Fate of the Furious Review
“Family”, the word that is completely repeated throughout the Fast & Furious franchise. I have a running joke with my friends about how this theme is the icing on a very cheesy cake. They certainly don’t hold back when pushing this aspect of the movies, but I do have to say it is something that makes us all keep watching these films. Films that have managed to get to it’s 8th instalment whilst increasingly making money with each chapter. Sadly though this "family" just isn’t the same without Paul Walker’s character ‘Brian’.
Fate Of The Furious is the 8th film to the Fast & Furious franchise, and I have to say they have pushed it just that one step too far. I am a huge fan of the Fast films, the ridiculousness of them is something I really enjoy. It’s nice to see a film that doesn’t take itself too seriously when it comes to trying to entertain the audience, but there is always a limit to how far you can push this, until it makes the film become a bit of a joke.
F8 starts off in Havana, where we see Dom (Vin Diesel) getting pulled into a street race that, if won, will stop his cousin from losing his banged up car, due to him having made some bad deals previously. There is obviously no question in regards whether or not Dom will win, the question is usually, in what ridiculous way? I can confirm that the way he pulls the win off does not disappoint. As the film progresses we see Dom “accidentally” bump into Charlize Theron’s character ‘Cipher’, where she explains to him how their meeting is not by coincidence, and that she has something on him, that will make him turn against his “family”. As we all know from the trailers, this “something” indeed makes him defect.
As the film continues the level of madness just gets more and more until it reaches a point of which is fairly overwhelming, but not in a good way. I don’t want to spoil anything for anyone reading this review who hasn’t seen the film yet, therefore I won’t go into too much detail, but the one thing that I feel proves my point is the insane amount of usage of CGI. In the previous films, even though there was CGI, they had a good blend of real life stunts, that kept the film grounded. This film is pretty much all CGI, and the reason for this is because everything in this film, stunt wise, is just off the scale on the ridiculous chart. There really is nothing Dom cannot stop, and it’s getting a little bit tiresome.
I think the one thing that was the final nail in the coffin for me, was that this franchise just isn’t the same without Paul Walker. He was good at adding the emotion to these films with his love story between him and Mia. Dom was always the leader, and even though he had his story with Letty, it was never as driven as the Brian and Mia one as they were the core of the family. With this taken away, it was left for Dom to take on these responsibilities, and I just don’t think Vin Diesel has the acting chops to pull this off, nor do I think it worked with the type of character Dom is.
Saying all of this, the film isn’t all bad. Jason Statham is a great addition to the team, even though his introduction to the "family" seemed a little bit forced. He brought a new style to the team which we haven’t seen before, with his karate-esque stunts and fight scenes. I love how since Dom has defected, Hobbs, played by Dwayne Johnson, was now the leader, which made it feel fresh. Kurt Russell’s character, Mr Nobody, works really well on providing the team with world saving heists. There’s a new addition to the team called Little Nobody, who plays Mr Nodoby’s fresh out of school assistant. I think he was meant to be a sort of a replacement for Brian, but with a bit of a twist, where instead of being Roman’s best friend, he clashed with him, therefore providing the comedy currant throughout the film, which I quite enjoyed. Again at times it was taken a little bit too far, but it was fun.
I did however really enjoy the use of the previous films score. I think little touches like this just make the movies feel connected. I hate it when a franchise uses a a completely different score, as in my opinion is creates a disconnection with the other instalments straight away.
Overall this film is not awful, it just sadly does not live up the standard of the previous films. I feel maybe they should have stopped after they lost Paul Walker, but sadly this highlights the hard truth, that these films are here to make money first, with art and entertainment coming second.
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