The fast and the furious franchise has now 8 films in the books with a proposed two more left to go. The series of films was once a mixture of racing, combined with cars, also with a dash of drama in the fast and the furious’ younger days. As the films grew the characters started taking on different aspects that have never been brought to the surface before. In different ways every continuation of the series had grown in one part or another, except Tokyo Drift, (Technically, #3) we don’t ever, ever, ever talk about it. However this development comes with a downside. Since the 4th installment in the series in my opinion, the quality of the movie, plot, and overall theme has become a little stale, watered-down and of course repetitive. All this being said, the 8th movie, titled: The Fate of the Furious puts a new spin on this ongoing saga which we’ve known might come but have never seen quite like this before. Let’s take a look into the film and review, piece by piece.
Story: 4.0/5.0 Stars
Coming into this 8th installment, I thought there would be some convoluted, cookie-cutter story line. By this I meant there would be some terrible crime that needed to be stopped, or some dastardly villain that the
mystery machine furious crew would have to take down and then happy ending. However, before going into the movie the whole world knew that the twist was that Dominic who’s played by Vin Diesel is one of the villains this time around. This new set-piece brings an action part; however, this always brings a stronger psychological aspect in which each actor’s reaction is different. This makes the film shine brighter for it. The team’s broken, their energies feed off of each other. The only thing I wish would have been brought forth were the confrontations and conflicts within the group. It seemed that fights within the group were few and far between, and everyone lived happily ever after…
Overall it’s refreshing to look at the team as broken puzzle pieces searching for their connections. This shock to their system really brings out the way people recover, either grouped together or as people. In hindsight the plot was predictable but the routes the story went at times weren’t. That’s what kept the movie alive, without those dramatic, awkward pauses that action movies usually have way too many of.
Acting: 3.0/5.0 Stars
The continuing tread in movies that take a dramatic turn is either to make or break the actors, however this doesn’t seem to be the case here. Almost every actor aside from Jason Statham and Dewayne “The Rock” Johnson, and Tyrese Gibson seem to be for lack of a better word suppressed. Ludacris had possibly about 10 appearances throughout the movie besides the actions scenes at most. If the movie had run a little longer the movie could’ve been called The Fate of Dominic Torretto. The whole movie centered on his turning, reasons, and ending. For everything its worth purposes it should be, but that doesn’t mean the actors….shouldn’t act. Taking in the whole picture, it looked like whenever something didn’t go as planned, they sulked like 3 year olds who didn’t have their cake after dinner.
Disappointment was almost too much to handle at times. I knew that everyone in that cast could put on good to great performances but to water it down to such a degree was a little disrespectful. The only surprise and shining stars were Charlize Theron and Vin Diesel, yes Vin Diesel. I haven’t villains like those two in quite a while, seemingly the odd couple, or perhaps Dr. Frankenstein and her monster. She could say “leap”, he would say “do you have a car that can rise that high?”. I mean, come on! He cries, let me say this again, he actually cries throughout the movie. His acting really stuck out. There were multiple times throughout the movie where the audience clapped, not just at the end. If I remember correctly, it was about 5 times when he was in the picture.
Action and Comedy: 5.0/5.0 Stars
This is where the film’s bread and butter is. The close quarters combat is intense, beautifully choreographed and 90% is believable. Everything down to the little explosion is matched to the story perfectly, and goes along seamlessly throughout the film. There isn’t many times where the action seems awkward, like a random body dropping or explosion, or badly designed cheesy dialogue. The comedy is plenty, well-timed, and golden
Tyrese brings his comedy more and more throughout intense scenes. This truly makes the experience all the better. It’s at those times that the movie has its glue to hold it together. Contrary to popular belief, Roman Pierce is one of the most important people in the Fast and Furious series and it’s proven without a doubt all throughout this movie in the glorious laughter of the audience.
Overall: 4.5/5.0 Stars
I usually come into long running series’ with a feeling of dread, so imagine my mindset going into for the 8th installment, and coming out with a review like this. Half of this was a renewal of the series and half of an ending. It’s been a long while. There are more than a couple of references to Paul Walker’s character throughout the movie and especially at the end that will bring a tear to your eye. It’s been a long ride, with cars, action, drama, and happiness! I for one am glad if it ends, it ends with a bang. This series has made me laugh, cry, yell, over and over like a relationship that’s never the same. It’s been up and down, turned left and right and now we’ve come to a point of settling. This last hurrah has been well-formed, executed and most importantly respectful.