If you are a fan of the Fast and the Furious franchise, then good news, the eighth film of the franchise, The Fate of the Furious, has arrived, with the requisite machismo, melodrama and mayhem amped up to eleven on the male overcompensation meter. Not a fan? Then you know already it’s time to move along.
I fall somewhere in the middle of these two camps. While I literally catch myself rolling my eyes at the silliness and absurdity of the Fast and the Furious films, I also find myself smiling at how much fun they are.
These movies are so confident in their own corniness that they don’t care how ridiculous the premise or the dialogue, they’ll still boldly go there; and, I have to admit, there’s a certain charm that comes with that kind of arrogance – whether you dig it or not.
F8 finds the hot-rod heroes, Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and Letty Ortiz (Michelle Rodriguez), in Cuba, living the good life and teaching those stuck-in-the-fifties Cuban freeloaders a thing or two about drag racing and life in general.
While going out for groceries, Dom is confronted by a braided-blonde supervillainess, code-named Cipher (Charlize Theron), who has something so significant on Toretto that he is forced to turn to the dark side, forsaking his beloved friends and family and destroying his already shaky reputation with law enforcement.
Cipher and Dom set to stealing nuclear weaponry and only Dom’s old crew of Letty, Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel), Tej (Ludacris) and Roman (Tyrese Gibson) – together with fellow anti-hero, Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham), and secret agents Mr. Nobody (Kurt Russell) and Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) – can save their old friend… and the world.
There are other guest star surprises and twists and turns that I’ll leave you to discover on your own, but I will say the team may or may not pit their superpowered cars up against a nuclear submarine at some point (shhhh… they do!)
In the end, this is just a superhero movie where the heroes’ powers are that they can drive cars fast (and furiously – of course.) And then they have mad computer hacking skills too, of the sort that allows them to defy all physical (and logical) technical limitations.
It turns out that Vin Diesel’s acting is even more robotic when he is playing a man acting against his will, but Charlize Theron is a pleasure to watch as the movie’s main evil-doer – and she definitely does some evil in this role.
The Fate of the Furious is directed by F. Gary Gray (Straight Outta Compton) and written by long-time Fast & Furious scribe, Chris Morgan; and if all you’re looking for is some brainless cinematic fun, then The Fate of the Furious is sure to fit that bill. Grade: 6/10
Photos © 2017 Universal Pictures