In the wake of Paul Walker’s death, there was huge potential for the Fast And Furious franchise to wither and fade, with the 8th installment potentially being its last. In seeing the stars of the film talk about being involved in it, what I heard were comments that sounded like individuals saying goodbye. What I saw on screen with THE FATE OF THE FURIOUS is that there’s plenty of life left for at least a couple more installments, if they play things right.
First and foremost, was it weird watching a Fast And Furious film without Paul Walker? No, because the entire film got turned on its head as they flipped Vin Diesel’s Dominic Toretto character into the villain.
Hold up, what?
You read it right, and when I saw the trailers for the film, I had my doubts, but the way they did it – the motivations Dom had for “turning heel” and being the antagonist – made perfect sense. ABSOLUTELY perfect sense for the character, without a doubt. And props to Vin Diesel, he pulled off some good acting along the way, showing the emotion behind his eyes. Also, he pulled off some pretty badass action scenes, like with the car-tug-of-war, or the scene when he goes complete psycho badass and puts on his urban armor and uses a huge hand-held power saw to destroy somebody’s limo.
No question that Charlize Theron did a good job. She’s an Academy Award winning actress, obviously she’s got the chops to hit the notes she needed to as the primary villain. But enough about her, let’s get to the two things we absolutely need to talk about when talking about Fast And The Furious films:
The Crazy Chases and The Absurdities
Some people worry about the idea of computer components inside cars getting hacked and losing control. If you’re one of these people, that fear is popped right into the plot here, in a major way. MAJOR. The resulting visuals are insane and the way they worked it into the car chase scene was amazingly creative! THIS is why people go see these movies! I almost jumped out of my seat two or three times!
And after battling bad guys on an airplane in a previous movie, and a tank, it was going to be tough to find a way to top that… but I would say that battling a submarine probably at least comes close! The way the movie built in the idea that these sort of unrealistic car chases wouldn’t exactly go as planned was a nice touch, too, because they very easily could’ve just kept any aspects of realism out of it entirely.
If you like these films, which I do, then you’re probably going to like this one as much or more than some of the previous ones. They took the series in a direction that I actually like MORE than the ones with Paul Walker involved, and I’m looking forward to sequels. The smartest thing they did was to feature Jason Statham and The Rock more. The prison fight between them was amazing, but what Jason Statham did late in the film with the baby? One of the most entertaining scenes I’ve seen in years!
If you haven’t tried these films yet, don’t start with this one. Go back at least to number 5, if not before that. I’ve laid it all out in another review for you. If you’re still a bit skeptical, that’s understandable. I was, prior to watching these films for the first time a few months ago. And if you’re willing to be entertained by car chases and insane action with crazy premises, this is the series for you.
My rating: 85 out of 100