Movie Review: “The Fate of the Furious”
The Fate of the Furious
Everything was going well for Dom (Vin Diesel) and Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) until a mysterious woman (Charlize Theron) found Dom and somehow got him to work for her and her resourceful organization. Soon after, Letty and the team are recruited to find and stop Dom from getting powerful devices that he plans to steal for this mysterious woman. Tensions rise when Mr. Nobody (Kurt Russell) adds the only two men who have ever successfully tracked Dom: Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) and Shaw (Jason Statham). This duo forms a reluctant team that can only find and stop Dom if they work together.
While the rest of the team believes Dom has gone "rogue", Letty has not given up, and is determined to find out what the mysterious woman has that is making Dom work for her. Will the team be able to put their differences aside to meet this common goal? Will even a united team have what it takes to go up against Dom? Will Letty discover the truth as to whether or not Dom is being leveraged or if he has simply "gone rogue" like everyone else on the team thinks?
The Pros & Cons
Jason Statham & The Rock (+8pts)
Charlize Theron (+5pts)
Baby Fight (+5pts)
Cheesy & "Family" (-2pts)
Pro: Jason Statham & The Rock (+8pts)
Watching these two reluctantly interact with each other was some of the most fun in this movie. They have contrasting fighting styles that complement each other very well. Watching the powerhouse, Dwayne Johnson, power his way through countless guards was the perfect complement for watching Jason Statham utilizing his martial arts background. However, the best part of watching these two on screen together was their constant bantering throughout the movie.
I honestly cannot imagine how many takes they had to do for these scenes because there is no way both actors were not laughing hysterically at each other's lines. They were insulting each other constantly, and brutally. Right from the beginning, I knew where this storyline would end, but it was still really fun to watch the banter. In such a cheesy, over-the-top movie, the relationship between these two characters made for some of the movie’s most entertaining and memorable moments.
Con: Auto-Drive (-8pts)
This was one of the most difficult things to get through, for me, so I hope others do not have as much of a problem with it as I did. Anyway, this movie heavily focused on the auto-drive feature that we are starting to see in cars today. My problem with this, is that the film has certain cars using this feature that do not have anything close to the technology necessary. They implement this technology by having the villains hack cars throughout the city.
This would have been fine if they only showed new, specific cars getting hacked. Instead, they show standard, everyday civilian cars getting hacked and used as drones. I know, these movies have never cared about being realistic, but where the auto-drive feature is such a major component of the movie, and when the franchise is supposed to be centered around cars, you would think the filmmakers would try (at least a little) to get this right. Oh, and do not get me started about when an old-school Russian submarine is hacked in the same way. That is not how hacking works!
Pro: Charlize Theron (+5pts)
These movies are only as good as their villain. Luke Evans and Jason Statham have not exactly set incredibly high standards in this franchise (through no fault of theirs), but Charlize Theron significantly improves any movie she is added to and this film is no different. She is a convincing villain, that seduces (in a sense) the franchise's biggest hero. Knowing this from the trailers, I have to admit that I was concerned.
I was concerned that the film would not explain this "turn to the dark side" in a natural way, and was concerned that the plot of this movie would suffer for it. I am relieved to say that the turn works and I cannot help but think that it works because of Charlize Theron, and her performance in those scenes. Her character had a bit of a silver tongue that worked on Dom, but also works on the audience. Would we as audience members, go along with her like Dom did? Maybe not all of us, but we can understand why Dom chose to go down the path that he went down. This was incredibly important in order for the audience to buy into the story.
Con: Letty (-3pts)
I thought Letty's (Michelle Rodriguez) storyline was a bit weak. I think part of that can be attributed to the fact that there were so many characters in this movie. We had two government agents (Kurt Russell and Scott Eastwood), four members of Dom's team (Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris and Nathalie Emmanuel), Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson), Shaw (Jason Statham), Dom (Vin Diesel) and now Cipher (Charlize Theron). By trying to give each of them screen time, the film simply did not have enough time to flesh out a storyline for each.
Basically, her storyline was for her to be depressed for the whole movie. In one scene, she is convinced that Dom has been leveraged and would never betray her. Then in the next scene she is depressed over the fact that he betrayed her. She then goes back and forth, but never tries to do anything about it or try to figure out why he is doing what he is doing. Overall, I just felt like the filmmakers were trapped with this character. The filmmakers knew she would be personally impacted by Dom's actions, but they did not really have any place for her in the story. Their solution was to make her a pretty one-dimensional character.
Pro: Baby Fight (+5pts)
I do not want to spoil this for anyone, so I will not go into this with much detail, but there was a scene in this movie that involved a baby, and it was an absolute blast to watch. It was so dumb, but in a badass yet funny kind of way, which made it perfect for this kind of movie. I do not want to give it away in case anyone has not seen the movie and plans to, but know that it was incredibly entertaining. All I have to say is Jason Statham plus a baby equals a very entertaining scene.
Con: Cheesy & "Family" (-2pts)
I should not expect anything else from these movies, but this movie was as cheesy as a movie could get. The action was cheesy, the plot was cheesy and the dialogue was cheesy. This movie had the trifecta of cheesiness, so to speak. At some points, this worked well. At other points, it was a struggle to get through.
The most blatant example of this is the over-saturation of the word "family". It is this franchise's favorite word. It is as if, whenever the writers have trouble deciding on what a character will say, they settle on a monologue about what family means to that characer, and what responsibility you have to protect your family. It is a good message, do not get me wrong, but these movies beat you over the head with it.
Grade: B- (80pts)
I would say this movie delivers what you would expect it to. It has cheesy writing, over-the-top action, and a ridiculous plot. That being said, this movie was moderately entertaining. Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham made for a surprisingly fun duo that ended up being one of this movies greatest strengths. The addition of Charlize Theron made the film even better. Did this movie have its problems? Yes, but provided its audience with a fun, cheesy and over-the-top movie, and that is all it really set out to do.