The Fate of the Furious (2017) – Review

Director: F. Gary Gray
Starring: Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris, Charlize Theron, Kurt Russell, Nathalie Emmanuel, Luke Evans, Elsa Pataky, Kristofer Hivju, Scott Eastwood

The Overview 
When a mysterious woman seduces Dom into the world of terrorism and a betrayal of those closest to him, the crew face trials that will test them as never before. (Source: IMDb

The Good
It is worth saying off the bat that I am an unashamed fan of this franchise, and as much as I might criticise other films for their lack of plot or their brainless approach, Fast and the Furious always seems to get a pass for just being so damn fun; something so often missing from big blockbusters that take themselves far too seriously. I mean what other film franchise could get away with calling its eighth instalment the Fate of the Furious – and yes I will be using its proper title and not the boring title the UK has branded it with! 

This blockbuster behemoth should never have been the success that it has been, but it really came into its own from the fifth movie onwards, introducing the always wonderful Dwayne Johnson and approaching each film with the idea of “yeah so you thought the last film was crazy? Well about that times 1000 and on steroids?!” Each film’s stunts and set pieces seem to be expanding in terms of grandeur and spectacle at the same rate of knots as The Rock’s pecs, but there are absolutely no complaints here! 

Tongue firmly in cheek here, but The Fate of the Furious is the fastest and most furious one yet, and although it might be early days, it has the potential to supplant Fast Five as my favourite film out of the entire series. The trailers gave something of a hint towards what to expect, but nothing can prepare you for the madness on screen with cars, tanks, and even submarines making for some of the most spectacular action scenes seen in a while.

There is a definite Paul Walker shaped hole in this film franchise now following his tragic death, but the rest of the cast do a more than amicable job of filling in. Villains aside, there aren’t any new additions to the main crew, and the cast are so in tune with these characters now they could pretty much play them in their sleep! Jason Statham does his best “exaggerated Jason Statham” impression and he is one of the big highlights of this film, especially when paired with Dwayne Johnson. Their bickering, akin to an old married couple, leads to some of the biggest laughs, and their joint action scene involving a prison breakout is a feat of choreography and stunt-work.

Now becoming known for their big action set-pieces (the vault highway chase from Fast Five, and the plane sequence from Fast & Furious 6 being some of the big highlights so far), The Fate of the Furious adds at least another two strings to its bow. The aforementioned prison break-out and the final submarine spectacular really do need to be seen to be believed. It ticks pretty much all the action movie boxes about ten times over!

The action scenes are well orchestrated and well shot, with director F. Gary Gray throwing you right into the action at times, but also giving some amazing wide shots so you can see the scope of the action to best effect. This really is a film to see more than once; there is so much happening at any one time that a second viewing is required to make sure you didn’t miss anything.

The Bad
If you’ve ever seen a Fast & Furious movie before, then it is possible that this latest instalment could seem somewhat formulaic. Bikini clad girls? Check. Mandatory street race just in case you forget what the franchise did used to be about? Check. The Rock punching walls? Check. By this point, some may be wishing the films to do something a little different, but for me this wasn’t an issue at all. When the formula works and is this fun, who cares if we’ve seen it before?! 

The Verdict
I saw this movie and you should too. 
Fate of the Furious is bigger, better and more badass than the rest of the movies combined. It is audacious in its action, bombastic in its execution, and relentlessly fun. Who cares about the plot, the villain, their motivations or any of the character arcs, this film is all the ridiculous over-the-top action you would expect, and it is an absolute blast. Switch your brain off, have a great time, because sometimes that is all movies need to be! 

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