Starring: Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez
Director: F. Gary Gray
Running Time: 136 mins
The Fate Of The Furious is an American film and the eighth in the Fast & Furious series. After being approached by a mysterious woman with a dark secret, Dom turns against his family and becomes embroiled in a world of secretive, high-tech terrorism that push his team to the limit in trying to stop him.
I had great fun with this movie. Just like Furious 7, it’s a massive blockbuster full of brilliant action, great directing, entertaining performances and a simple but surprisingly intriguing story. Whilst it’s not quite the best of the series, I had a blast with The Fate Of The Furious, as it continues the franchise in the right direction with a fun-loving and high-octane atmosphere from start to finish.
Let’s start off with what I liked most about this movie: the action. As a newcomer to the series, director F. Gary Gray does a great job at pulling off some of the series’ most outlandish stunts yet. Whilst the same can’t quite be said for some of the closer fight sequences, which Gray doesn’t manage to direct as slickly due to excessive shaky cam, close-ups and more, the film’s biggest action set-pieces are an absolute joy to sit back and watch.
Again taking the series beyond the laws of physics and all possible reason when it comes to the action, there are a couple of sequences here that are utterly insane. Principally, the chase sequence in New York City right at the centre of the film is thrillingly ridiculous, eventually developing in what seems like an inside bet to blow the most money possible on crashes and explosions, but it’s all done in a really fun spirit that’s a real laugh to see.
While I won’t say that Gray does quite as impressive a job as James Wan did in Furious 7 at making the film a visually spectacular watch, he manages to keep the confident and slick feel that the series has cemented so well up to this point, and that alone is enough to get you excited about the insane action.
Another big positive from this film is the performances. Vin Diesel is great as always in the lead role, and impresses in a slightly different field to the norm as he moves to the dark side, all the while working for the first time without Paul Walker. Meanwhile, supporting players Michelle Rodriguez, Dwayne Johnson, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris and even Jason Statham are a fantastic team working against Dom, and with all of their hugely likable performances, it’s still massively easy to support them through and through even if they’re battling against their own leader.
Along with them, however, are a heap of A-listers that also impress. Charlize Theron is great as the series’ second most menacing villain, managing to bring an impressive air of darkness to the normally ludicrous proceedings, lending more intrigue to the story. Meanwhile, Kurt Russell owns every scene he appears in on his return as Mr. Nobody, Scott Eastwood is a welcome addition to the team dynamic, and an epic cameo from Helen Mirren that’s just too good to be true.
Finally, we come to the story, and the part of the film that I really thought was going to let the side down. Seeing Dom, a character so strongly entwined with family and loyalty, go bad seemed like the moment that this series would really jump the shark, but I’m surprised to say that it’s a plot twist that actually works very well.
Unlike Letty’s brief foray to the other side in Fast & Furious 6, Dom’s turn is far more convincing, and the fact that his character has a genuinely interesting moral dilemma that continues throughout the film is great to see. Although it can be said that the film once again doesn’t quite spell out all the details it needs to pull together a properly coherent plot, the Mission Impossible-style story is great fun to watch throughout, and with that twist on Dom’s character, you get a slight breath of fresh air to proceedings as well.
Overall, I enjoyed The Fate Of The Furious a lot. It’s not the series’ best film, and with a few plot and directorial issues, it’s not always a thoroughly enthralling film, but when it plays to the series’ strengths of high-octane and ludicrous action, fun storylines and likable performances, it’s so much fun to watch, and that’s why I’m giving it a 7.6.