The Fate of the Furious is another fun sequel with some huge kinks
The theme of this franchise has always been family. It has been the foundation of this franchise ever since Toretto and O’Connor got the gang together in Fast Five. This has also helped bring the sincerity to each sequel as it becomes more over the top than the previous entry. But then The Fate of the Furious comes along like a contractor coming to tell you he can fix your house with ease when really he makes it worse.
The real problem was that there wasn’t anything needing to be fixed. Furious 7 left things off well and could’ve been an appropriate ending for this soap opera saga. Of course that couldn’t happen because there is still money to be made for Universal. That doesn’t bother me at all. It’s a business and also this is the only franchise that provides wonderful diversity other than Star Wars. They can keep them coming as long as they stay true to what this is all about: Family. This is where Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) comes into play. It baffles me that anyone thought it was a great idea to have the cutthroat villain from Furious 7 become part of the gang instantaneously once F8 came along. Did everyone forget about Han? This the same Han that was so beloved that they made sure he stuck along for three movies before they finally got to the present timeline. (Still waiting for that spinoff movie with Sung Kang and Gal Gadot that tells the adventures they had while they were away.)
Literally no one say his name. Just a vague reference on Deckard’s past actions. It’s not only a slap in the face for Han but it also diminishes every monologue Toretto has about how family is what is most important. Jason Statham is one of the best charismatic action stars we have right now, but you can’t have go from downright evil to all goody goody in the span of one film. There needs to be more resistance from the gang. There needs to be more forcefulness from Mr. Nobody (Kurt Russell) to get Deckard to participate with the objective. Han needs justice.
Don’t count out F8 because of this thoughtless act. There is still a lot of fun to be had during this ride. F. Gary Gray (Straight Outta Compton) brings some well shot action sequences. This film has a great intro in Cuba and it brings back the racing the loyal fans miss from long ago. Once F8 gets past Toretto’s heel turn and adding Deckard into the fold, New York becomes the next stop for the second act. During this time we see Cipher (Charlize Theron) use her hacking skills to control countless cars. This is my first mentioning of her character but don’t worry the film doesn’t have her do a whole lot in the first place. How in the world do you cast Furiosa and not let her drive a car!? No, instead we will have her talk about crocodiles and control a submarine. Mediocre! And get ready for the best/worst? line this franchise has to date once she is ready to drive all of New York’s finest vehicles. The set piece in New York is still enjoyable and provides a healthy dose of adrenaline this runtime needs. Remember when action movies were awesome and under 2 hours? I member.
After that we finally get to what the trailers have been anteing up too; the fast gang versus the submarine. This fight brought all the excitement I come to expect when it comes to the third act of a Fast &/and Furious film. Tyrese and Ludacris ragging on each other while impending doom comes for them? Check. The Rock hanging off a car door and pushing a torpedo towards the enemy? Check. Explosions upon explosions while the gang dodges countless bullets and missiles? Another check. It’s a satisfying act for this rumpus film.
The Fate of the Furious is another fine addition to this ridiculous franchise. As long as they fix the wrongs from this one, *crossing my fingers*, and add more heart into the next chapters, then I can say I’m looking forward to it. But I am also addicted to these movies like I’m addicted to Nos so maybe I just need an intervention.