The Fate of the Furious 3D

Family no more.

Vin Diesel returns for the eighth installment of the Fast and Furious series, this time directed by F. Gary Gray (Straight Outta Compton). New cast members include Charlize Theron, Helen Mirren, Kristofer Hivju (Game of Thrones) and Scott Eastwood.

Now that Dom and Letty are on their honeymoon and Brian and Mia have retired from the game—and the rest of the crew has been exonerated—the globetrotting team has found a semblance of a normal life. But when a mysterious woman (Theron) seduces Dom into the world of crime he can’t seem to escape and a betrayal of those closest to him, they will face trials that will test them as never before.

Aaron-Yap2

Aaron Yap

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Barely recognisable now from its modest B-movie-inspired origins, the Fast and the Furious franchise reinforces its solidification into absurdly outsized, bafflingly durable blockbuster cartoons with this eighth installment. Perhaps the most overtly Bondian adventure yet — it somehow climaxes with a bright-orange Lambo ripping through a Russian ice sheet —The Fate of the Furious ushers in a new set-up chapter in the long-running saga.

It’s the first to be completely missing its tragically departed former regular Paul Walker, whose memory is sullied somewhat distastefully in an opening drag race where Vin Diesel speeds through Havana in a modified jalopy engulfed in flames. With Walker out of the picture, Diesel takes centre stage in a predictably inane plot that sees Dom Toretto going rogue to work for a cyber-terrorist named Cipher (Charlize Theron) while his crew race against time to stop a potential apocalypse.

Yep, it’s become that kind of movie. In the spirit of sequel one-upmanship, Fate unleashes a wrecking ball into a convoy, converts New York traffic into the demolition derby equivalent of World War Z, and stages the world’s first nuclear submarine-car chase scene. Chris Morgan’s script panders to the audience’s awareness of the larger F&F universe, while director F. Gary Gray’s action is frequently chaotic, a return to Justin Lin’s battering-ram approach after the relative spatial reverence of James Wan’s Furious 7.

But for those unconcerned with craft, rest assured there’s sufficient gas left in the formula. If you prioritise porny motor-spectacle, clockwork reminders of the importance of family and Dwayne Johnson tossing people in the air for lunch, Fate should provide one big, stupid, grin-inducing rush.

Entertainment Weekly

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Thankfully, it's frequently also much funnier and lighter on its feet than previous outings, and a lot of that credit goes to Statham and Johnson, whose love-hate bromance feels like the real core of the movie.

IGN Movies

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The Fate of the Furious provides plenty of the high-octane escapism and ridiculously elaborate vehicular mayhem fans of the series expect.

The Guardian (UK)

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Things race along at such a ferocious lick you scarcely have time to question the moments of incongruity (chiefly, how can so many supercars be also somehow explosion-retardant).

Variety (USA)

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A dazzling action spectacle that proves this franchise is far from out of gas.

Hollywood Reporter

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Fate delivers exactly what fans have come to expect, for better and for worse, and it would be a shock to see it disappoint producers at the box office.

TimeOut (UK)

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A soap opera that just happens to cost millions of dollars and feature souped-up sports cars jumping over submarines.

Collider

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If you've spent the last sixteen years investing in the family and their ragtag tapestry, you might find yourself a little disappointed.

Newsroom (NZ)

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A lacklustre spectacle that feels constrained and that betrays some of the franchise's prior heart and soul in among the carnage.

Stuff.co.nz (Graeme Tuckett)

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Wacky Races for grown ups.