Review: ‘The Fate of The Furious’ Family Rides Again With High-Octane Action
The Fate of The Furious — aka ‘Fast 8’ — was among the most highly anticipated sequels of the franchise. With the tragic death of star Paul Walker (Brian O’Connor) during filming of Furious 7 – its own fate was questionable. It was uncertain how the film could be finished — let alone if the series would even continue without him. Through movie magic and clever editing, the filmmakers managed to give O’Connor and Walker the beautiful send-off he deserved – driving off into the sunset — for his last ride with his partner Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel).
In fact, Walker was honored by Diesel at a CinemaCon screening for the film.
“It was Paul Walker who promised eight. It played over and over again in my brain,” Diesel said. “Part of Paul’s legacy lives through every frame that we shoot. You are reminded of this angel that was so integral to this concept of brotherhood for our millennium. There’s something beautiful about that. There’s something celebratory about that…. I always feel like he’s looking down on us so we didn’t want to let him down.”
The Fate of The Furious doesn’t disappoint with director F. Gary Gray delivering plenty of non-stop high octane action to satisfy fans. And if you’re discovering Dominic Toretto and his crew for the first time, it might be a bit hard to follow at first as this is a true serial which picks up from the cliffhangers in Furious 7. Don’t bother trying to get up to speed or you’ll miss the exciting ride ahead.
The family is back — Michelle Rodriguez (Letty), Tyrese Gibson (Roman), and Dwayne Johnson (Hobbs) with computer specialist sidekicks Ludacris (Tej) and Nathalie Emmanuel (Ramsey). We are given a taste of Dom and Letty’s love story — in Cuba on their honeymoon — before the real action begins. Dom is challenged to a mile car race — a tradition that is steeped in Cuban culture — where vintage cars race through the streets of old Havana. The prize is Dom’s Impala. He chooses to race Letty’s cousin’s old car — even tearing off the doors and hood — for good measure. Despite motorcycles thrown in his path, a cracked windshield and his car catching fire – he crosses the finish line.
His honeymoon is cut short when he meets Cipher — the illusive cyber terrorist — played by a stunningly evil Charlize Theron. For some unknown reason, Dom accepts her offer to leave his family and participate in her sinister plans for world domination. He goes rogue.
Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) agent Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson), now semi-retired and coaching his daughter’s pre-teen soccer league, is tasked to get the team back together. He goes undercover as a prisoner to bust out his mortal enemy Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) from his super maximum prison cell. In glorious Rock fashion, Johnson — with sheer brute strength – picks up guards like toy soldiers toppling them against each other. He slides across the floor annihilating the prison guards — all with the help of Statham’s impressive stunts.
Kurt Russell returns as Mr. Nobody — this time with his new recruit Little Nobody, played by Scott Eastwood, who is the brunt of the jokes from the team for his lack of field experience. The assignment for the crew is to track down Dom and Cipher and avoid World War III – all while driving fast and furiously.
The testosterone-driven action is awesome — from the trafficked streets of New York to the frozen plains of the arctic Barents Sea in Russia. One scene plays out like a cautionary tale against autonomous cars when Cipher’s hackers take control causing brand new models like Lamborghinis to fly out of showroom windows and wreak havoc.
What mostly makes The Fate of The Furious engaging is the chemistry between the actors who truly have become like family since joining the Fast & Furious crew in 2009. They seem like they live by the film’s motto, “never turn your back on family.”
Their next two family reunions are already planned for 2019 and 2021 with the announcement of Fast & Furious 9 and 10 by Diesel.
The Fate of The Furious is about family, but mostly it’s a great escape. Just leave reality behind in the rear view mirror and enjoy the ride.