Film Review: Fate of the Furious (2017)
2 F8 2 Furious is dumb. Really dumb. Its realism is zilch and it asks the audience to suspend all of their disbelief. The dialogue is laughable and some of the performances are painstakingly cringe-worthy…
And I enjoyed the hell out of it.
The eighth entry in the long-running Fast & Furious franchise continues the series’ trend of outdoing its predecessor with *more* ridiculous, over-the-top action sequences that make little sense. If not for the cast, it’s the ludicrous, nonsensical action fueling the series’ engine. Though it’s certainly not as solid as Furious Seven, Fate of the Furious is still a thunderously exciting blockbuster that keeps the engine in full throttle.
Following the events of Furious Seven, Dom (Vin Diesel) and Mia (Michelle Rodriguez) are off in Cuba enjoying their honeymoon, with the rest of the gang adjusting themselves to normal lives. Things get jumpstarted into action when notorious hacker Cipher (Charlize Theron) coerces Dom into betraying the very family he has fought to protect. With lives on the line and a country to protect, the crew enlists the help of new operatives and old enemies to bring Dom down.
Director F. Gary Gray (Straight Outta Compton) replaces James Wan (who’s hard at work on Aquaman), and wastes no time distinguishing himself from preceding Fast & Furious directors. Gray is no stranger to racing – he directed the 2003 remake of The Italian Job (also starring Jason Statham). With Fate of the Furious, Gray manages to integrate a James Bond meets The Matrix type affair, and it mostly works – bloated plot and all.
The plot is wholly impossible to follow, but that’s not why audiences flock to these movies. Be it the star power of Vin Diesel/Dwayne Johnson; the magnitude and insanity of the set pieces; or the wide range of diversity between actors/locations – there’s a reason Furious Seven grossed a worldwide $1.5 billion USD. Sure, Paul Walker’s death certainly played some role in the gargantuan gross (as did Heath Ledger with The Dark Knight), but the F&F franchise has always been a box office mammoth.
Fate of the Furious is at its best when it embraces its lunacy. There’s a bonkers chase scene in NYC involving hundreds of self-driving cars being activated and driving rampant throughout Times Square. These cars are plowing through buildings and falling from the sky (sort of). In theory, it’s an absurdly impractical thing to happen, but in the F&F universe, anything is possible.
While it’s not consistent with the quality of the last film, Fate of the Furious manages to be a fun, albeit flawed entry in the F&F franchise.