The Fate of the Furious Movie Review

It’s time for another movie review presented by our good friends over at FatCats Gilbert on the southwest corner of Greenfield and Baseline! FatCats Gilbert is the best place to see all of the latest blockbusters including the eighth installment in one of the most successful franchises of all time, The Fate of the Furious! To see showtimes and to purchase tickets, you can click right HERE!

I’m not even going to lie. I love this franchise. I love it to death, and whether it has been good or bad, I have enjoyed standing by it and watching it blossom into what it has become. Coming from one of the biggest Point Break fans I know, I love the original. It’s Point Break with cars, and that’s flat out awesome. I don’t like the second one, I think the third one is underrated, the fourth one is alright, and then came the fifth one. The fifth one is where Fast and Furious finally hit its stride by adding the single most charismatic man in the industry: Dwayne Johnson. The sixth movie followed suit, and the seventh broke our hearts in both a good and bad way with a perfect ending, so let’s see if The Fate of the Furious stands up with the previous three!

The Fate of the Furious is directed by F. Gary Gray and stars Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris, Charlize Theron, and Kurt Russell. Dom Toretto is back again with the tightest family in the movie industry. Dom might be back, but he’s not the same. For some reason, he has been sucked into evil by one of the most notorious and hidden hackers on the planet, and the only people who could possibly stop him and bring him back into the light are the ones who typically follow him into battle.

I’ve already talked about how I’m a huge fan of this franchise. It’s not because I think they’re oozing substance, and it’s not because they’re perfectly written or directed with consistency. It’s mostly because I enjoy the living heck out of them, and I can kick back with some buddies, flick my brain off, and smile for the ride. In fact, I did that three times when Furious 7 was in theaters. Though I don’t think that this is the strongest of the franchise by any means, fans of action movies and fans of this franchise are going to be able to enjoy this movie to its fullest extent. I had an absolute blast with the entire film, and it all boils down to the self-awareness. By now, eight movies in, they’ve mastered the formula. We’re no longer seeing street-racing movies. We’re seeing heist films with missions through the eyes if these characters we genuinely care about. The thing is, if this was a standalone film, there’s no way on Earth that it would work as well as it does. I wouldn’t care about any of the characters, and I would think that it has no clue what it wants to be, but given each arc and introduction we’ve been given over the past sixteen years, I care about each and every person I see on-screen, I know their history, I know their strengths, I know their weaknesses, and I love them. Oddly enough, Vin Diesel wasn’t a standout in this movie. The standouts are Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham. Both of them have character defining sequences in this film that stand up with some of the best in the franchise. Do you know how we always wanted to see Wolverine cut loose and go crazy on a bunch of faceless enemies? We get that sequence from Dwayne Johnson in this movie. If watching Dwayne Johnson smash faceless guards into oblivion doesn’t tickle you pink, what are you watching this movie for? Jason Statham also has one of the most hilarious, yet awesome, sequences we’ve seen so far, and the direction and structure of the story perfectly fits and realizes his character, and we’re never taken out of the scene by the insanity of his actions or his dialogue. The studio and F. Gary Gray obviously both understand these characters, and they work perfectly. It all comes back around to self-awareness and the ability to display visually stunning and endlessly entertaining action sequences. The Fate of the Furious handles those things exceptionally well, and I’d say it’s par for the course in the F&F franchise.

As many things as this movie does right, it still does many things wrong. First of all, it has the same story problems that most, even the best, Fast and Furious movies have. They know what they are, but sometimes they still can’t seem to sit on that balance beam when it comes to mixing ridiculousness and reality. Usually this makes for multiple moments or scenes that end up being extremely unnecessary or controversial to the tone or pacing. There are a lot of those moments in this movie. Though Charlize Theron has incredible screen presence, and gives an excellent performance in the movie, her character doesn’t reach the level that, say, Deckard Shaw does. When you add Deckard Shaw to the craziness that is this franchise, he fits like a glove. When you introduce a menacing villain with very little likability and is despicable enough to hate while she’s on-screen, she doesn’t exactly fit the tone that this movie goes for. When it goes for the lighter tone, all wheels turn and the gears are synchronized, but when it tries to gel the intensity of Charlize Theron’s character with the heart-felt fun of the Toretto family, it feels out-of-place. Finally, I know that this is a difficult one to dance around, but I sorely missed Brian O’Conner. I missed a lot of the passion he brought to these movies because you could easily tell that it wasn’t just his character who loved the adrenaline high and the feeling you get when you flip the switch and the NOS ignites. He loved it, and he brought a certain light and chemistry to this family that we probably won’t see again. Again, it’s a little bit touchy, but I missed him, and replacing him with Scott Eastwood didn’t do the trick.

Overall, The Fate of the Furious is another classic installment in this franchise, and it does a lot of things right. It’s enjoyable as it has ever been, and I was smiling just about the entire time I was supposed to be smiling. The self-awareness works perfectly to give the film just enough fire, and the audience is able to watch these characters and never question it. They have great chemistry, and the family aspect still works. The brand new installment gives us plenty of moments to look back on, and one or two that might even make a list of the greatest. If you’re looking to enjoy a movie with a soul and self-awareness, I’d highly suggest checking out The Fate of the Furious. Though it’s a blast, it does misfire a bit. It has some of the similar story problems that the rest of the films have when it comes to necessity, but it also has a problem with tone inconsistency. Also, I see another runway study in our future. Do you remember in the sixth movie when they’re on a runway for about fifteen minutes, and it turned out that they spent about twenty-seven times the actual time it would take on the runway? The opening scene is destined for that mathematical treatment. Finally, I really missed Brian, and there’s a giant hole in the movie that couldn’t be filled by Scott Eastwood. Still, if everything is based on fate, this franchise is destined to pump out explosively good times. I’m going to give The Fate of the Furious a 7/10.

Will you be checking out The Fate of the Furious? Comment down in the comment section and let me know! As always thank you, and keep listening to 88.7 The Pulse!

About Justin Lyons

Hey, it's Justin Lyons! I am the Chief Film Critic for The Pulse. Have any questions for me? Please feel free to email me at movies@pulseradio.fm

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