The Fate of the Furious Review
The Fate of the Furious is a return to form for the franchise.
Many wondered if the Fast & Furious franchise should move on after the tragic death of Paul Walker. After all, he was one of the “founding members” of the entire franchise. It turns out that we’re not getting one, but three more Fast & Furious films before it all ends. The first film of the final trilogy, The Fate of the Furious, is out in theaters on April 14th. But can the franchise ever be the same without Walker?
Fortunately, yes, because The Fate of the Furious is one hell of an entertaining film.
The Fate of the Furious follows Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and his team as they begin to live a normal life. When a mysterious woman (Charlize Theron) enters his life, he is forced to go back to his former life and betray those closest to him. Without their leader, his team will face adversity like they’ve never faced before.
Unfortunately, due to Paul Walker’s tragic death, screenwriter Chris Morgan had to alter the Furious 7 script. Under those circumstances, Furious 7 resulted in a disjointed film, especially in the third act. When Morgan is able to focus on the story then he’s able to do good things. Thus, The Fate of the Furious is to return to form for the Fast & Furious franchise. Chris Morgan wrote the script with tons of twists and turns. The journey to find out why Dominic Toretto turned heel is a thrilling one. Not to mention, Morgan is able to flesh out certain characters while introducing new ones. Some of the supporting characters get buried by the main players because of the enormous cast, though.
Director F. Gary Gray does an incredible job balancing the emotion and action in Fate. First of all, audiences will get sucked into the story thanks to the film’s the energetic pacing. There aren’t many dull moments in the film because of it. It’s also amazing how each character has just the right amount of screen time. With the exception of the “zombie cars” scene, the action scenes are far less outlandish. So don’t expect any mind-blowing car stunts here. It’s kind of disappointing considering the Gray directed some thrilling car scenes in The Italian Job.
As it is the case with playing the same character over several years, the cast of Fate of the Furious has settled right into their roles. Whether it’s their second time or their eighth time, everyone is comfortable playing their roles even as their characters grow and develop.
As much as this film is about Dominic Toretto, it’s Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham that steal the show. Dwayne Johnson not only kicks a lot of ass but he exudes charisma like no other. His character is the closest thing to a superhero without any of the powers. Additionally, Jason Statham shines as Deckard Shaw. Like Johnson, Statham kicks a lot of ass but he’s able to show a funny and tender side as well. This is something that we rarely see from him as an actor. To be honest, it’s a little refreshing to see this side of him.
As for Vin Diesel and Charlize Theron, they’re both very good. Vin Diesel conveys a plethora of emotions in this film. This isn’t surprising since this is Dominic Toretto’s most emotional journey yet. Putting Toretto through all these emotions is Charlize Theron’s Cipher. Theron portrays her character as a kind of quiet threat. Her confident but monotone performance is just right for her hacker character.
The rest of the cast did well despite being secondary to the four main characters. Scott Eastwood, Tyrese Gibson, and Ludacris gave the film much of its humor. Michelle Rodriguez kicked ass as usual. Unfortunately, Kurt Russell and Nathalie Emmanuel had smaller roles this time around.
Overall, The Fate of the Furious may be one of the best Fast films yet, if not THE best. The film has enough emotion, heart, humor, twists, and thrills that you’ll be catching your breath when the credits start rolling. Not bad for a franchise that was thought long dead several films ago. Keep the Fast thrills coming, Vin.
Rating: 4.5/5 atoms