Movie Review: The Fate and the Furious (2017)

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The Fate and the Furious aka (Fast and Furious 8)

Genre: Action/Adventure (Fantasy- I’m adding it in there for good measure)

Director: F. Gary Gray

Starring: Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Charlize Theron, Ludacris, Kurt Russell (many more I won’t name right now for various reasons)

IMDb: 7.5 of 6,000 ratings+ (I can see why some would give it such a high ranking, but this is far too inflated for me. I expected it to drop considerably over time.)

Rotten Tomatoes: 65% (Still too high, but getting closer) 6.1/10 rating (I guess I can go with this rating as fitting for this film.)

The Fast and Furious crew is back for yet another wild ride. Now they face off against something they never expected. One of their own.

I am stunned this franchise has lasted so long. Though when I saw that the franchise made a billion dollars plus with Furious Seven (2015). I knew another would come and break my heart now that (minor spoiler warning) Paul Walker’s character has moved on to other things. I didn’t want an eighth film, but when the trailers came. I was hopeful. Just maybe it could expand upon the previous films and do something awesome. Sadly, this was the first true disappointment of 2017 for me.  I know it will still make tons of money and get plenty of praise, but I’m not one that will go along with it.

What I Didn’t Like

This movie really didn’t do much for me in a variety of ways. The humor was strange and poorly timed. I have appreciated the humor in the past, but there is a time and place and this film never understood that.  Every moment of every scene there were quips and gags. It got old quick and many of them stopped being funny completely.   Sometimes when a serious moment happens, you let that emotional impact resonate with the audience, but not here. Loses its effect quickly because of the humor.

Action scenes can be awesome alone, you don’t need extra jokes to improve them. Let the action happen, then make your jokes. Simple as that. For me in this film, it became a distraction.

Fate and the Furious certainly brought lots of action, but it didn’t feel special. It just felt like another Fast and Furious movie that I saw before. It looks good and the mix of stunt work and CGI is top-notch, but has become generic to the series.  (Kinda like Transformer films. A whole lot of MEH.)  It didn’t hold any substance to me and that depth (as shallow as it has been in this series) is needed still.

The characters you knew from the last films (with one obvious exception) are all there and just as you remember them. Of course, Dom goes down a Winter Soldier route (sometimes in this movie I was waiting for Captain America to show up and stop him).

There was very little development of the characters. I get it, it is a Fast and Furious movie, but in other films, there was a growth of some kind to several crucial characters. This film had some of it, but not enough.  It felt static much of the time.  Why am I watching? What matters here and what is going to change?

I normally love Charlize Theron, but wasn’t impressed with her role in this film.   Felt very underdeveloped and he plan didn’t make much sense to me.  There were details in this film which could easily have been altered to make plans ineffective.  I could not numb my brain enough this time to ignore these facts.

I didn’t care about the story. I learned why certain people were fueled to act certain ways. I respect aspects of it, but the movie went on for much too long. Then it had a moment or two to have real resolution to a storyline. Set up something brighter for the future and it failed outright.

I have often enjoyed the Fast and Furious movies (even own several of them), but this film lacked some of the clarity and intrigue of past films. With little to no character development, a mediocre villain at best, and some really poor acting at times.  This film was not impressive in any way beyond the stunt work and CGI.

 

What I Did Like

When the action goes down, it is still a pretty sight to behold. While a bit too fantastic, these action was still cool in many spots. It had that Fast and Furious gloss which is aesthetically pleasing though obviously not realistic in any fashion.  If you love that style of action, this film is going to have a lot of what you like from it and then some. The third act has so much action, you won’t know what to do with yourself.

The characters had their moments where the humor and the high-fuzz content worked perfectly. Much of the cast has good chemistry.  The film had plenty of fun moments scattered about. Many of the characters that we cherish are here and in fitting form. That works well until it doesn’t.

This film felt like it could be a brilliant wrap up to the entire series.  If the franchise stopped here, it would be more acceptable. It had a lot of fan service and seeing all these films, I appreciated it. 

 

Conclusion:

If you like the Fast and Furious movies of the last ten years, you’ll probably still enjoy this film. However, it didn’t inspire anything thrilling or give me a desire for a ninth film.  It was adequate, but I’m fine never seeing it again. It won’t be the last film, but I think should be.

 

The Ladder

Furious Seven (2015)

Fast and Furious 6 (2013)

The Fast and the Furious (2001)

Fast Five (2011)

The Fate and the Furious (2017)

Fast and Furious  (2009)

Fast and Furious 2 (2003)

Fast and Furious 3: Tokyo Drift (2006)

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