Fate Of The Furious (2017) Review: Just As Fast & As Furious As You'd Expect
For what is usually well past the expiration date, Fate of the Furious marks the 8th iteration in the Fast and the Furious Franchise. At this point, most movies turn to gimmicks. Putting their characters in space in a desperate attempt to catch the attention of viewers who checked out around movie 4 or 5. For this family though, there are no signs of slowing down. Once again the tight knit family of car enthusiasts turned super spies must come together. This time, it’s to stop their biggest threat yet. Fearless leader gone bad, Dominic Toretto.
That’s a welcome new element in a series that for all the upping it does of the ante, has felt a bit stale. How many times can Dom’s team be sent after a dangerous piece of technology, only to be outsmarted by a sophisticated adversary, but ultimately win the day with street smarts and a can of Nitrous Oxide? That’s no different than what you see in this movie by the way, but despite being formulaic, ‘Fate of the Furious’ definitely delivers on what fans of the series want.
I don’t go for world class acting. I don’t go for intricate storytelling. What I do go for, is fast cars doing impossible things. Boy does ‘Fate of the Furious’ has a great number of vehicles doing massively impossible things. If you’re a stickler for logic, reason, the observance of the laws of physics, or just a plain old acknowledgment that man is subject to harm, you shouldn’t really watch this movie. If you can set all that aside, you’ll be able to enjoy some genuinely thrilling and exciting sequences, in which director F. Gary Gray crafts moments that are classically fast and quintessentially furious.
The series has never tried to be any more than what it is. Each of the characters does what’s expected of them at this point. Diesel’s Toretto might be playing for the other side, but he’s still the same strong silent type that solves every problem with a street race. Ludacris’ Tej spouts some ridiculous techno jargon, alongside Game of Thrones star Nathalie Emmanuel’s Ramsey. Dwayne Johnson’s Hobbs mugs his way through one liner after one liner, flexing all the way, and Tyrese Gibson, God bless him, earns every cent of his paycheck, making sure you hear every last syllable of Roman’s dialogue.
Because the series regulars are so ingrained in their roles at this point, the real fun comes in the new cast members. Most notably is Charlize Theron playing the villainous Cipher. The Fast and Furious villains have always felt sort of like the rebellious kids of Bond villains. Desperate for their much more charismatic parents’ approval. Each one gets a little better, but Cipher is a step in the wrong direction I feel. Theron plays her well, as she is wont to do, but the character takes herself so seriously, it can feel out of place in a movie that is essentially a live action Looney Tunes cartoon.
If you like these movies, you’re already planning on seeing this film. If you don’t like these films, but wonder, maybe this time they’ll change, they don’t. It’s everything that you’ve come to either love or hate the franchise for, cranked up to 11. For me, that made for a great time in the cinema, as I was transported to a world where up was down, left was right, and an orange Lamborghini raced across a frozen ocean. What else is cinema for.
Rating: Reluctant Big Screen Watch