The Fate of the Furious (Fast & the Furious 8) is as ridiculous as the previous four films. Starting with Fast & Furious (4) the series took a turn for the truly ridiculous but still fun. If you’re looking for high drama and art you won’t find it here but if you want over the top, impossible action you may enjoy this. F8 is not as good as it’s predecessors. Four through Six, helmed by Justin Lin, were better than seven (which was still good,) which was better than Fate. But as usual if you’ve seen the previous and are going this one you’ll probably enjoy it.
The Fate of the Furious involves Dom (Vin Diesel) betraying his team for Cipher (Charlize Theron,) a cold and calculating computer terrorist. Apparently every success the team’s had for at least the past two films (and maybe three?) have actually been foiling Cipher’s plans and she’s had enough. She’s found Dom’s one weakness, the one thing he would betray his family for. And she does and so he does. This doesn’t sit well with Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) who remains hurt but faithful to her husband despite all the evidence against Dom.
The one problem with F8 is there’s not as much tension as you’d expect. You don’t think anyone’s a physical threat for Dom or Hobbs (Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson) and no one is going to out-race them. The most thrilling scene was in New York where the team is trying to take down Dom. Leading up to that there was a scene where Cipher hacked a lot of cars and had them auto drive to attack someone. As wonderful as it should have been I was more interested in how much was practical vs. computer generated. And the rest of the movie becomes very by the numbers. At no point do you think Dom will let one of his former team die, nor do you ever think the villain will win.
The most interesting thing is how, unlike most movies, nobody major dies. It’s kind of like comic book characters. They just keep coming back. I’m sure somewhere down the line even Wonder Woman could make a comeback and so we not only have Hobbs but even Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham). These two seem to be the core of the film, at least until one of them dies. Or does he? This brings the best guest appearance of them all: Magdelyne Shaw (Helen Mirren,) Deckard and Owen’s (Luke Evans) Mom. Despite having less than five minutes screen time Helen was easily the best actor even when hamming it up.
Turn you mind off for 136 minutes and have some fun. Don’t pay too much attention though.
Also, no stingers.