Tuesday, August 01, 2017

The Fate of the Furious: A Swift Kick in the Gear Box

Movie Review: The Fate of the Furious (2017)
Version: Library borrow

The Fate of the Furious isn't your daddy's Fast and Furious, little buddy. The eighth movie in the franchise series starts off on the fast and furious streets of Havana, Cuba, with a street race, but that's where the hot-car thrills end. Dom (played as always by Vin Diesel) is recruited by a bad-ass fem antagonist to go after world-class weapons of mass destruction, even betraying his closest friends who go in hot pursuit. And no one can figure out what turned him from a good guy into a bad guy. It turns out bad-ass fem Cipher (played by Charlize Theron) has a couple of hostages in tow who are close to Dom's heart, and she won't release them until Dom helps her capture a Russian submarine along the coast of the frozen Barents Sea.

Back are Michelle Rodriguez as Letty, Dom's former love interest and now wife; Tyrese Gibson as Roman; Ludacris as Tej Parker; and Nathalie Emmanuel as Ramsey, the new crew member rescued in episode 7. Also back are Dwayne Johnson as Federal Agent Hobbs and Jason Statham as Deckard, who were at each others' throats in episode 7 but now reunite to go after Dom to stop Cipher. Shepherding resources to support the crew is Mr Nobody (played by Kurt Russell), who now has an assistant, Little Nobody, played by Scott Eastwood. Helen Mirren gets a cameo role as Magdalene Shaw, Deckard's mother, whom Dom meets to enroll Deckard's help.

Now, even without the street races, there are still plenty of thrills in this film with lots of hot cars and military hardware to pump up the action, on the streets, in the air, and across the ice. And what would a Fast and Furious movie be without some male bravado and back talk? Yep, that's there, too.

As always, it's the action that makes this movie, but it wouldn't be the Fast and the Furious without the characters, with their sassy interplay. After seven episodes, the actors have the mojo down pat, and this ensemble cast is perfect in making everything work. You can even let the glaring plot holes pass because the action and the characters are so fun to watch. Mentioning the plot holes would require telling more of the plot, which would entail spoilers, so I won't go into detail, but I'm sure you won't have any trouble spotting the plot holes on your own. Anyway, you don't go to see a film like The Fate of the Furious for airtight plots, you go for the action.

The Blu-ray version of the movie includes a set of very interesting extras, including some insights into the Cipher character. If you can afford to buy or rent it instead of the standard DVD, I would do so. And by all means, for a fast and furious evening of fun without spending a lot of time thinking, pop in The Fate of the Furious and enjoy the show. It's a swift kick in the gear box!

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