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Movie Review: ‘The Fate of the Furious’ Proves That This Franchise Knows Its Audience a Bit Too Well

Charlize Theron and Vin Diesel in The Fate of the Furious (2017) © Universal Pictures
Charlize Theron and Vin Diesel in The Fate of the Furious (2017) © Universal Pictures

Starring: Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Chris Bridges, Nathalie Emmanuel, Kurt Russell, Scott Eastwood, Charlize Theron and Helen Mirren.

Director: F. Gary Gray

Running Time: 136 Minutes

Rating: PG-13 for Driving Cars That Catch on Fire in Reverse, The Rock Stopping a Torpedo with His Bare Hands.

Release Date: April 14, 2017

The Fate of the Furious, the 8th installment of a franchise that I’m surprised is still going, is an action junkie’s dream. The plot is scarce, which is not shocking considering these films’ only goal is to shock audiences with how they actually pulled off their extreme stunts, but here’s the basics: Cipher (Charlize Theron) wants to teach the world’s superpowers a lesson, for no reason other than that she just can, by hacking into anything, including a Russian submarine. She recruits Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) in the middle of his honeymoon with Letty (Michelle Rodriguez), again, just because she could, because she has something important to him. Now the team, including the villain from the last film (Jason Statham) must go up against one of their own to save the world.

Charlize Theron has proven that she can be an action star, but since her character never really does anything but stand in a room and “hack” into things, this definitely is not Theron at her best. What’s worse is that she’s constantly given these semi-philosophical phrases to say that made me laugh more than think. As for Vin Diesel? Everything he says feels like a trailer line, and the same goes for Michelle Rodriguez. Like I said, plot is scarce, so they aren’t really given much to say.

The standouts in this film are definitely The Rock and Jason Statham. They both play their parts both equally serious and absurd, making them a joy to watch, moreso Statham, as he’s basically playing the same character from Spy.  There’s a particular action scene involving him and a baby that’s just fantastic.  

I will say one good thing about this film, and that is I was never bored while watching it. The action sequences are so fantastic and so over the top, that my eyes were just glued to the screen the entire film. I mean, cars fell out of windows and The Rock stopped a torpedo from hitting his car with his bare hands. How could you not love that?

In the end, The Fate of the Furious is a mindless film that fans of the franchise are sure to enjoy, with cameos scattered throughout that I don’t want to spoil, including a nice dedication to Paul Walker’s character at the very end. But, if you’re not a fan of these movies already, you probably won’t get that much enjoyment out of this one. This franchise knows their audiences a bit too well, and Fate only proves that fact.

The Fate of the Furious is Recommended If You Like: The Fast and the Furious franchise, Mad Max, Spy, mindless action sequences.

Grade: 2 out of 5 times Charlize Theron says the word “fate” in one minute.

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