I don’t know how they do it but the Fast & the Furious franchise has done it again! Just when you thought it was safe and that this franchise was running out of gas… the movies that cry out about family… continues at record speed.
“The Fate of the Furious” is an explosive movie filled with the usual large action set pieces, corny one liners, fight scenes that capture your imagination and at its core, a heartfelt storyline of family.
This time the family must face its biggest challenge to date… Dominic Loretto (Vin Diesel). For some reason, revealed within the movie, Dominic must turn his back on the one thing to him that matters most… family. “Fast 8” then goes upon a journey to find out why he betrays his friends and how they must deal with him, while saving the world. His turn is a common subplot within the action genre yet this provides an interesting twist upon this series, opening the door for some new characters to be introduced to help balance the scales.
What the Fast & Furious series has always done very well has been the introduction of new characters into the mythos, villains and heroes, who are germane to the storyline without severely diminishing screen time for others. All your favorites from the franchise return, Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson), Letty (Michelle Rodriguez), Tej (Ludacris), and Roman (Tyrese) along with a few forgotten characters which help soothe the void of the loss of Paul Walker (O’Conner).
The villain from the last movie, Ian Shaw (Jason Statham) similarly turns sides like Dominic and joins our “Fast” team. His inclusion on the team creates an intriguing dynamic and a wonderful chemistry between Statham and the Rock. The energy between them is special and adds a much-needed spice for this movie.
But Charlize Theron as the evil technological spy known as “Cipher” grounds this film with a dark reality which we haven’t witnessed within this franchise. She is calculated and cruel with a purpose that serves the story.
Helen Mirren also fits so well in this “Fast” world, especially for those who loved her role in the movie “Red.” The only addition that doesn’t work is Scott Eastwood who plays an agent under Mr. Nobody (Kurt Russell). It is obvious that they planted his character as a potential replacement for Paul Walker, but he becomes annoying while ciphering screen time from Russell.
Perhaps what makes us love Fast & Furious series, the characters, their stories, and the unbelievable, over the top action is that ever since Fast & Furious 4, this franchise has done a wonderful job at concealing a storyline/twist that changes the outcome of the movie. To that end, this alliteration doesn’t disappoint by tying in the plots from the other movies in this franchise.
Mainly this ploy has been to show that Dominic is much smarter that we realize, so that he is more than a racer/mechanic/leader of the pack of car racers, but this other view always shows our heroes always had another plan. This discovery by us the viewers attempts to make the unbelievable… believable but what it does is it manufactures an even more ridiculous story but ironically allows the film to feel more real.
So, in the end, the movie asks the rhetorical question… what is the Fate of the Furious? The fate is that we will get at least another 2 more movies in this franchise, with millions of enduring fans who can suspend disbelief, buy a big bucket of popcorn and put our faith again… in family.