The Fate of the Furious (2017)

  • Time: 136 min
  • Genre: Action | Crime | Thriller
  • Director: F. Gary Gray
  • Cast: Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Charlize Theron, Jason Statham, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris

Storyline:

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 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. From the shores of Cuba and the streets of New York City to the icy plains off the arctic Barents Sea, the elite force will crisscross the globe to stop an anarchist from unleashing chaos on the world’s stage… and to bring home the man who made them a family.

4 reviews

  • “Dominic Toretto just went rogue,” Dwayne Johnson’s Luke Hobbs declares and, with that, The Fate of the Furious revs up its engines, hardly ever looks back, and establishes itself as one of the best entries in the 16-year-old franchise.

    Vin Diesel’s Dom Toretto has indeed gone rogue, not only betraying his family, the adrenaline-seeking crew comprised of kickass wife Letty (Michelle Rodriguez), quip-dispensing ladies man Roman (Tyrese Gibson), wisecracking geek Tej (Chris “Ludacris” Bridges), computer hacker Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel), and DSS Agent Hobbs, but also actively working against them. Dom is a reluctant traitor, coerced into the employ of long-tressed, lightly dreadlocked cyberterrorist Cipher (Charlize Theron, somewhat reprising her icy ruthlessness from Snow White and the Huntsman), who orders him to steal an EMP bomb, nuclear launch codes, a Russian submarine, and use any means necessary against his crew, who have been dispatched by Mr. Nobody (the delightfully slick Kurt Russell) and his rookie partner (Scott Eastwood, fitting in nicely), dubbed “Nothing,” to track and capture their wayward leader.

    Also on hand is Jason Statham’s Deckard Shaw, the special forces assassin who raised hell against Dom and his crew for bringing down baby brother Owen (Luke Evans) in Furious 7. Though screenwriter Chris Morgan often pretzels the plot contrivances in order to make the general story work, The Fate of the Furious features one of the franchise’s strongest narratives. Having Dom be the bad guy is a clever move. For one thing, the emotional stakes are raised. For another, it manages to sideline Diesel without necessarily incapacitating him altogether. The fact of the matter is, though Diesel made the franchise just as much as the franchise made him, he has actually become one of its weakest presences. Separating him from the group allows far more charismatic performers like Johnson and Statham to shine and shine they do.

    Johnson was practically missing in action in Furious 7 since his character was meant to be recovering from the wounds sustained in Fast & Furious 6, yet was such an indelible figure even with his limited screen time. With his expanded role in The Fate of the Furious, he all but owns the film and it’s no wonder that he and Statham barely share any scenes together with Diesel for they both easily steal focus away. Watching Johnson and Statham together, however, makes one wish they could star in a buddy movie for their antagonistic exchanges and begrudging respect for one another is nothing but pure joy to witness. One of the film’s highlights has nothing to do with cars and everything to do with watching these two bulked-up bulletheads withstand muscled inmates and police officers in riot gear as they chase one another through a maximum security prison.

    Though its action sequences are solid and often spectacular, they don’t come close to topping the action sequences in Furious 7, which were sheer WTF amazingness – a car going from one Abu Dhabi skyscraper to another, Dom driving off a cliff, the late Paul Walker’s Brian being whipped over the edge of a cliff as he hangs on to the bumper of Letty’s car. Granted, the sight of the team racing over a frozen lake as they evade bombs, heatseekers and a submarine is a pretty memorable one. So is the Manhattan-set sequence in which Cipher immobilises the Russian Defense Minister’s heavily guarded car by remote-controlling all the surrounding cars. The shot of about three dozen cars making a hard swerve round the corner is ridiculously nifty as is the sight of cars dropping from the top level of a parking garage and raining onto the street below. Mention must also be made of the highly amusing sequence of Deckard aboard Cipher’s plane, throwing down with her men as he protects a baby, happily oblivious to the mayhem around him as well as Helen Mirren’s cameo as the Cockney-accented, leopard print-wearing figure who knows that one of the strongest weapons is often a mother’s ability to guilt.

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  • There was a time when MTV was all about music videos. There was a time when Kid Rock was a rapper. There was a time when ESPN was fixated on sports. Finally, there was a time when The Fast and the Furious movies were all about car racing. Now, Vin Diesel and company are into saving the world while going the veritable Jason Bourne route.

    The Fate of the Furious (my latest review) is the 8th installment in The Fast and the Furious franchise. Diesel and Michelle Rodriguez are the only actors left from the original flick. “Fate” has Vin’s Dominic Toretto being forced to go seamlessly rogue. It’s a nice little wrench in the buildup-free plot and an applicable way to keep this film series going. Expect the usual dose of lame dialogue (“I will beat you like a Cherokee drum”), mediocre acting (with the exception of villain Charlize Theron), and ludicrous depictions of character globetrotting (the cast travels to Havana, Berlin, New York, and Russia all in the blink of an eye). Also, be on the lookout for silly yet heart-pounding action sequences courtesy of director F. Gary Gray (Law Abiding Citizen, Set It Off).

    Whether it’s cars driving themselves and falling out of buildings, automobile chases with the addition of submarines, and fight scenes that would make Chuck Norris jealous, it looks like a billion dollars was plastered on the screen (that’s the box office gross “Fate” has made already). Watching The Fate of the Furious, you realize that there are enough outlandish, “yeah right” moments capable of forming a drinking game (for the record, I don’t encourage this behavior).

    All in all, Gray takes whatever he did in The Italian Job and kicks it up ten notches. His camera moves like a lightning bolt, making CGI, gizmo-ed gadgets, and stunt work the equivalence of a habitual drug. When The Fate of the Furious exhaustively ends, you’ll immediately know that another sequel is in the works. Might as well keep the money train rolling with another dose of nonsensical, gear head entertainment. My rating: An amusing and smash-mouth, 2 and a half stars.

    Rating: 2.5 out of 4 stars

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  • Putting all criticisms aside, it is truly amazing how quickly this franchise has expanded. In a matter of less than two decades, a simple racecar thriller known as The Fast and the Furious (2001) has created practically as many sequels as the original Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977) did. That’s mind blowing. This should prove to viewers who do and don’t enjoy it that the producers must know what they’re doing when each film passes its predecessor. However being that actor Vin Diesel has clearly stated that there will only be 10 entries in the story, it’s rather difficult to think anyone would stop there. Some fans might have hoped that after Furious 7 (2015) was released, would mark the end of the series. Looking at it that way would make sense because of how well the film sent off Paul Walker and his character. With that, there was concern of how the next entry would deal with this absence. Don’t worry though, everyone on board seemed to have thought of everything.

    Sometime after the events of Furious 7 (2015), Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) are relaxing when Toretto is confronted by a person called Cipher (Charlize Theron). Not long after blackmailing him, Cipher begins using Toretto to do her dirty work. This in turn betrays the family he has been so heavily involved with from the start. Trying to stop Toretto, Mr. Nobody (Kurt Russell) arrives and adds Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) to the crew, which many hesitate on. Yet Letty, Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson), Roman Pierce (Tyrese Gibson), Tej Parker (Ludacris) and Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel) all know they need all the help they can get. Cipher also has a deadly yes-man by the name of Rhodes (Kristofer Hivju) who isn’t afraid to kill. Meanwhile Mr. Nobody added a newbie to his roster too, that being Little Nobody (Scott Eastwood). But that’s not all, there’s several other character appearances. Writer Chris Morgan seems to know just how to give a wink and nod at every turn.

    Character development is continuously growing throughout the entries. New roles are added, which then in turn begin to build on their foundation with a series of trials that’ll prove themselves to others. All actors within the story give amiable performances. This goes for protagonists and antagonists. The fast crew all have great quips with each other and even manage to respectfully squeeze in a reference or two to Paul Walker’s character. The comedic elements are what really help push the likability of these characters. Seeing Tej and Roman or Luke and Deckard bicker, is all for a good laugh. Little Nobody shows that even he can be funny due to his lack of understanding with the original crew. Charlize Theron and Kristofer Hivju as the two baddies are great at being the villains. They show no mercy in their killing. This will also show to the fans that the people working on this movie know how to play with one’s emotions. Not everything is green pastures for the fast crew.

    The sequences involving action are well staged. It’s also great to know that director F. Gary Gray utilized as many practical effects as he could. And like always, the action is turned up another notch to the point of being unexpected. Each time, the stunts get crazier and crazier. Lots of cars were destroyed, there’s no doubt about that. Unfortunately there is one minor gripe about this. When things start to get harry in New York, the scene will possibly become a little over gratuitous in its delivery. There’s a point where so many cars are getting wrecked, it can get comparatively overwhelming. At some point viewers might ask, “Okay we get it, how much of that is needed?” kind of question. Labeling that as an isolated issue, the rest of the sequences are fine because it is not so blatant in its destruction. As for the physical possibilities of handling these scenarios, it’s highly unlikely. This franchise is at a point though where belief has to be suspended to a point.

    Camerawork has always been a strong point in the franchise’s last few entries and it remains that way. Thanks to Stephen F. Windon, the way the camera captures all action and visuals blends very well together. Again this all goes back to finding ways of being creative. There are several angular shots that work to give the viewer a better of idea of what it’s like to be in a certain situation. This also applies to the non action related shots. Wide scope panning shots are also much appreciated in letting the viewer take in the sights to see what and where the characters dwell. All visually pleasing. Another weak point however is Brian Tyler’s musical score. Although he has been scoring the franchise for a number of entries now, there’s not much to mention over it because its sole purpose is just to elevate the experience with no emotional weight. That’s not to say it isn’t composed competently, but it does not add to the pressure of what is being presented on screen. All in all though, another solid entry.

    Fortunately for this franchise, the cast and crew know how to keep pushing each new film to entertain. The music is sadly undetectable and one action scene feels a little too much, but other than that, the rest of the action, the actors, camerawork and story make another great installment in the series.

    Points Earned –> 7:10

  • With eight versions of THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS out and two more in production, it is obvious that the audience loves these Vin Diesel blockbusters. Written by Chris Morgan who has been creating from F & F 6 on based on the characters of Gary Scott Thompson, F. Gary Gary directs this a bit overdone epic spreading the story a bit to far around the globe and concentrating on a new female character (Charlize Theron).

    The basic main characters are noise, crashed cars, and fire, but into this mix is inserted the plot – When a mysterious woman named Cipher (Charlize Theron) seduces Dom (Vin Diesel) into the world of terrorism and a betrayal of those closest to him, the crew face trials that will test them as never before. Or better outlined, ‘Now that Dom and Letty (Michelle Rodriguez are on their honeymoon in Cuba 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 (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. From the shores of Cuba and the streets of New York City to the icy plains off the arctic Barents Sea, the elite force will crisscross the globe to stop an anarchist from unleashing chaos on the world’s stage… and to bring home the man who made them a family.’ Tack on an ending that is about love and babies and the film sort of sputters to a halt.

    Definitely a movie for Fast and Furious fans – if a bit long and over baked. Of course the other regulars and new characters are well portrayed by Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Ludicrous, Tyrese Gibson, and add Kurt Russell, Scott Eastwood, and a quickie from Helen Mirren and there is a castoff fine actors out having fun. If CGI effects seem to be over done, then take a nap – if you can.

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