From the series inception in 2001, the ‘Fast and the Furious’ has become Universal’s greatest franchise. It delivered financially once again as the 8th film in the series generating the largest opening weekend earnings of all time with $532.5 million globally in the box office.
“The Fate of the Furious” departs the story away from the Brian O’Conner (previously played by the late Paul Walker) while staying true to the action that made the series famous.
Opening with Dom (Vin Diesel) and Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) honeymoon in Cuba, the movie quickly jumps into scenes of fast driving and aggressive action. Dom quickly defeats Raldo, a man seeking to repossess his cousin’s car, and chooses to give his current car to his cousin. This seeks to emphasize Dom’s commitment to “family” which is a topic repeatedly touched on in the previous films.
Dom faces a huge obstacle when approached by Cipher (Charlize Theron) who mysteriously insists Dom’s team will face their greatest challenge, Dom himself. This generates a seemingly cliched storyline as Dom quickly becomes his former allies greatest enemy. He turns on Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) after a heist, taking the EMP and leaving Hobbs in jail. After meeting the famed bad guy, Deckard (Jason Statham), Hobbs escapes jail. He reunites with Mr. Nobody (Kurt Russell), Letty, Roman (Tyrese Gibson), Tej (Chris Bridges), Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel) as well as a new character, Little Nobody (Scott Eastwood). Together with Deckard, the team plans to locate Dom and stop him from continuing to cause evil.
The concept of a good guy gone bad is something clearly attributable to “Star Wars” with Anakin Skywalker’s transformation into Darth Vader. Dom undergoes a similar transformation, disregarding his love interest and friends to mysteriously join the enemy side. The greatest weakness for Dom proves to be a son he never knew he had, for he never knew his former girlfriend, Elena was pregnant. Now Elena and their son were captured by Cipher. Dom plays a difficult balancing act throughout the movie as he serves Cipher in hopes to free his son.
As the “Fast and the Furious” movies have gone on, the plots have fallen prey to an increasing number of flaws. The movie disregards Elena’s accident in the previous movie where she was launched out of a window with Hobbs while certainly pregnant, according to the movie’s timeline.
In another scene in Times Square, Dom moves through almost non-existent traffic while Cipher takes control of parked cars, causing them to drive themselves. On newer models vehicles, this may seem realistic, but to watch a 2002 Passat similar to the one I drove to the theater be driven by a computer hacker remotely is laughably unrealistic. Of course, the use of older model vehicles may have been necessary to save money due to the movies already enormous budget.
Police also seem to have taken the day off. The entire film seems to brush off even the existence of a police force. After the catastrophic action in Time Square, civilians carry on around the destruction while police fail to react.
Despite holes in the story, the movie still packs easily enough action to make paying admission worthwhile. It seemed to reverse “Furious 7” shift towards person on person combat and brought back a greater emphasis on vehicle combat. The stunts are well performed, the action fast and provides enough to keep viewers on the edge of their seats.
For a lengthy series of this fashion to continue, it is understandable for plot holes to surface. According to Vin Diesel’s Instagram, the series will have ten entries, with another coming in 2019 followed by yet another in 2021. The series will continue by sticking to the action-packed style that made it popular. “The Fate of the Furious” does just this, delivering nonstop action for viewers of all ages.