The Fate of the Furious Review

During the conclusion of The Fate of the Furious’s final set piece, Vin Diesel outruns a heat-seeking missile with a Ford Torino. Speeding across a frozen Russian sea, he aims for a breached nuclear submarine, the same submarine that is pursuing Vin Diesel and his team– I mean, family. Vin Diesel then uses the displaced ice as a ramp, vaulting his car over the submarine.

The heat-seeking missile hits the submarine, Vin Diesel’s car starts to explode, he ejects, rolls on the ice for a bit and survives the ensuing explosion thanks to his team– I mean, family forming a semicircle around him with their cars.

I you can believe it, this was one of more believable moments in The Fate and the Furious.

The Fate of the Furious is a cartoon and not a good one. The emotional stakes are contrived. The relationships between characters are forced. The dialogue is artificial.

Hell, most of the goddamned cars are CGI.

There is a blatant rift between the original cast and the newer additions. Dwayne Johnson knows what movie he’s in. Jason Statham knows what movie he’s in. Charlize Theron. Kurt Russell. Helen Mirren. They all know what movie they’re in and they’re hamming it up in the best possible way.

Dwayne Johnson’s Dobbs is throwing enemies around like he’s in beat ’em up video game. The raw power Dobbs excudes is remarkably believable. I absolutely believe that Dobbs could burst out of shackles by flexing. I have no doubts he could then pick a full grown man up by the neck and balls and pin said man to a wall, sideways.

Have you seen Dwayne Johnson’s body? He’s a goddamned GNC come to life.

Meanwhile, Vin Diesel is a candy ass who the filmmakers need to creatively film in order to hide the fact that he’s out of shape with flabby arms and a pot belly.

Look, I’m not one to talk when it comes to physical fitness, but goddamn, Vin Diesel is a joke. Are we seriously supposed to believe that Vin Diesel could deliver a death punch to Kristofer Hivju (from Game of Thrones)? Dominic Toretto vs Tormund Giantsbane. Lol.

Cut to Jason Statham’s (insert character name here) karate chopping the crap out of people. Literally. In the best scene of the movie, Jason Statham takes out a plane full of henchmen while transporting a baby in a carrier. It’s an amazing sequence that understands the ridiculousness of the world it inhabits.

This movie universe needs to be unabashedly ridiculous. We don’t need fake emotional stakes.

But Vin Diesel seems to be stuck in a world where a Fast and Furious movie has a higher meaning and should be taken serious. “It’s all about family,” he says as he uncomfortably contorts his face and begs the audience to take emoting seriously.

I’m 99% certain the tear Vin Diesel sheds for Elena is CGI. Vin Diesel’s acting ability is as authentic as the computer generated vehicles filling the computer generated city streets.

Oh yeah, Elena is in this movie. For those who stopped caring, she’s the ex-police officer from Brazil who hooked up with Dom while Letty was supposed to be dead. But in a twist, Letty just had amnesia so Dom left Elena and married Letty. But in a twist, Dom got Elena pregnant right before he left her for Letty.

It’s a daytime soap opera.

And sorry for the spoilers, but the baby is the big reveal in The Fate of the Furious and the reason why Dom is the bad guy for most the movie. Dom has a son. It’s stupid reasoning for his egregious actions.

At face value it’s a passable reason for why he does the things he does. Cipher has Elena and baby Dom held prisoner. Dom’s gotta do bad things to save them!

But why does he wait until after killed countless amounts of people to enact a rescue plan? He literally has zero reason to commit the endless atrocities. Because in the end, it was a GPS tracker in his necklace that leads Jason Statham’s character to the plane that holds Elena (who’s dead by then) and baby Dom.

But if he’s got the goddamn tracker from the beginning, what’s his goddamn reason for not getting his team involved at the very beginning.

“Hey. During the our heist, I’m going to ‘go rogue’ but just play along. Follow me with this tracker and come get me.”

Wow, 75% of the movie just disappeared and the collateral damage Dom inflicts upon the Earth is minimized to almost nothing. But no, Dom decides to go with the longest version of an escape plan possible and destroyed most of New York City in the process.

I understand how important “family” is to Dom. But has he ever stopped to consider how many families he’s destroyed? How many NYC police officers didn’t come home that day? How many fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters where wounded or killed? How many families did selfishly destroy?

Apparently none.

The very last scene of The Fate of the Furious is a “family” barbecue on the roof of a Brooklyn brownstone. The gang’s relaxed, drinking beer and laughing together, ignorant to the grieving masses that surround them.

“Family” only matters when it’s Dom’s family.

The Fast and Furious franchise has been successfully evolving to avoid becoming obsolete. It used to be about bad acting, street racing and gawking at scantily clad women. Now they’re about stopping terrorists via covert government operations, with some street racing and a few scantily clad women peppered in.

It’s big mishmash of films: Dwayne Johnson’s The Rundown, Jason Statham’s The Transporter and Vin Diesel’s Fast and Furious. Remove the latter and we might actually have a good movie.

The best things I can say about The Fate of the Furious are related to the newer aspects of the series. The new cast members are quality actors with fun personalities. The action sequences have grand aspirations but are not befitting the physically untalented original cast (with Michelle Rodriguez as the sole exception).

Vin Diesel is pathetic. Cut him. Tyrese Gibson is aggravating. Cut him. Ludacris can’t act. Cut him (but put him on the soundtrack). Michelle Rodgriguez is dragged down by the dead weight. Free her.

Basically, stop making Fast and Furious movies. At least stop making them with any of the original Fast and Furious cast. But don’t make Tokyo Drift either.

Editor’s Note: It has come to my attention that Dwayne Johnson’s character’s name is Hobbs, not Dobbs as stated in the review. However, I don’t care enough about any of the characters in the Fast & Furious franchise to feel compelled to update the post. If characters in the movie are not required to know a crew member’s name, I should be absolved for my error.

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