The Fate of the Furious
Out Now On-Demand
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.
Action, Crime, Thriller
Rating: M Violence & offensive language
USA, Japan, France, Canada, American Samoa
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.
The Guardian (UK)
Stuff.co.nz (Graeme Tuckett)
A fast (and fresh) ride, but isn't as Furious as 7.
A film for car nuts and completionists
And even then, the car lovers really don't have too much to look at. At some point in time the film the Fast & Furious cast have transitioned from an outlaw car racing crew, to some sort of elite tactical black ops squad capable of taking down paramilitary types with ease. I love Jason Statham, and Dwayne Johnson, and the trailer had me excited for a good ol' beatdown to carry on what was started in the earlier films. However, it was not to be. With an overuse of shaky cam fight scenes, and car scenes that were filmed largely from the interiors, I really struggled to be able to follow any of it; I just see explosions, wait for the end and try to figure it out afterwards. There is action, but the team are bulletproof and physics defying, as has always been the case. The plot had some potential, but the actual reason for Dom's actions make me hate his character; he's just not a big picture kind of guy, and it counteracts his "family" theme through and through. If you want to see explosions, this is for you. If you want to see Hobbs and Decker fight, then just wait for the spin-off that has been green-lit. If you want a clear money grab from the actors involved without any substantial plot? Then this might be for you.
I don't know exactly why, but I've come to love this franchise over the last few years, despite, or perhaps because of, the ridiculous plot contrivances that spiral into lunacy with each instalment. They're live action cartoons, specifically live action Roadrunner cartoons. And this latest episode is no exception. They missed the opportunity to paint "ACME" on the giant wrecking ball, alas! Keeping the cartoon metaphor in mind, "Fate of the Furious" gives plenty of bang for its buck. Statham and the baby is worth the price of admission alone! The haka sequence is an oddity, though.