The Fate of the Furious

1488423016_80f557346e9c57a769fa41a2b284345aAs a movie franchise adds new instalments, we expect (and even demand) that the stakes get higher, that the setpieces get bigger, and that the payoff be greater when our heroes win in the end. Normally, the need to maintain some level of realism constrains the film in some way. Not so with the latest entry in the Fast and Furious franchise.

The Fate of the Furious is absolutely ridiculous from start to finish. There is only one law of physics in this world, and it is this: our heroes must succeed.  So if for Vin Diesel to win a race, a car needs to go faster in reverse than in drive after doing a 180, then that’s what is going to happen. That is always part of the pact that action movies (and action sequels in particular) make with their audience: accept the rules being bent now and again and in exchange, receive that elevated payoff I mentioned earlier. By and large, we are willing to accept that sort of thing in service of those higher stakes I mentioned. What sets the Fate of the Furious apart from most movies is that it doesn’t bend the rules at the climax; rather, it breaks them in the opening sequence. Right from the start, we know that absolutely anything goes, and it just gets more ridiculous from there.

If, like me, you can accept that in the service of entertainment  then you will enjoy this movie. On the other hand if, like Jay, you have no tolerance for big, loud, dumb action movies then you will want to choose some other form of entertainment. Because Fate of the Furious is among the biggest, loudest and dumbest movies ever made. It is also among the most gleeful, and I thoroughly enjoyed every over-the-top set piece, each of which is spectacular in its idiocy.

The Fate of the Furious is exactly what it aims to be, no more and no less. It was never going to reach the emotional heights of Furious 7, and it was never going to bring something fresh to the genre. It is a fun experience (especially in 4DX, which made this movie even more of a rollercoaster ride) but ultimately it’s a flashy, forgettable movie. Which may otherwise have been enough if I had not just seen Baby Driver at SXSW and been reminded how great an action movie can be when it is truly innovative instead of a formulaic eighth entry in a franchise that was all style, no substance right from the start.

The Fate of the Furious gets a score of six Lamborghinis on ice out of ten, with the caveat that if you have a time machine then jump to June 28 and see Baby Driver instead.

 

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23 thoughts on “The Fate of the Furious

  1. Tom

    Well said, good sir. Movie was straight up ridiculous. But i had fun. And Cipher, wow. I had no idea Joe Pantoliano could look THAT good.

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  2. Jade

    Nice review. A part of me says that this is absurd and I’m not going to watch it. But another small part’s like, HECK YES. Haha.

    I’m super psyched for Baby Driver, so let me know if you find that time machine between now and June! 😉

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  3. le0pard13

    So glad the studio moved up ‘Baby Driver’ from it’s original August release to June. Oh, and attending the recent TCM Classic Film Fest, I got a chance to see Edgar Wright intro the ‘Dr. Strangelove’ screening on the last day in his now famed style. Well worth getting up early on Sunday morning…F8 probably not so much.

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  4. tubularsock

    So what you are saying is that the Furious series is AS ridiculous as the Bob Hope and Bing’s Road Series except for having more wreckage? Or maybe you’re not saying that. Oh well.

    Tubularsock does often like “big, loud, dumb action movies” just to see how much destruction can be created in 4 seconds! Great review, Sean.

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  5. Lloyd Marken

    I’m guessing 4DX is like Extremescreen here but please elaborate if you like? Louder sound, crisper picture? I’m glad you enjoyed it, even by this series standards 5-7 are better but I’m happy enough to see 9. 🙂

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  6. sportsattitudes

    Ridiculous, big, loud and dumb. And also a great ride. The kind of spectacle we’d normally see in the heat of the summertime arrived in April with engines…um, rockets roaring. Mindless escapism that can entertain if you have a mind for such fare. Saw it in IMAX and glad I did.

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  7. Pingback: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 | ASSHOLES WATCHING MOVIES

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