once again, Johnson needs to be praised. His willingness to throw his weight around and make us laugh is a HUGE key to the success of these movies. Honestly, he was the secret weapon in Fast Five and, as he gets to butt heads with Jason Statham and play off of him, he continues to shine in a role that has him going toe-to-toe with a torpedo.
But before all that nonsense, there’s Statham who damn near steals the show. He’s funny, suave, and – in his extended fight sequence aboard a plane – he even gets to save a child. You think the cast is too big as it is? Just wait. The Fate of the Furious has a few surprises and one HUGE cameo. We even get the return of Tego Calderón as Tego Leo and Don Omar as Rico Santos, both former member of Dom's team in the Dominican Republic and Rio de Janeiro.
So, yeah, there’s a bit of fat on the bone in this one, which is why #8 feels a little out of focus at times. Not a problem, though, as the action is BIG TIME. The Fate of the Furious will definitely get you to where you need to be. It might be a bit convoluted, but the charm, smoke, and chrome are all still there.
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for prolonged sequences of violence and destruction, suggestive content, and language.
Runtime: 136 mins
Director: F. Gary Gray
Writer: Chris Morgan, Gary Scott Thompson
Cast: Vin Diesel, Jason Statham, Dwayne Johnson
Tagline: The ride isn't over.
Memorable Movie Quote: "I will beat you like a Cherokee drum."
Theatrical Distributor: Universal Pictures
Official Site: http://www.fastandfurious.com/
Release Date: April 14, 2017
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date: No detaials available.
Synopsis: Now that Dom and Letty are on their honeymoon and 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 (Oscar winner Charlize Theron) seduces Dom into the world of crime he can’t seem to escape and a betrayal of those closest to him, they will face trials that will test them as never before.
No details available.