At this point, I’m sure we all know what to expect from The Fast and The Furious franchise. So if you’re a fan, you probably can’t get enough of all they’re offering up. There may also be a part of you that knows that any movie could be the one that destroys the franchise for good if it gets too out of hand. Luckily for us, The Fate of the Furious isn’t the one that ends its streak of making the preposterous worth cheering.
Picking up sometime after the events of Furious 7, F8 sees “the family” that’s been built over the years being threatened like never before. This is mainly due to the appearance of Cipher (Charlize Theron), a cyber terrorist who has something on Dom (Vin Diesel) that convinces him to betray his loyal crew and go rogue. Now, with Luke Hobbs (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson) as their defacto leader, the remaining members of the group have to come together to take down this newly formed duo and find out why all of this is happening before it’s too late.
What carries Fate of the Furious is the action and the characters. Throughout the film, they’re consistently giving us one or the other if not both. This is one of those movies that knows what it is and doesn’t waste time attempting to be more than what it is. The people behind it know that you’re here to have fun, and they give it to you by constantly featuring the two most important aspects of any action movie in nearly every scene.
The only thing that The Fate of the Furious is missing is Paul Walker. While you can surely feel that, the other cast members pick up the slack as they’re always working to get us in a position to enjoy the ride that sees this furiously fast team travel across the world in an another outrageous adventure that’s easy to recommend to anyone. All you have to do is want to have fun. The movie takes care of everything else.
The actors who are in this one illustrate what it means to have a good time when filming with what looks to be a great deal of actual chemistry. While everyone gets in on it at some point, the most obvious example of this comes in the form of the relationship between Dwayne Johnson’s Hobbs and Jason Statham’s Shaw. The banter between these two is always fantastic because of the rivalry they already had stemming from Furious 7. Their relationship is also still relatively new and allows the movie to add another important dynamic.
Johnson and Statham also add to the franchise by being the most physical guys here. This allows for more fight scenes and more versatility when it comes to the type of action we’re get to witness. Before, it was mostly just cars, but now you have two characters that are trained to use their hands, guns and anything else they can get a hold of in a lethal fashion. Because of their inclusion and the car scenes that we get, we’re witnessing some of the best actions scenes we may ever see. I’m not exaggerating when I say that there are at least three set pieces here that are just that good!
And I know Deckard Shaw was the villain in Furious 7, but to some degree. they manage to explain why he’s on the side of our heroes now. This is another aspect of Fate of the Furious that could have been overlooked. I was questioning how they would make that and other things in the storyline work, and figured this would damage the movie irreparably. In reality, they attempt to explain everything and a large amount of it makes sense. A movie like this doesn’t necessary need that level of detail, but they try and succeed in many instances.
With all of this being said, I left The Fate of the Furious believing that it may actually be one of the best of the bunch based purely on all that it offers. I didn’t think these could get any crazier while not becoming too much, but they somehow pulled it off and did so in an amazing way. At the same time, I can also say that it’s somehow toned down even though it might actually be more insane. Yeah, that sounds confusing reading it, but by now, I think it’s safe to say that this is the way things work in The Fast and The Furious universe.
Another thing that’s ludicrous about this is the structure of the franchise from now on. Apparently, this one is an end of a trilogy (while leaping over Tokyo Drift) within the franchise itself, but it’s also starting a new trilogy as well. Somehow, they were able to tie the last three movies together while also being able to connect this one to what’s supposed to be the last two of the series coming up in 2019 and 2021. It’ll be interesting to see how this goes down and I will be one of the people there to see how it unfolds.
Anyway, with all of the action and characters getting a chance to shine, we get something that’s all over the place while still having the type of form that’s easy to follow. Credit has to be given to F. Gary Gray and Chris Morgan who handled director and writer duties respectively here. Of course, credit also has to be given to the actors as they put in some serious effort to entertain. I don’t know what they have waiting for us in the future, but whatever is coming has a lot to live up to.
Director: F. Gary Gray
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson
Chris “Ludacris” Bridges
Film Length: 136 minutes
Release Date: April 14, 2017
Distributor: Universal Pictures
- Score - 8/108/10