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Dan's Review: "The Fate of the Furious" delivers more mindless action

Apr 14, 2017 11:52PM ● Published by Dan Metcalf

Vin Diesel in The Fate of the Furious - © 2017 - Universal.

The Fate of the Furious (Universal)

Rated PG-13 for prolonged sequences of violence and destruction, suggestive content, and language.

Starring Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Chris Bridges, Nathalie Emmanuel, Kurt Russell, Scott Eastwood, Charlize Theron, Helen Mirren, Kristofer Hivju, Elsa Pataky, Tego Calderón,  Don Omar, Luke Evans.

Written by Chris Morgan.

Directed by F. Gary Gray.

GRADE: C+

REVIEW:

Street racer, spy…what’s the difference? With all the silly milieu of the Fast and Furious franchise, you tend to forget that the main characters’ origins mostly involve highway robbery and racing souped-up Japanese imports for cash or pink slips (vehicle owner titles). The eighth film in the series, The Fate of the Furious races into theaters this weekend, sure to dazzle fans with even more crazy stunts.

Vin Diesel reprises his role as Dom Torretto, the leader of and elite group of racers and convicts-turned mercenary spies. When Dom is blackmailed by the mysterious Cipher (Charlize Theron), an international cyber-terrorist, he is compelled to betray his team, including is wife Letty (Michelle Rodriguez), Agent Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson), Roman (Tyrese Gibson), Tej (Chris “Ludacris” Bridges), and super hacker Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel). Dom’s betrayal results with Hobbs in a German prison cell adjoining Shaw (Jason Statham), the villain in the past two films. Aided by “Mr. Nobody’ (Kurt Russell), Hobbs’ old secret-agency boss and his sidekick “Little Nobody” (Scott Eastwood), Hobbs and Shaw escape and are reunited with the rest of the crew, still reeling from Dom’s betrayal. Though untrusting and suspicious of Shaw, he is brought in as part of the crew, which hunts Dom to New York, where Cipher uses him to capture nuclear codes from a Russian diplomat. She intends to use nukes to spread chaos and gain power. The crew also learns what Cipher is using to blackmail Dom, and hatch a scheme to stop her attempt to launch a nuclear missile in the Arctic. A grand chase and battle commences on the ice inside a Russian port. During the battle, the heroes contend with Russian “separatists” and Cipher, who uses her hacking skills to mobilize a submarine during the ice chase. Dom must do all he can to save himself and the “family” he loves.

The Fate of the Furious is full of action, explosions, car chases, hot babes, testosterone-laden one-liners and all the absurd scenarios you’d come to expect from the franchise (yeah, including the aforementioned car chase involving a submarine). If you yearn for that kind of mindless eye-candy and don’t mind suspending the laws of physics, The Fate of the Furious is right up your alley (what’d you expect, Shakespeare?). If you prefer clever dialogue, plausible story lines or intelligent acting performances, you may want to take a pass. Oh, and in case you didn’t get the message from the past four films, The F & F franchise is “all about family,” which is supposed to pass as some kind of sentimental glue between fans and the main characters. Yep, a “family” of thieves and dangerous drivers. We are SO connected now (cough).

The franchise “jumped the shark” four movies ago, so there isn’t much more the crew can encounter in this world to dazzle the senses. Maybe we’ll eventually see Dom and Letty racing spaceships in orbit to save the world. There are at least 2 more F & F films planned, with other spin-offs in the works, so buckle up...it’s possible, even if most of the story isn’t.


The Fate of the Furious Trailer

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