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Movie Review: The Fate of the Furious

furious-8-playlist.jpg

Cipher (Charlize Theron) makes Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) go rogue in the eighth installment in The Fast and Furious franchise. (Source: The Playlist)

It has been over fifteen years since the release of The Fast and the Furious. Ranging from street races to pulling off heists, the series has been taken to new heights. No matter how ridiculous the movies might be, they know what to offer for fans; over-the-top, gravity-defying stunts, beautiful cars, and seeing our heroes saving the world from something dangerous. As much as I enjoy these movies (except for Tokyo Drift), I don’t mind two more films. Furious 7 (my second favorite behind Fast Five) was an insane thrill-ride while providing an emotionally satisfying conclusion that would make the late Paul Walker proud. Yes, I cried at the end of last movie. Like everyone else, I thought the series would end right there. But—nope…

The Fate of the Furious (I know, terrible title) picks up after the events of the previous film. Brian and Mia have retired from the crew. Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and Letty Ortiz (Michelle Rodriguez) are having their honeymoon in Cuba. After an exhilarating drag race, Dom encounters a mysterious woman named Cipher (Charlize Theron). Trying to leave the world of crime behind (like in every movie after the original), he is forced to go rogue with the cyberterrorist. Mr. Nobody (Kurt Russell) and Little Nobody (Scott Eastwood) assigns Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson), Roman Pierce (Tyrese Gibson), Tej Parker (Ludacris), Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel) to save their friend and stop Cipher once and for all.

After rumors have surrounded about James Wan returning to direct another Fast and Furious movie (of course, he declined due to having to deal with the production hell of the last film), F. Gary Gray (Straight Outta Compton) steps in for Wan to provide just as much fun as the three previous installments. While the previous films are about getting together as a family, this movie is about being betrayed by one’s family. Case in point, Dom has been traumatized by his father’s death for years. He feels comfortable with his friends, especially reuniting with Letty. But—he is about to throw it all away.

Every fan always go into these movies for the wall-to-wall action (trust me, there is a lot of it to please the eye) and seeing these characters driving beautiful cars. There is also a lot of big laughs—from Hobbs’ introductory scene where he coaches his daughter’s soccer team to the interactions between Roman and Tej, as well as them flirting with Ramsey. Not to mention a lot of badassery.

How can anyone not love Dwayne Johnson? He is tough yet has a heart of gold. His one-liners are also impossible not to get a kick out of. As Cipher, Theron kills it with her punk look—from the dreadlocks and the Metallica shirt to her cyber powers (in one particular scene, she targets NYC by hacking people’s car and having control of them, causing chaos in the big city). She is up there with Jason Statham’s Deckard Shaw (who reprises his role here providing laughs and his usual toughness) as one of the franchise’s better villains.

Despite the obvious narrative issues and Scott Eastwood’s bland performance, The Fate of the Furious provides enough for fans with the car chases, fist fights, gun shootings, and characters just having a blast. Bring on the last two films!

3.5/4

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