The Fast and The Furious franchise has been going on now for 16 years, 8 movies, and one of the more bizarre timelines in a franchise I’ve ever seen. (Parts 1,2 4-6 *Tokyo Drift* 7-8) Some question how this franchise is still going and even ask the question of why it doesn’t stop. And I can answer that question right now.
It goes on, and continues to entertain because it evolved from a Point Break meets underground street racing story into an insane action franchise with cars, that just gets bigger and more crazier each installment.
This one picks up shortly after the last one ended, Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and Letty are married and enjoying their honeymoon in Havana, where Dom gets coerced into working with cyber terrorist Cipher (Charlize Theron) , and not too long after that, the team gets recruited for a mission by former adversary turned ally Luke Hobbs (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson) where Cipher’s plan comes into play and Dom is forced to turn on his family.
The team then has to stop Cipher, figure out why Dom has betrayed them and in doing so they need to work with their last enemy Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham), who reveals to them that Cipher was the one in fact behind the scenes of their last few skirmishes with both him and his brother, pulling a Spectre type revelation, being the villain behind the villain pulling the strings all along. So, with the backing of goverment man “Mr. Nobody” (Kurt Russell, reprising his role from the last movie) the hunt is on to save Dom, and the world.
I had a lot of fun with this movie, it’s ridiculous, and big, loud, and dumb, but it’s supposed to be that. The stunts get bigger, the explosions do too, and the plot gets super convoluted, but I love it. I didn’t quite get how the team didn’t have as much resistance to working with Shaw as they should have, being that he did kill one of their own before, and tried to kill all of them before too, but I guess to stop a really bad guy you need to have a bad guy on your side. If Suicide Squad has taught us anything, it’s that.
That is one of the elements I enjoyed the most about this movie is the back and forth adversarial turned friendship between Hobbs and Shaw, The Rock and Statham had great chemistry together, and I could see them doing a spinoff buddy picture or just more of that in the inevitable next picture.
The movie is a bit more plot heavy then you’d expect, with characters and plot revelations that only truly make sense if you’re fully versed in the ongoing storyline of the car racers turned action heroes, so a newer viewer may be put off by that.
One of the things I love about the franchise’s increasing level of craziness is the set pieces, and this one, the submarine chase across the arctic definitely delivers.
I also wasn’t really feeling Charlize Theron’s performance as the villain Cipher, she felt most of the movie like she was just here for the paycheck, and would really expect her to just have more fun with the role, as we know she’s a good actress, so she’s capable of more than what she gives us here. All in all though, you don’t go to one of these movies for riveting performances, you go to have fun, and this movie delivers that in spades.
The Fate of the Furious– C+
The Fate of the Furious is in theaters now.