“The Fate of the Furious” stars Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Chris Bridges, Nathalie Emmanuel, Kurt Russell, and Charlize Theron. Released on April 14, 2017, the film has Dominic Toretto and his crew facing their biggest challenge yet when a mysterious woman seduces Dom back into the world of crime.
The film is directed by F. Gary Gray, who also directed films such as Friday, The Italian Job, and Straight Outta Compton. It is the eighth installment in The Fast and the Furious franchise. A lot of people thought that Furious 7 marks the end of the 16-year-old film franchise due to its ending and the tragic passing of Paul Walker back in 2013. Apparently, Furious 7 only closes the final chapter of Brian O’Conner’s story. This latest installment opens up a new chapter for Toretto and his family and from what I saw from the marketing, it’s not looking too good. That’s right, the man who’s known for having the word “family” in his brain for about seven films…has thrown that word away like it was a piece of garbage. When I saw the trailer for the first time, there were a lot of things that came to my mind, ranging from “What the heck?” to “Dom, you idiot!” Ok, so the last thing wasn’t true, but believe me, I was extremely disgusted at the fact that Dom would do something like this. Anyway, this franchise has been riding a string of critical and commercial successes that started with Fast Five back in 2011 for many reasons. The cast, the cars, the heists, the action, and of course, family, which is the most common theme of the franchise. All of those insane qualities are what made these films so enjoyable and fun. Now it looks like the latest Fast & Furious film is taking on the ‘Civil War’ approach by having Dom face off against his own family. It worked in Civil War, so surely it can work for this film as well, right?
If you’re familiar with the Fast & Furious movies, then you’ll know what you’re getting yourself into. This film has pretty much everything you’ve come to expect from the franchise since Fast Five: some great chemistry between the characters, some explosive action sequences, and of course, some fast cars. Once again, the cast did a fantastic job portraying their characters, including Diesel as Toretto and Dwayne Johnson as Hobbs, who’s pretty much like a superhero in this one. There’s also plenty of humor to go around as well, thanks to Tyrese Gibson as Roman and surprisingly, Jason Statham as Deckard Shaw, who now serves as an ally in the film. It may not be for everyone, but it made me laugh, so it does its job well. Like the other films, the theme of family comes into play in “Fate”, and the story that revolves around it was pretty deep and personal despite its silliness. The only reason for this type of tone was the film’s new antagonist, Cipher, played by Charlize Theron. She managed to turn Dom’s strength into his weakness in order to force him to betray his crew. Now that’s just plain evil…in a brilliant way. Better move over, Owen Shaw, because Cipher is now my favorite villain of the franchise. Theron was simply amazing in that role. She made her character so hatable and menacing that you just want to take out a gun and shoot her in the head. If I had a “Most Hatable Movie Characters” list, I would put her above Prince Hans from Frozen. The action sequences were pretty insane, yet entertaining at the same time. However, in terms of its style of filmmaking, it didn’t quite reach the same levels as the sequences in Furious 7, even though this one had a giant flipping submarine! Some of the sequences may have suffered from its shaky camera work, but it didn’t bother me that much. If there’s another flaw that I would point out, it would be its running time. It’s pretty obvious that they haven’t learned from last time. The film is over two hours long and, while there wasn’t a single dull moment to be found, it can get a bit exhausting from time to time. Not to mention it had a few predictable moments that could’ve been modified a bit to increase the story’s impact.
Overall, it doesn’t come close to beating out Furious 7 as my favorite film of the 16-year-old franchise, but “Fate of the Furious” has enough action, silliness, and heart that’ll impress a lot of hardcore fans. It might not win any newcomers over, but as a follower of the film series, I had a really fun time watching this film. It would be interesting to see where the franchise will go from here since they announced the ninth and tenth installments. Maybe they’ll take on an army of super-enhanced beings from the future next, or maybe they’ll team up with the Autobots to fight off the deadly Decepticons? Both of these ideas may not happen, but it would be cool to see either one of them make it into the development stages.