Movie Review: “The Fate of the Furious”
The Fate of the Furious
Everything is going well for Dom (Vin Diesel) and Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) until a mysterious woman (Charlize Theron) finds Dom and somehow gets 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 to give to this woman. Tensions rise when Mr. Nobody (Kurt Russell) adds the only two men who have ever successfully tracked Dom: Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) and Deckard (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 on Dom that is making him 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"?
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. The have perfectly contrast 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 use parkour and precision hand-to-hand combat skills. The best part, of watching these two on screen together, would be watching their insult contest 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 could not help but think that these two would end up being friends, 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 do. Anyway, this movie heavily focuses 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 through the city.
This would have been fine if they only showed new cars getting hacked. Instead, they show standard cars, like the ford fleet, getting hacked and used as drones. I know. These movies have never cared about keeping their movies 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 bit, 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's not how those vehicles work!
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, but Charlize Theron significantly improves any movie she is added to and this film is no different. She is a convincing villain, that seduces 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 darkside" in a natural way, and was concerned that the 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 has a bit of a silver tongue that works 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 that path. 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 in this movie. I think part of that can be attributed to the fact that there are so many characters in this movie. We have 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), Deckard (Jason Statham), Dom (Vin Diesel) and now Cipher (Charlize Theron). By trying to give each of them enough screen time, the film simply does not have enough time to flesh out a storyline for each.
This is, ultimately, what hurts Letty in this movie. Basically her storyline is 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 this was a weak storyline for a, generally, strong character.
Pro: Baby Fight (+5pts)
I do not want to spoil this for anyone, so I won't go into this with too much detail, but there is a scene in this movie (involving a baby) that was an absolute blast to watch. It was so dumb, but in a badass, 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 a blast. All I have to say is Jason Stratham plus a baby equals a very entertaining scene.
Con: Cheesy & "Family" (-2pts)
I can't designate too many points to this because I should not expect anything else from these movies, but this movie is as cheesy as a movie can get. The action is cheesy, the plot is cheesy and the dialogue is cheesy. This movie has the trifecta of cheesiness, so to speak. At some points, this works well. At other points, it is a struggle to get over.
What gets me, is the oversaturation 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 them, and what responsibility you have with respect to protecting your family. It is always a good message, but feels incredibly redundant.
Grade: B- (80pts)
I would say this movie delivers on what you would expect from it. Cheesy writing, over-the-top action and a ridiculous plot. That being said, this movie is entertaining. Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham make for a surprisingly fin duo that ends up being one of the best parts of this movie. The addition of Charlize Theron made the film even better. Does this movie have its problems? Yes, but it never takes itself too seriously and provides its audience with a fun, cheesy and over-the-top movie going experience that is worth seeing in theaters.