Movie Review: “The Fate Of The Furious” Is Awesome Nonsense

“The returning cast continues to be one of the most charismatic and refreshingly diverse group of actors in modern movies.”


 

When a mysterious woman seduces Dom into the world of terrorism and a betrayal of those closest to him, the crew face trials that will test them as never before.

Who would have thought that a small-scale, critically panned action movie, labeled by many as “Point Break with cars,” would result in one of the most financially successful and consistently entertaining franchises? A franchise that, based on the wonderfully ridiculous eighth installment, shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

This time around, we find Dom (Vin Diesel) and Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) celebrating their honeymoon in Havana. After an explosive street race with a local who claims to have the fastest car on the island, Dom runs into a mysterious woman (Charlize Theron). We soon find out that she is the cyber terrorist known as Cypher, and that she has somehow convinced Dom to turn on his team and help her attain some nuclear codes. Suddenly, Mr. Nobody (Kurt Russell) has to gather up the rest of the team, including Letty, Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson), Roman (Tyrese Gibson), Tej (Ludacris) and Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel), along with previous adversary Shaw (Jason Statham), to come up with a plan to stop Cypher and her new partner-in-crime Dom from taking over the world.

F. Gary Gray (of “Friday” and “Straight Outta Compton” fame) takes over directing duties this time and does it about as well as James Wan and Justin Lin did before him. The returning cast continues to be one of the most charismatic and refreshingly diverse group of actors in modern movies. There is the worry that the loss of Paul Walker could continue to hang over these movies, but fortunately, the film does a good job of addressing his character’s retirement without dwelling on his absence. Charlize Theron, a welcome presence in any film, gets to chew some scenery as the villain. The other new cast member is Scott Eastwood as Mr. Nobody’s partner, quickly getting the amusing nickname of “Little Nobody”. Everyone is having a blast, especially Jason Statham who actually gets to be a good guy in this one.

It is known that the series became a global phenomenon around the time Vin Diesel returned and the focus of the movies shifted from street races to insane heists. “The Fate of the Furious” finds the series evolving once again, this time into an espionage thriller of sorts. It doesn’t suit the series quite as well, but it’s a lot of fun nonetheless. All an FF movie really needs to succeed is high-octane chase sequences with cool cars, the biggest action movie stars kicking ass, some wisecracks from Roman and Tej, and at least one overly-earnest scene where Dom talks about the importance of family. “The Fate of the Furious” has all of those things, plus Evil-Dom. What else could one ask for?

In theaters Friday, April 14th


 

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