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Review: Fate of the Furious

Score: C

Director: F. Gary Gray

Cast: Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Michelle Rodriguez, Charlize Theron

Running Time: 136 Minutes

Rated: PG-13

The fate of the free world is once again in the hands of Dom and his crew as they all must take on a mysterious woman who pushes a deep wedge between Dom and his family.

The Fast and The Furious franchise used to be a much simpler universe, loosely based on the old stagecoach westerns. Back then they also grounded the stories in reality. The Fate of the Furious is so far from that that a splatter of groan inducing scenes only adds to the chaos. Back when the films were trying to be over the top it was a fun and enjoyable. Nowadays, not so much.

You have an extremely talented director in F. Gary Gray and a great loaded cast of returning and fresh faces. The fact that the plot is so ridiculous makes you immediately question just how much further they can run with this.

Gary Gray, of Straight Outta Compton and The Italian Job, shows that he really has a great eye when it comes to visually stunning, high speed car chases. The one thing I have always loved about the Fast franchise are the cars and Fate does not disappoint - the cars are beautiful and the drivers are spectacular.   However, there are just too many scenes that go over the top, challenging your sense of realism as you begin to channel the Esurence commercial, stammering “that’s not how that works! That’s not how any of this works!”

Something (or one) else that might be “passed its prime” is Vin Diesel as the franchise’s main star. Yes, he was great in the first Fast film, but as time has gone by his monotone, gravely voice has become slightly passé, especially when he is paired up against such loud personalities like Dwayne Johnson, Kurt Russell or even Jason Statham. Diesel needs someone like the late Paul Walker to play off of. Otherwise he comes across empty.

On the other hand Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham have great chemistry as they utilize their strong on-screen chemistry. Maybe they can lead the Torretto family into the next adventure with Kurt Russell somehow thrown in there.

Charlize Theron’s villainous “Cypher” does great justice to the term as her delivery helps to compensate for the otherwise played out “I’m going to bring the world powers to their knees” cliché. She and Kristofer Hivju are so freaking brutal that it somehow works, even though it shouldn’t.

The other issue resolves from Dom going rogue. The tease is played out, even if it does help to connect Fate to Fast Five. The third act tends to unravel a bit and the timing of everything makes you scratch your head, much like all the explosions.

Moving on from here will be a challenge. Even though Diesel has said that the Furious gang has a few trilogies left in them, they might be hard to justify.

 

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About Robert Bexar II

Robert Bexar II

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