The Fate of the Furious | Review
The Fate of the Furious, certainly not the best of the series but definitely not the worst. Keep your brain in neutral and don’t hit the NoS too soon on this one.
This is our first Fast and the Furious movie post Paul Walker’s unfortunate death and even though he isn’t necessarily the Anthony Hopkins of the acting world, he is the ‘ying to the yang’ of the Fast and the Furious universe. And I for one couldn’t help but feel that the lack of Brian O’Conner has hurt the franchise a little.
Light spoilers here, but the way his character was excluded from the film was in one line of dialogue - “let’s not get Brian involved”. The strength of that cup of tea is not the colour of He-Man’s face - let’s just say it’s a little weak.
To counter the lack of Paul Walker/Brian O’Conner-ness I think more of the weight had to be carried by the likes of Dwayne Johnson (The Rock) and Jason Statham. Sure, the old crew of Dominic Toretto and Letty (whatever her last name is) were there, but it’s that Toretto/O’Conner spark that made the Fast and the Furious the bro-fest pleasure that it is. And for a movie which is ultimately all about ‘Family’, I think they missed a chance to farewell Brian’s character in a more fitting way.
Alas, I’m not a movie Director or in a position to seed-fund Hollywood blockbusters so obviously my opinion doesn’t carry the weight I feel it needs to at Universal. Instead the story focuses its energy on cyber terrorism and saving the world, a quarter mile at a time. In a nutshell, Charlize Theron’s character, Cypher, holds Dominic Toretto ‘hostage’ and makes him turn against his ‘family’ to complete various tasks for her. Without getting too deep into spoiler territory it’s also revealed that Cypher has been the mastermind-super-villain behind other missions that Dom, Letty and Brian have been involved in in previous instalments of the franchise.
The new (actually old) star of the franchise is definitely Roman, our funny-guy from potentially the worst of the Fast and the Furious movies, 2 Fast 2 Furious. Finally Roman has been given the screen time to shine. He’s always there to lighten the mood and remind you these movies are about good fun and banter.
Overall this isn’t a terrible Fast and the Furious movie but it’s certainly not the best either. It definitely has more than its share of cringe, big explosions, expensive cars and great one-liners but at the same time that’s almost the weakness of these movies now. They’re almost becoming as generic as each other and I almost struggle to articulate the difference between the last 3 – 4 movies; someone is slighted, something explodes, a car chase takes the place of a fist-fight, the street wins, rinse and repeat.
Where to from here with the Fast and the Furious Franchise?
For me, the first movie The Fast and the Furious, is still my favourite. It was about street racing and undercover cops – nothing more, nothing less. It was a high adrenaline, high octane popcorn-fest that I enjoy no matter how many times I’ve seen it. As the franchise has grown they’ve really taken it in a different direction with global settings, tanks, submarines, jumping cars across buildings – it’s now a totally different beast. Bring back those kids who hijacked trucks to steal DVD players.
The latest Hollywood news implies that due to the success of this movie there might be a Statham/Rock spinoff in the works. It sounds terrible. How about we go for a young Han Solo approach? Give me the Dominic Toretto or Brian O’Conner back-story pre F&F 1. God, even give me the young Letty and Jesse story. I want less big explosions and more street racing.
You heard it here first! REBOOT!!!!
The Fate of the Furious - Official Trailer
As far as Fast and the Furious stories go, this ones reasonably comprehensive, though check your expectations at the door for anything deeper than what you've probably seen in a previous Fast and the Furious movie.
- High levels of banter/quips throughout the movie
- The prison break scene with Dwayne Johnson (The Rock) and Jason Statham
- That zombie-car chase scene - Probably not as unrealistic as you would think
- Lack of closure on Brian’s fate – just saying “we don’t want to get him involved” felt like a real cop-out
- That Haka...pure cringe, though probably only for New Zealanders
- It’s time to go back to the roots of the franchise. These global battles with super villains are a long way from kids stealing DVD players with modified Honda Integra’s
- That scene with the cars forming a phalanx type shield around Dom - Oh boy