Movie Review – The Fate of the Furious

Fast cars, ludicrous stunts and dumb dialogue – exactly what you’d expect from a Fast and Furious movie!

⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Josip Knezevic

The Fast and The Furious franchise has returned for its eighth instalment, only this time it must continue its legacy without star lead Paul Walker. Walker’s absence set up quite the emotional impact in the previous movie, so I was curious to see where the series would head next. To my surprise, the series seems to be heading in the right direction… somewhat.

In The Fate of the Furious we re-unite with our beloved Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) who’s honeymooning with wife Letty (Michelle Rodriguez). A mysterious woman soon appears and lures Dom into becoming a hired terrorist, leading him to betray all those close to him. It’s up to our revhead compadres to figure what’s happened to the old Dom and save the world. Screw the C.I.A, who else would you trust, right?

Once again, the theme of family is a major player in this latest film. It’s been prevalent throughout the entire franchise, but while this is an important conceptual torch to bear, it only needs to exist in the background. We’ve seen the exact same situation in Fast 6 when Letty turned on her family. Now that we’re up to movie number eight, it’s kinda like beating a dead horse.

What makes a franchise everlasting is its ability to produce a range of memorable entries. With Harry Potter, the early films were a joyful introduction to the wizarding world, while the last films were far darker in tone. Each film in Fast and Furious feels like the same story just set in a different location around the world.

As the franchise unfolds, the one redeeming factor is that each new film grows in scale and strives to outdo the last. In the early days, the films were all about street racing, then drifting and then bank robberies. This has progressed to tank battles, the world’s longest airplane chase and driving Lamborghini’s from skyscraper into skyscraper. It’s ridiculous, but it’s what I fucking love. You can’t help but enjoy the spectacle, and thankfully The Fate of The Furious continues this to greater lengths.

This is ultimately why I would recommend seeing this on the big screen. The action sequences are mindless, but great to watch, and comic relief characters such as Roman (Tyrese Gibson) allow for some genuine laughs.

If people love something so much that they’re prepared to keep coming back again and again, why then would The Fast and the Furious bother to change its formula? But to become a truly great franchise, it needs to go beyond following a simple formula and be bold in its storytelling. I’m hoping for a ninth installment that either ventures into new territory thematically, or at least continues to amp up the level of ludicrousness in the action sequences. But for now, it’s time to enjoy some submarine car chases.

The Fate of the Furious is available in Australian cinemas from April 13

Image (c) Universal Pictures 2017

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