Saturday, April 15, 2017

The Fate of the Furious - Review

   
   Eight films. A franchise that once started as a street racing, early 2000s cheesy, fun ride, has reached eight films. No one would’ve guessed it at the time, and yet no other franchise has been able to adapt and change in the ways that The Fast and Furious series has, some for better or worse. Coming off of arguably the best entry in Furious 7 and a surprisingly heartfelt sendoff for Paul Walker, will the latest installment continue the trend of success?

   With Dom (Vin Diesel) and Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) married, Brian and Mia retired and the rest of the crew exonerated, the globe trotting team has found some semblance of a normal life. They soon face an unexpected challenge when a mysterious woman named Cipher (Charlize Theron) forces Dom to betray them all. Now, they must unite to bring home the man who made them a family and stop Cipher from unleashing chaos.

   The plot of this episode is largely surrounding one central storyline; a storyline that features some flaws in logic and while it works in places, it definitely holds the film back as well.  Despite this The Fate of the Furious is held together by the amazing chemistry and charm of the cast. They’re likable and know their roles at this point and they work as a team, even in moments when the film doesn’t.  This franchise also has a remarkable tendency of bringing characters back for interesting parts to play, not matter how big or small.

   No one is going into a film like The Fate of the Furious expecting great acting, maybe not even good acting but I’d argue that there are decent performances here. Vin Diesel gets to flex his literal muscles and be angry, something he excels at. Dwayne Johnson (or The Rock, because let’s be honest he’ll never leave that nickname behind) is just 110% awesome from start to finish and no amount of words could explain the amount of charisma he has. But the true highlights here are Jason Statham and Charlize Theron. Statham gets to show off his impeccable timing, both with comedic moments and nose-to-nose arguments. And Theron nails her villainous role, earning complete hatred from the characters and the audience.

   And now we get to what everyone comes to a film like this for: the action. Somehow the filmmakers continue to be inventive with cars, with a little more suspension of disbelief this time around as the stunts grow in size and scope. It’s all insane fun though, big and over the top throughout. The inventive nature of one particular set piece involving the manipulation of cars is extremely entertaining and exactly what you want from a movie about criminals saving the world by going fast in cars.


   Overall, The Fate of the Furious is not nearly the great film that the past couple of entries have been. It lacks the heart and family elements that made those films more than just complete mindless action flicks. And although it’s not up to the same quality at the others, The Fate of the Furious is still wildly entertaining, as long as you know exactly what you’re getting into.


   So what did you think of The Fate of the Furious? Have you seen it and how does it rank among the rest of the franchise? Subscribe, share, comment below, and as always return to I Am Sam for weekly reviews and insight.