Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Review: THE FATE OF THE FURIOUS is Perfectly 2 Fast 2 Furious

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 42 of 2021 (No. 1780) by Leroy Douresseaux

The Fate of the Furious (2017)
Running time: 136 minutes (2 hours, 16 minutes)
MPAA – PG-13 for prolonged sequences of violence and destruction, suggestive content, and language
DIRECTOR: F. Gary Gray
WRITER: Chris Morgan (based on the characters created by Gary Scott Thompson)
PRODUCERS: Vin Diesel, Neal H. Moritz, Chris Morgan and Michael Fottrell
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Stephen F. Windon (D.o.P.)
EDITORS: Christian Wagner and Paul Rubell
COMPOSER: Brian Tyler


Starring:  Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Charlize Theron, Kurt Russell, Nathalie Emmanuel, Scott Eastwood, Elsa Pataky, Kristopher Hivju, Patrick St. Esprit, Luke Evans, and Helen Mirren

The Fate of the Furious is a 2017 action movie from director F. Gary Gray and was released by Universal Pictures.  It is the eighth installment in The Fast and the Furious movie franchise (now called the “Fast Saga”).  A direct sequel to 2015's Furious 7, The Fate of the Furious introduces a mysterious woman who has the power to turn Dominic Toretto into a terrorist.

As The Fate of the Furious begins, Dominic “Dom” Toretto (Vin Diesel) and Letitia “Letty” Ortiz (Michelle Rodriguez) are on their honeymoon in Havana, Cuba.  While there, Dom meets a mysterious woman who turns out to be the elusive cyberterrorist, Cipher (Charlize Theron).  She has obtained something that she uses to coerce Dom into working for her.  Soon afterwards, Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) agent, Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson), recruits Dom and his team – his family:  Roman Pearce (Tyrese Gibson), Tej Parker (Chris “Ludacris” Bridges), and Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel) to retrieve an EMP device from a military outpost in Berlin.  However, Dom betrays them all and steals the device for Cipher, and Hobbs and Dom's family, including Letty, are branded criminals.

Intelligence operative and leader of a covert ops team, Frank Petty (Kurt Russell), a.k.a. “Mr Nobody,” arrives with his protege, Eric Reisner (Scott Eastwood), and he has an offer.  Mr. Nobody wants Hobbs and Dom's family to help him find Dom and capture the highly elusive Cipher.  Mr. Nobody also has a surprise for Hobbs and company.  He has recruited Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham), the rogue British Special Forces assassin who was hunting Dom and his family until they defeated him and Hobbs and the DSS imprisoned him.  But will even Shaw be enough?  Cipher can disappear at will and with Dom at her side, she seems unbeatable.  Cipher's threat to the world and Dom's betrayal will test the family as never before.

When The Fate of the Furious was initially released to theaters in April 2017, I was too mired in family troubles to bother going to a movie theater to see it.  And quite frankly, after what I considered to be a barely average installment in Furious 7, I thought I was done with the franchise.  In fact, I didn't even watch The Fate of the Furious when it started playing on basic cable.  Recently, I saw a clip from the soon-to-be-released F9 (2021), and I was shocked to see Dominic Toretto playing with a baby.  A friend informed me of the events in The Fate of the Furious, and because he and I talked about seeing F9, I decided to rent The Fate of the Furious via Netflix.

Well, I will never doubt you again, Fast & Furious / Fast Saga.  I loved The Fate of the Furious.  This film franchise's over-the-top action has become so … over-the-top that it is practically a kind of superhero and car chase movie series.  These movies are fun, but I thought that the series had reached narrative exhaustion with Furious 7.  The Fate of the Furious was the hot-shot injection of jet fuel that the series needed, as far as I'm concerned.  And Vin Diesel may have given his best performance of the series in The Fate of the Furious.  He really seemed like an evil terrorist, but, at the same time, his grit and determination to manage the evil in order to protect his family feels genuine.

I also want to credit Universal Pictures and The Fate of the Furious in using Havana, Cuba as the setting for the film's opening scenes.  It is a love letter to a place that looks beautiful on film.  And The Fate of the Furious is also a crazy, mad, insane, and beautiful action movie.

8 of 10

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

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