Movie, Reviews

“The Fate of the Furious” Continues to Burn Rubber

 

Marriage, mayhem and a baby drive Toretto’s gang to save the world in The Fate of the Furious a “squeal-quel” for the ages. The film has the energy to drive its followers in to theater seats several times. Keeping the formula of fast cars, hot women and rowdy men the franchise continues to be alive and well. The only question comes with how do you top this one without being repetitive? You can’t! It’s what the fans want and it will survive for another time around.

The excitement begins with a street race, a take-off on The Fast and the Furious, but instead of Miami’s downtown streets its 90 miles south in Cuba. Shredding up the Havana waterfront with Dom Toretto facing off against the local street racing king pin, provides the intro the next antagonist Cipher (Charlize Theron). She’s a brilliant computer whiz and she’s using her tech savvy to steal an EMP, an electromagnetic pulse device, which can do a lot of damage. She forces Dom to join her when she reveals that she has kidnapped someone close to him.

Dom Toretto (Vin Diesel) in The Fate of the Furious

The excitement begins with a street race, a take-off on The Fast and the Furious, but instead of Miami’s downtown streets its 90 miles south in Cuba. Shredding up the Havana waterfront with Dom Toretto facing off against the local street racing king pin, provides the intro the next antagonist Cipher (Charlize Theron). She’s a brilliant computer whiz and she’s using her tech savvy to steal an EMP, an electromagnetic pulse device, which can do a lot of damage. She forces Dom to join her when she reveals that she has kidnapped someone close to him.

Thus begins a wild and chaotic two hours plus of violence, pandemonium and just plain chaos when Dom goes rogue. His team that includes Letty (Michelle Rodriguez), Roman (Tyrese Gibson), Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel) and Teg Parker (Chris “Ludacris” Bridges) are called in to work with ex-FBI Agent Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) and their arch nemesis Deckard (Jason Statham) and they comply.

Charlize Theron as Cipher in The Fate of the Furious

Continuing in his high energy wreck and destroy kind of filmmaking, director F. Gary Gray turns up the heat early and burns rubber for nearly two and a half hours. It’s a fun romp from Cuba to Berlin, Germany as he takes us on a fantasy ride that ends in an open ended reunion back home. Gary holds nothing back as if there were no way to go from here, but when this film reaches the 1 billion dollar mark, I’m sure he’ll be looking for another script to continue the mayhem.

(L to R) Roman (TYRESE GIBSON), Tej (CHRIS “LUDACRIS” BRIDGES), Little Nobody (SCOTT EASTWOOD), Hobbs (DWAYNE JOHNSON), Ramsey (NATHALIE EMMANUEL) and Letty (MICHELLE RODRIGUEZ) realize Dom’s gone rogue in “The Fate of the Furious.”

The whole cast does their usual best on the project providing a lot of taught sequences and some very funny adlibs that the fan base will enjoy. The Fast and the Furious has become the springboard for each of the main cast and they have never let us down. Led by Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Paul Walker, Jordana Brewster, Sung Kang, Gal Gadot (I hope I haven’t missed anybody) and adding the likes of Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Charlize Theron, Nathalie Emmanuel, Scott Eastwood, Elsa Pataky and Kurt Russell, the franchise has been one of the best ever.

All that said, the film does have a downside and that being the frail, absurd and a little flimsy storyline that includes a weapon of mass destruction, which although possible, would probably not induce massive annihilation. So if you are too much of a realist, you may walk out at the end of the film thinking it was really stupid. My being a fan of the ridiculous starting with all the James Bond Thrillers, take umbrage to the point and look forward to another episode of the Gang That ‘Could’ Shoot Straight.

The Fate of the Furious has been rated PG-13 for prolonged sequences of violence and destruction, suggestive content, and language. All in good fun, but please be cautioned that there are many scenes to which immature children should not be exposed.

FINAL ANALYSIS: To all the fans who love the franchise, GO FOR IT.

Additional Film Information:
Cast: Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Charlize Theron, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Nathalie Emmanuel, Scott Eastwood, Elsa Pataky, Kurt Russell
Directed by: F. Gary Gray
Writers: Gary Scott Thompson and Chris Morgan
Genre: Action, Thriller, Crime
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for prolonged sequences of violence and destruction, suggestive content, and language 
Running Time: 2 hrs. 16 min.
Release Date: April 14, 2017
Distributed by: Universal Pictures
Released in: 2D and IMAX

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Film Editor John Delia has been on all sides of the movie business from publications to film making. He has worked as a film critic with ACED Magazine for more than 12 years and earned a Bachelors degree in communications from the University of Florida. John is a member of the Southeastern Film Critics Association. Follow John on Twitter @staragent1 or send John a message at jdelia@acedmagazine.com