Is it your fate to be furious after watching this?
I’ve never been the biggest fan of The Fast and The Furious franchise. To me it always seemed to be one of the shallowest, most materialistic movie franchises out there. I remember watching the first one with my college roommates when it first came out. They were always into cars. I wasn’t. Naturally they loved it. They loved it so much, they’d watch it almost every night at our apartment… much to my disgust. I got the concept. It just didn’t seem conceivable that they could milk eight movies out of it. I lost track that they even were making these movies somewhere after the third one I think. There was no way this movie would do well at the box office in my mind. Then it comes out and breaks box office records in its first weekend to the tune $532.5 million worldwide. Flabbergasted. I guess people really did want to see this movie. Is it worth the admission price? Begrudgingly…yes. With caveats.
This franchise started off as a street racing action movie. It has evolved into something a little different. Dominic Torreto is on honeymoon in Cuba with Letty. They are loving Cuban living. One day, Dominic runs into Cipher who shows him something that forces his hand to perform criminal acts for her. This also requires for him to go against his team. We then are reintroduced to Luke Hobbs who is also recruited to return to working for the government in response to increased threat by Cipher’s actions. Luke enlists his team to complete a job he needs to pull off only to have that mission compromised by Dominic. That’s right. Dominic Torreto has turned rogue. From there, we are faced with a bunch of ridiculous scenarios where Dominic needs to acquire something for Cipher and his old crew tries to stop and apprehend him. We are jettisoned around the globe as we witness this.
Going in to watch this, I thought I would be groaning the whole time at the shameless monstrosity I would allegedly be watching. I had fun watching this though! A cast of likeable, familiar names probably helped. This movie has everyone. Vin Diesel is typically himself but the Rock and Jason Statham really were fun to watch. Tyrese is also very funny. Ludicrous was also hilarious. Kurt Russell shows up and you can tell he’s having fun with this. The biggest name, Charlize Theron, also delivers. She’s had quite a few roles where she plays a villain and it works here. Theron is your quintessential Bond villain. Everyone has fun in this movie and you naturally end up getting caught up in the fever.
The Fate has so many over the top set pieces that it becomes just fun to watch. It’s so over the top and logic defying. Vin Diesel drives a car while being engulfed in flames and suffers not a burn. The Rock can deflect rubber bullets off his body as if he is Superman. Tyrese takes a Ferrari to a frozen Russian tundra. Jason Statham takes on a whole crew of henchmen in an airplane while carrying a baby carriage. Ludacris drives a tank. Absurd. All of this is intentional of course. This is no longer a racing franchise. This is a superhero franchise. The paradigm shift here is one that I’m surprisingly on board with.
If you buy into the fantastical world that this movie presents, this movie strangely works. Along with that we get Ferraris, tanks and a freaking submarine as per usual. You can’t take this stuff serious but it is still serious fun. I had a smile on my face pretty much the whole time. It’s more roller coaster ride than film but that’s what you should expect going in. That’s the draw. If you go in ready for over the top, “Ludacris” (excuse the pun) fun, then you’ll leave the hall happy.
Grade (on a furious curve of course): B