Monday, April 17, 2017

[Review] The Fate of the Furious

Eight. There have been eight of these things. EIGHT. And let's cut to the chase: The Fate of the Furious is 8-mazing.

I'll speed past all the background stuff... Basically, Fate sees Dom's (Vin Diesel) shocking heel turn-- his apparent stint on the dark side...where he's chosen to work for a puppet master/cyber hacker supervillain who goes by Cipher (played by Charlize Theron). The rest of the crew is tasked with foiling Cipher's nuclear plot while figuring out what exactly has gotten into Dom. As expected, things get over-the-top real quick, and in the most entertaining of ways.

I had a big smile on my face throughout this movie--from the crazy opening sequence of Vin Diesel's impromptu street race in Cuba where he ends up throwing the car in reverse after the front end bursts into flames--to The Rock and Jason Statham's elaborately staged, head-bashing prison break--to the tank and submarine chases in the Russian tundra, playing out like Fury Road on ice (I mean, we do have Furiosa here). Then there's Dom's heart-wrenching flip, you know--the moment he turns his back on FAMILY. A rush of darkness takes over as he walks off into a cloud of smoke, leaving The Rock hanging. And shortly after, he smooches his new "boss" right in front of his love, Letty (Michelle Rodriguez). It hurts. But there are more complicated things at work. And I'll leave it at that.

Speaking of family, amid all the explosions, the booty shot close-ups, the setpieces of self-driving cars running rampant like a herd of buffalo, and the playful banter between Ludacris and Tyrese, this movie is all about family. In fact, It should be called The Fate of the Family. Scratch that - The Family of the Family. See, under the hood, it's not about the engine, it's about the other 'hoods--the themes of fatherhood, motherhood, brotherhood... And on a more somber note, you can't help but feel a massive void--the absence of the franchise's central star, the late Paul Walker. But the film makes it clear that even though he's gone, he's definitely not forgotten.

Unfortunately, this installment doesn't quite reach some of the higher points of Fast 5, 6, and 7, and F. Gary Gray's action can be a bit choppy at times, especially compared to the previous work of Justin Lin and James Wan. But The Fate of the Furious still manages to be another fun addition to this franchise--the franchise that just won't quit. Can't wait 'til Fast and the Furious in space.

( 8/10 )

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  1. Okay, but are they ever gonna STOP talking about family in these movies? Maybe work on another theme for Fate Fast Fury Nine Nine maybe the military industrial complex?