By Grant Dillard, Staff writer
Since 2001, the “Fast and Furious” franchise has provided high octane entertainment with its intense car chases, incredible stunts, and ridiculous over-the-top action. With “The Fate of the Furious” being the eighth installment in the series, it can be understandable to worry that the series may be running on fumes. Thankfully, “The Fate of the Furious” is yet another great addition to the series, and is a sign to moviegoers that the franchise isn’t slowing down anytime soon.
The film starts off with Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) living peacefully with his wife, Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) in Cuba for their honeymoon. At least until a mysterious criminal known as Cipher (Charlize Theron) comes in and ultimately convinces Dom to work for her, as well as telling him to betray his team. Given no other choice, Dom turns against his team and heads off with Cipher. Wanting to stop Cipher as well as to get Dom back, the team including Letty, Hobbes (Dwayne Johnson,) Roman (Tyrese Gibson,) Tej (Ludacris,) and Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel) end up having to join forces with the villain from the last movie; Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham.)
The plot for the film is one of the better stories told in the series. It’s interesting to see Dominic Toretto, the main protagonist throughout the series, suddenly become a bad guy and fight against his team. It also helps that Dom’s motivation for working with Cipher, which is revealed halfway through the film, is easy to identify with. Audiences can easily understand why Dom is making these decisions. Also, Deckard working with the team leads to several humorous interactions between him and Hobbes, always having something snarky to say to each other every chance they get. This is where many of the film’s funniest moments come from alongside Roman still providing great comic relief.
Like any Fast and Furious film, especially the more recent entries in the series, the action is completely over-the-top as well as extremely fun to watch. Director F. Gary Gray does a great job at filming the intense car chases and hand-to-hand combat sequences. They’re fast, full of energy, and feature plenty of jaw dropping moments. There’s no poor editing or extreme camera shaking, making it easy to see what’s happening. Of course, like other installments in the series, “The Fate of the Furious” isn’t a movie that should be taken very seriously when it comes to its action setpieces. There’s no doubt that the laws of physics have been broken at least a few times throughout the film. However, the movie understands that it’s not meant to be taken seriously and that its purpose is to provide great entertainment to its audiences.
“The Fate of the Furious” is a lot of fun and is a good start for a new storyline in the series that will continue with the upcoming 9th and 10th installments. Even with that, it still stands on its own as a good movie. Hardcore fans of the series will most likely enjoy this film the most, as it features plenty of callbacks and surprises that tie in to the other installments in the series. But even for non-fans of the series, it’s worth checking out.