Rental Roundup: The Fate of the Furious

by David Gifford

The Fate of the Furious (or for the purposes of this review Fast Eight) is the eighth movie in a street racing/heist movie series that has dominated the box office for the last couple of years. It is truly amazing to see a series go from some street racing movie with a limited scope, to something so bombastic as this. 

The movies since the fifth installment have taken street racing to the side and focused much more on making the series a sort of heist movie with some likable characters and ridiculous, but fun set pieces to break up the character moments. 

Chances are you already know if this movie is for you. If you haven’t seen the previous movies in the series, this won’t be the worst starting point, but previous knowledge of the earlier installments really heightens the impact of certain plot points. The series has turned into something of a farfetched action movie and if that isn’t your thing, its best to stay away from this one. 

The only way to watch these movies is to throw intelligence in the trash bin. However, I enjoy their crazy approach, and I find the movies entertaining.

This installment ramps up the absurdity, if that is possible. The main plot has the viewer wondering why Dom (Vin Diesal of Riddick) has turned on his crew and teamed up with series newcomer Cipher (Charlize Theron of Mad Max: Fury Road). The tragic events have a much larger impact than one would expect. 

This is a star-studded cast, but the biggest character is Dom and most of the focus is on him throughout the movie. The eventual revelation of his motivation is surprising and a solid enough explanation. The story then turns into the old crew trying to get Dom back and stop Cipher from hacking into everything and destroying cities. 

The new director, F. Gary Gray (Straight Outta Compton), was a great choice who creates a lot of fun action pieces and overall keeps the character interactions interesting enough for the audience to care.

Of course, the main star of this movie is the action. The opening race for instance, is incredible, referencing to the series roots. The dynamics of the camera shifting to the faces of the racers back to the cars and then to the stunning locals with lush forests bring a very fun opening sequence. 

Eventually the stakes rise and scenes include a sea of cars that are airborne from parking garages. The action is well done and the stunts really don’t pull any punches. The cars roar with fury and the blur of the cars give a true sense of the pulse-pounding speed of these machines. Fists hit hard and crashes look stunning with no shortage of shrapnel and carnage. Whether it is giant submarines exploding through ice, or the cars trying to stay away from it, the action glues eyes to the screen. 

Fast Eight embraces its absurdity and chooses to have fun. It would be a mistake to try to make it a serious melodrama.

 If you are looking for an Oscar winner, don’t bother. But if you want a thrill ride from start to finish, see Fast Eight.

It is just plain fun. 

Whether or not you are into the series, give the rental a try. 

 I rate Fast Eight 7/10.

 

David Gifford is a college student, the night manager at Town and Country Supermarket in Ironton and a gaming and movie enthusiast.