Film review by Jason Day of the car racing action movie The Fate Of the Furious, starring Vin Diesel and Michelle Rodriguez.
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Settling back into his relationship with Letty (Michelle Rodriguez), car racer Dom (Vin Diesel) seemingly turns tail on her and his adoptive family when he is recruited by a mysterious super-hacker called Cypher (Charlize Theron). Cypher wants him to use his street racing skills to steal weapons of mass destruction to help in her international terrorism scheme. Its up to Letty and the family to follow Dom and stop him.
Review, by Jason Day
One thing you have to give to the makers of the Fast & the Furious franchise (unbelievably, perhaps unforgivably, on its eighth outing), they certainly know how to top their previous film with ever more ingenious and thrilling case chases and stunts.
These movies are hugely successful at the box office, but having a big and loyal international audience can help and hinder a filmmaker – to reward the fans, we have the same mix of stars, cars, babes and bangs but it all has be ramped up an extra gear.
As a high octane, catch-your-breath-between-scenes two and a bit hours long film about nothing more than the love of sexy, fast cars and the opportunity to hit baddies in the face, this film delivers. It is fast. It is furious. It does exactly what it says on the tin and not many films manage that.
The action is reliably scheduled every 30 minutes or so, with the final section in Russia lasting a whopping 40 minutes. This helps to keep the audience’s attention from wandering during the bland explanatory sequences between them.
We are quite star heavy in this film – everyone in hollywood from Kurt Russell to Helen Mirren (rather unnecessarily as it turns out, wasting her time and ours with an awful cockney accent) pops up to the point where it strains credulity and becomes a hilarious Who’s Who guessing game. By the end, like me, you’ll feel this is an automobile Expendables off-shoot.
After seeing this current addition, I do wonder where the series will go to next. I’ll leave talking at length about the ages of the now decidedly geriatric case members (Diesel for instance is 50 this July, sharing his birthday with three members of my family) but suffice to say, perhaps Fast & Furious 9: The Mobility Scooter Years could be the next film?
Or, given that Diesel and Rodriguez talk about making babies and with some very amusing comic sequences with Jason Statham rescuing Diesel’s baby son (the dramatic fulcrum of the film), perhaps they will focus on the next generation of petrol heads: Fast & Furious: Pram Wars.
Statham is proving to be quite the comic star these days, especially since his stunningly insulting scenes with Melissa McCarthy in Spy (2015). If co-star Tyrese Gibson’s depressingly obvious, huge penis gags are left dangling quietly in the wind, Statham’s hyper-macho posturing and baby rescuing are hilariously stylised and give this aggressive film a much needed levity break.
Theron, all silky sexiness, barely speaks above a whisper, something the taciturn and blank Diesel might heed a lesson from in future (SHOUTING does not mean you are ACTING). With her eco-warrior look, has she walked in from another film set? Who knows, but she’s a great villain and a strong dramatic addition to the series.
Who knows what will happen next in the series but, despite having felt no inducement to see parts 3-7 of the series, I for one am looking forward to buckling up again.
Cast & credits
Director: F Gary Gray. (136 mins). Universal/One Race Films/Original Film. (12a)
Producers: Vin Diesel, Michael Fottrell, Chris Morgan, Neal H. Moritz.
Writer: Chris Morgan.
Camera: Stephen F. Windom.
Music: Brian Tyler.
Sets: Bill Brzeski.
Vin Diesel, Jason Statham, Dwayne Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris, Charlize Theron, Kurt Russell, Nathalie Emmanuel, Luke Evans, Elsa Pataky, Scott Eastwood.