Is eight enough?
Continuing global exploits in the unstoppable franchise built on speed and adrenaline, Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham lead the returning cast of THE FATE OF THE FURIOUS. Rejoining the ranks of Hollywood brute are favorites Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Nathalie Emmanuel, with Kurt Russell and Charlize Theron!
Well, it’s here. To say this wasn’t one of the year’s most anticipated movies means you were probably dropped on your head more than once, or you’ve simply been living in a cave the last few years. Elephant in the room: handling Paul Walker’s absence (obviously), aside from the fact that this is a piece taken over by visionary director F. Gary Gray.
What can be said about FATE that hasn’t already been said about its predecessors? Sure, one must disengage their brain when embarking upon a wild world of fast cars and over-the-top scenarios, but that’s why we love it. Going from zero to hundred, we thrive and live vicariously through all the nuttiness and hardcore, stone-faced characters.
Bigger on just about every chaotic scale of silliness, FATE kinda redefines action in every way, shape, or form, sealing it as one of the last, raw, action series left in Tinsel Town. But this provides more than noise and muscle-cars… It embarks on the ultimate face-off as our favorite crew go screeching skid-mark to high velocity cat-and-mouses against one of their own.
FATE opens on what’s obvious. Now that Dom (Diesel) and Letty (Rodriguez) are on their honeymoon and Brian (Walker) and Mia (Brewster) have retired from the game—and the rest of the crew has been exonerated—the drama-ridden, globetrotters have found peace and have moved on with normal lives. But when a mysterious woman (Oscar® winner Charlize Theron) seduces Dom into the world of crime he can’t seem to escape, led by betrayal of those closest to him, our crew will face harsh trials that’ll test them in ways they never expected.
From the shores of Cuba, to the cluttered streets of NYC–and icy plains off the arctic Barents Sea–our elite force does what they do best: unleash beautiful chaos as they try to stop what I think is the hottest terrorist known to mankind. Even if it means joining up wtih the most unlikely of characters.
The movie itself is brutally silly, but fun. I’ve always had a theory about this franchise and that’s every single movie must outdo the next with incomprehensible craziness. So much, it’s come to a point where even the characters and dialog are so over-the-top, you can tell the writing is done on purpose to sound, feel, and look a certain way. It’s like they’re the human version of The Avengers with muscle-cars, Hummers, and a tank! (This one even includes a submarine. You’ll see what I’m talking about.)
Sea, air, and land THE FATE OF THE FURIOUS provides everything fans of the franchise expect and/or want, standing on its own and teases at inevitable re-invention. Stylistically different, F. Gary Gray made sure his work-ethic and style garners respect, giving the fan-base hopes of perhaps directing another (if ever) in the future.
Personally, the highlights of this film are the following: Johnson and Statham! Their love-hate bromance served as comical and built anticipation in wanting to see more of them. That said, Tyrese gets annoying after a while. Helen Mirren’s cameo was great. The narrative seemed to have been initiating Scott Eastwood, who clearly is the new kid on the block, while keeping Walker’s heart beating by name. And a couple of surprises (character-wise) that added to the story. Everything else felt no different than before. And not that anyone enters these films seeking it, but nonexistent plot logistics, and completely doing away with the law of Physics, FATE is quite pleasing and entertaining. With a clever unambiguous ending, will this be the it of the franchise? Nope! Although this series has gotten a little long in the tooth, sixteen years, eight movies, and billions of dollars later, this franchise has two more sequels in store by 2021. So, stay tuned, Team Furious. There’s more.
Grade: B / Genre: Sequel, Action/Adventure, Drama / Rated: PG-13 / Run Time: 2:16
Starring: Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Kurt Russell, Charlize Theron, Scott Eastwood
Directed by: F. Gary Gray
© 2017 Universal Pictures