The Fate of the Furious is a wild, reckless ride
The premise of the franchise has always been about fast shiny cars and over the top action, and Fate delivers on loads of this.
On the evidence of the strong showing of The Fate of the Furious, the Fast and Furious franchise has not reached that sad point, yet.
When the first movie in the franchise, The Fast and the Furious, kicked to life, no one imagined that it would still be going strong sixteen years later with enough fuel left in the tank to go a couple more miles, unbothered by exhaustion.
The events of Fate pick up from Dominic Toretto and Letty Ortiz's honeymoon in Cuba where Dom does what he does best, race.
His new life of bliss does not last for very long when the mysterious cyberterrorist, Cipher (Charlize Theron) shows up to set the conflict of the movie into motion and what follows is an insane ride that has made the franchise one of the best, and longest, to show up in Hollywood.
Cipher forces Dom to work for her because of a mysterious advantage she’s holding over him. Dom goes rogue against his family and helps Cipher to steal dangerous stuff all over the world to start World War III. Well, almost.
One of the high points of the story was the team’s confusion at what could be responsible for Dom’s betrayal.
Letty is the most haunted by this, obviously, and the suspense new director, F. Gary Grey, builds by also withholding that information from the viewer makes the payoff captivating when the reason for his actions is revealed.
All of the team’s adventures in the previous movies have always been spearheaded by Dom or Brian (played by the late Paul Walker), so Dom’s absence creates a vacuum that Agent Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson), who is more of a superhero at this point, effortlessly steps into.
The team that is tasked with keeping up with Dom has Letty, Roman Pearce, Tej Parker, and Ramsey, joined by former adversary, Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham), who is initially forced on the team by Mr. Nobody (Kurt Russell) and his underwhelming junior associate named Little Nobody (Scott Eastwood).
True to recent form, the movie drags all over the place from Berlin to New York City to icy Russia, as the team chases after Dom and Cipher.
The premise of the fracnhise has always been about fast shiny cars and over the top action, and Fate delivers on loads of this.
The team’s pursuit of Dom through the streets of New York to stop him from helping Cipher destabilise the world is one long stretch of toe-curling masterpiece that fans have come to expect, plus the novelty of featuring some mindblowing zombie apocarlypse.
The thrill of the car chase is exciting, and watching the team clash with Dom, trying to rein him in, makes for some explosive action; the type of action that has kept fans around for years and begging for more.
The franchise has never shied away from basking in the most ridiculous of action setpieces, and Fate keeps up with this tradition with its over-the-top joyride.
More than the cars, Fate masterfully ties together a few plot threads from the previous movies in a neat manner that contributes to some of its brilliance.
Events that happened in Fast & Furious 6 and Furious 7 impact heavily and a character that first appeared in Fast Five made a return.
Another backbone of the franchise, just as important as the cars and the races, is the chemistry shared between the core characters that have been a mainstay since it started.
Dom and Letty are finally married after years of dating on and off, and their relationship has always been a major pull for the show, central to the events of Fast and Furious 6. It's refreshing to see the two tie the knot (offscreen) and do mundane things like have conversations about raising kids when there are beautiful cars to be raced.
The franchise has always anchored most of its comic outlet on Tyrese Gibson's Roman Pearce ever since he made his first appearance in 2 Fast 2 Furious.
His character is so useless plot-wise at this point, you know they are only keeping him around for the laughs, and he doesn't disappoint here.
His chemistry with Ludacris' Tej Parker has always played off nicely, and Fate is not an exception as the two battle to win Ramsay's affection.
A new partnership blooded by the franchise in Fate is Johnson's Luke Hobbs and the team's nemesis in the last movie, Deckard Shaw.
The violent exchanges of threats of humiliation between Hobbs and Shaw are so hilarious you almost forget that Shaw is the same guy that killed Han Lue, as well as almost killed Hobbs, in the last movie.
To its credit, after eight movies, the Fast and the Furious franchise does not appear to be slowing down. Vin Diesel already announced two more movies in the installment.
The franchise doesn't seem to be suffering from exhaustion any time soon, so there's no reason to stop making more, at least not from a financial perspective. Fate has already dominated the global box office and hit the $1 billion mark in just its third weekend.
The Fate of the Furious is a wonderful addition to the franchise. It ticks all the right boxes; family, exotic locations, fast shiny cars, insane stunts and plenty of trash-talking.
The movie excels at creating real tension with real stakes, something to get the characters to care about to create scenarios that the audience will find reasonable to believe in.
Charlize Theron's take as Cipher, the movie's villian, is a bit of a stretch, but her motivations as a character and the ruthlessness with which she operates to get things done makes her a formidable presence in Fate.
Despite its top-notch action set pieces, Fate suffers from some unbelievable leaps in logic, but at this point, that is like a hallmark of the franchise and hardcore fans won't care too much about much of it.
After all, what's a Fast and Furious movie without a suspension of logic from time to time?
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