Aaaaaw, HELL NAH! You just gone and put Dominic Torretto up against the whole rest of his own team – his family! It’s OOOON!
Boom. That’s the simple version of the plot. Not that The Fate of the Furious needs much more complicated machinations to surge this logic/physics/reality defying movie forward. I mean, let’s face it, the Fast and Furious movies are no mystery. They’re basically the Transformers movies if they were actually done with some self awareness and self deprecation. The Transformers movies make you feel like they expect you to take them seriously; the Fast and Furious movies are just like, “Fuck it, we both know this is ridiculous, so just sit back and enjoy the off-the-rails madness on screen”.
And that’s exactly what I did.
So, a mysterious woman convinces Dominic Torretto (Vin Diesel) to join her in a terrorist mission and to betray everyone closest to him. She must have something on him, you, and his team, say. Does she? Does it really matter? Not a lot. The Fate of the Furious will still be a wild – and hilarious – ride.
Hilarious, you ask? Oh yes. From the very first moment The Fate of the Furious opens, you get the feeling it’s some kind of ad for a sports drink, or Cuban rum, or the glamour of street racing. There simply isn’t that many beautiful people in one place anywhere. This thing is so manufactured it’s laughable.
And the dialogue – it’s unbearably silly. This is easily the funniest of the Fast and Furious movies. Virtually every second of this film is so detached from reality that it’s absurd. I laughed out loud a LOT. So did the rest of the audience. It is a fully satisfying comedy – more so than most comedies these days. Intentional or not, it’s pretty clear that the actors are having a lot of fun with their lines. Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham in particular. They get to verbally spar a lot and it’s great.
All the usual suspects return, such as Johnson and Statham, along with Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris, Natalie Emmanuel. We even get Kurt Russell as Mr. Nobody, and Scott Eastwood as Little Nobody. Lots of funny dialogue with Eastwood and some other cast members, too. So delightfully cringe-worthy.
But we get a couple of cool new faces, like Charlize Theron as the mysterious woman, who is not a pleasant human. Luke Evans makes another appearance as Deckard’s (Statham) brother, Owen. And then there’s a special appearance by someone uncredited. It’s a pleasant surprise and an amusing role, but I won’t spoil it for you. Turns out there are a lot of uncredited actors in this but this one is a major name.
The stunts are, of course, crazy. Numerous vehicles of all kinds are used and they blow them up, they toss them off of tall parking structures, they jump things, they light a bunch on fire, and of course crash hundreds of them. They absolutely up the ante in The Fate of the Furious. But every once in a while I thought I was seeing a CG car or two – or a bunch. I suspect that some of these stunts were too complex to do in real life so they may have used some digital enhancing on some of them. But I don’t know that for a fact, only what I thought it looked like onscreen. Maybe I can get some research on that. Either way, still tons of entertainment.
It’s a world-hopping chase here. From the opening in Cuba, to the streets of New York, to the icy plains of the arctic Barents Sea, they destroy shit all across the globe. Turns out blowing up cars in Cuba is just as fun in snow, AND in New York City. And the cheesy, absurd dialogue is just as laughable everywhere, too.
Clearly The Fate of the Furious is just like it’s predecessors, but even more so. WAY more so. This is the kind of movie you already know is silly before the lights in the theater go down. Don’t fight it. Just go with it and instead of rolling your eyes and groaning like you normally would with a movie like this that would take itself too seriously, let yourself enjoy the audacity of people like Gary Scott Thompson and Chris Morgan who wrote all these shenanigans. And F. Gary Gray directed this overblown hoot of a film.
I know it seems like you shouldn’t support such empty film fare, but seriously, the opening scene alone will have you in stitches. Absolutely four kittenhands. See it on the big screen. You’ll have some fun.
~ Neil T Weakley, your average movie goer, having trouble imagining how they’ll top this one in Fast and Furious 9. Oh, it’s already in pre-production. A 10th in the franchise has been announced.