Rated: PG-13 for prolonged sequences of violence and destruction, suggestive content, and language. Reviewed by: Matt Release date: April 14, 2017 Released by: Universal Studios, Inc.
Fate of the Furious is the eighth film in the Fast and the Furious franchise. There aren't many film franchises that can say they've made it this far and that says something to it's longevity. However, that does not mean that this film will live up to it's previous films.
Fate of the Furious picks up some time after the events of the seventh film. Dom (Vin Diesel) is living a "normal" life in Cuba with his girlfriend Letty (Michelle Rodriguez). However when a mysterious woman known as Cipher (Charlize Theron) arrives and turns Dom against his crew it is up to Dom's former crew to stop him and Cipher before they can enact their plan.
I'm going to be blunt here and say that this film was boring. Sure, the car chases and action was flashy but it held no real substance. The story was painfully predictable and held the audiences hand throughout the entire film. The biggest example of this was Dom. At the beginning of the film we see Cipher show Dom something on a phone, the audience doesn't know what it is but it is clearly enough to have Dom betray his entire crew. This is an interesting concept however, the almost immediately ruin this by revealing that Cipher is essentially blackmailing Dom. This one simple thing completely ruins any suspense in the film because you know now that Dom isn't bad and will eventually "turn good" before the end of the film. This is just one example, the film does this plenty more times through the film to the point that it was getting frustrating. It's like they had a good movie planned out then decided to neuter it so that a child who had never seen the film before could follow. In my opinion it feels like the creators of the film don't give their audience enough credit and are unwilling to take any real risks in the film.
Speaking of taking risks, I'm going to talk about the one thing that annoyed me the most, and that is the painful amount of plot armor in this film. While I will admit that this franchise often plays it fast and loose with basic physics I can still not forgive this. In this film nobody on the "good" side gets hurt, at all. And I mean that quite literally, these characters are put into situations where they should get hurt, like for example falling into arctic water then getting dragged half a mile on the ground only to stand up completely dry and unscathed. Again, this is just one of many examples. The worst though is at the end of the film. At this point (some spoilers incoming) Dom has turned back to the good side and is caught up in a massive explosion. As he is engulfed in flames his allies cars form a shield circle around him, these cars are too engulfed in flames. However, was anyone hurt? No. Heck, not even the cars were damaged. In fact the worst damage that I could see was some slight singe marks on Dom's head, that's it. A massive explosion occurs that engulfs the entire main cast in flames and all they have to show from it is a couple of singe marks. This film is highly offensive in this way. The creators of this film don't have the guts to kill, let alone hurt one of their characters. Why? If I were to guess it is so they can continue to milk this franchise more down the line. Fans of this series deserves better than this.
So after all of this one may assume that I totally despised everything about this film. That isn't true. The opening sequence (which is they only thing like the original) was quiet good. As well, Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham reprise their roles and play off each other well. Those two might have been the only true saving grace of the film. There was also plenty of fan service in this film, more than enough to satisfy any level of fan.
In the end, Fate of the Furious is a painfully disappointing film that seems to exist only to milk the franchise for more money. It has no real stakes of consequence, no character development, no compelling story or any of that. But what does it have? It has fan service and flashy action. In many ways it's like the Transformer film franchise, which begs the question why do people give this franchise a pass but not one like Transformers. But that is a question for another day. If you like fan service and action and/or a die hard fan this film will satisfy. Anyone else should not even bother.
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