It may be sixteen years since the first instalment of The Fast and the Furious hit cinemas, but eight movies and an unthinkable budget on car damage later, the franchise still stands strong. Now some may have felt that the untimely death of one of the series’ leading stars, Paul Walker, was a signal to bring things to a close last time around, but despite this the producers move forward with yet another entry. Teasing a much different tone and story direction than some of the recent movies, the trailers definitely showed signs that the franchise is very much alive, with the final product somewhat reflecting this.
Directed by F. Gary Gray, this latest entry in the popular car franchise sees Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) turn on his crew and family, working with cyber hacker Cipher (Charlize Theron). With this being the main selling point of The Fate of the Furious, leaving fans wondering what possibly could result in such an unexpected twist, both Gray and screenwriter Chris Morgan had to deliver something equally as tantalising. On the whole both did this beautifully, with the overall story being absolutely astounding. Where things go south, however, is the overall pacing of the plot, as despite the various turning points and big action scenes all captivating, some of the transition points were a bit clunky, feeling either rushed or dragged out.
One thing that rarely disappoints about this franchise is the sheer star power, with The Fate of the Furious not bucking the trend. Giving one of Vin Diesel‘s best performances as Dominic Toretto yet. Having an emotional twist that doesn’t just liven things up, the performance from Diesel also left us guessing the mindset of this beloved character, with some powerful moments near the end. Accompanying this we also got some amazing performances elsewhere, with Dwayne Johnson (Luke Hobbs) also giving one of his best performances in the franchise to date. Not only did the former wrestler give us some badass action, but there was plenty of comical and emotional moments, with the former never feeling out of place or cheesy. As for the rest of the cast, they all continue to play their roles well, as despite not all getting fair screen time or much in the way of character development, Michelle Rodriguez (Letty Ortiz), Tyrese Gibson (Roman Pearce), Chris Bridges (Tej Parker) and Nathalie Emmanuel (Ramsey) all remind us why this is such a great team.
As for the villain of this instalment, Charlize Theron did an amazing job of bringing us something new with Cipher, as despite not being quite as hands on as some of the previous foes, she was nevertheless imposing. The chemistry, or lack their off, between Theron and Diesel also makes this tale a lot more interesting, with the awkwardness being very powerful at times. Elsewhere in the film we got a much more impressive look at Jason Statham as Deckard Shaw, with the comical moments near the end also working well. Scott Eastwood also fit into the crew well as Eric Reisner, and though I would have liked to have seen more of Kurt Russell (Mr. Nobody), the freshness of Eastwood‘s character did add to the overall dynamic. Add to this a hilarious cameo from Helen Mirren and a couple of other surprises and there really isn’t much to fault in the acting ability throughout this movie.
The Fate of the Furious may not be one of the best instalments in this much loved franchise, but it certainly is one of the more unique entries. Despite some questionable pacing and storytelling, the acting ability of our cast and the extraordinary action sequences more than make up, turning this into a rather enjoyable tale of family and betrayal.
(6.5 / 10)