The Fate of the Furious (2017)

Can you believe we have 8 Fast and Furious movies now?
Can you believe there will be [at least] 2 more?

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What amazes me the most about the ridiculous franchise isn’t just that it keeps going and going and going, but that… people really love these movies! There isn’t much street racing in them anymore, but you get a few things pretty reliably:

  1. Hot cars
  2. Hot girls
  3. FAMILY

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I’ve seen every Fast and Furious movie since the 4th (Fast & Furious, the worst-named one) in theaters, movies 4 through 8. But you know what, I have a hard time recalling the first 3 movies. I definitely understand that Tokyo Drift happened, but I don’t know much about the first movie or 2 Fast 2 Furious, although I think I may have caught bits and pieces of the first 3 movies when they aired on TV.

With that being said, I love this franchise. It’s so absurd but pretty pure entertainment. It follows the above formula and always delivers. The plots have become less about street racing and more about elaborate heists that involve highly trained people who also love cars and are skilled drivers. (At least since the fourth movie, but my impressions from the first three are that there was a heavier emphasis on street races.)

I’ll talk more about my relationship with this franchise after the cut, but Fast 8 (“F8” of the Furious, as it were!) (really grateful that someone exercised the restraint to not stylize the title this way) raises the stakes. Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel), who spends so many of these movies growling about family and strengthening his team…

… goes rogue, betrays his team and his loved ones. Dom is the core of the team and of these movies (aside from Paul Walker’s character, Brian), so seeing the family try to figure out not only how to maneuver without him but maneuver to catch him is interesting.

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With antagonist “Cipher”, played by Charlize Theron. She has these gross locks-esque things on her head that make sense when we first meet her character in Havana (she seems like a harmless hippie tourist) but I don’t know why she has to have them throughout the entire film. Like sure, you can have beautiful female hackers, but if she’s the bad guy, then she can’t be too together, let’s give her this hair??

At the risk of spoiling too much, I’ll just leave it at that, but I enjoyed the movie. I thought that the reason for Dom going rogue was… not entirely convincing. And some of the action sequences were definitely straight up ridiculous. (Remember the absuuuuurd car leap in the last movie?) But they’re still fun and entertaining!

I mean, at the end of the day, the Fast and Furious franchise doesn’t try to make sense. It aims to entertain, with an emotional core of family, padded out with hot cars, hot bodies, and hot locations. (Although F8’s climax happens in Russia, so… hot cars on cold ice!)

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Rest in peace Paul Walker, whose character is mentioned in the movie, but again, it’s not quite satisfying how they explain why Brian doesn’t get involved when Dom goes rogue. (Because they promised to leave Brian and Mia alone to raise their family and live in peace… which is a good reason but I feel like Dom threatening the safety of the world is a pretty good reason to call them up?)

I am a bit conflicted that as they have characters leave the franchise, they just kind of tack on new ones? Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is fantastic in these movies, and the addition of Scott Eastwood in this movie was pretty fun, but how big does this family need to be? It just feels strange given that I’m not done mourning Han and Gisele and Brian and now I have to just welcome all these new characters to the roster? I like Nathalie Emmanuel but I didn’t think she would be back for this movie, to be honest. (Ultimately, I’m glad she was.)

ALSO, lemme just say that I love the soundtracks of these movies. They always serve as great dance music for whatever summer they are released. So good.

Spoilers and more ranting about this franchise after the trailer.

The Fate of the Furious is out in theaters today. Let me know what you think if you see it!


Lemme talk about The Rock some more, okay, he is just a machine?!

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Also, I liked the bromance between him and Deckard (Jason Statham) that develops over the movie. They have a good moment where he realizes that Deckard has a similar background – they’re both in prison despite serving their countries so well and with high honors. And Deckard becoming a part of the team is pretty natural, as everything he did in the 7th movie was to avenge his brother. (Who makes an appearance in this movie!)

Helen Mirren plays the Shaw brothers’ mother, and it’s fantastic, she has this great accent and it’s beautiful and Helen Mirren is wonderful, thank you for all your gifts.

One of my FAVORITE PARTS of this movie was when The Rock led his daughter’s soccer team in performing a haka. I’ll just leave this here for you to watch if you’re not that familiar with it and/or want to see what kind of care they did/didn’t take to do it. (Also, The Rock as a father figure is still debatable but he seems to try a bit harder in this one!)

I know that before he voiced Maui in Moana, a lot of people didn’t know The Rock was of Samoan descent, and I’m glad he doesn’t seem to want people to let that factoid go unknown anymore. The Rock is awesome, full stop.

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I was unsurprised to see that Dom went rogue because he is a father. This is foreshadowed a few times, and he and Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) even discuss the topic. But I assumed that Letty had lied to him about not being pregnant but Cipher had the proof and used that against Dom. Imagine my surprise when we find Elena (Elsa Pataky) and her son by Dom are captive. I have no idea how long Dom was with Elena during the time that Letty was “dead” but not really, because they got together at the very end of Fast Five. (Elena has always gotten the short end of the stick in these storylines.) (It doesn’t help her that she gets killed in this movie. She doesn’t really have any agency through any of the films she’s in….)

The baby is so cute though!!! Such a cute fat baby!!!

And the scene where Jason Statham takes out the plane full of henchmen while carrying the baby carrier is really fun and very cute, although needless for the sake of entertainment, as he could have easily neutralized everyone on the plane BEFORE picking up the baby carrier?

Another ridiculous scene? Everything with the submarine. Nothing made sense, and at that point, nothing really needed to I guess.

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I did think it was interesting that there was a scene where cars are hacked to basically storm a target in the streets of New York. I have always been concerned about car hacking with them becoming Internet-connected, and this movie kind of illustrated the worst of those fears. JEEZ.

These movies are still not great to women and how they treat them… but you can’t care about these things TOO much when the rest of the movie also is just ludicrous. (Shout-out to Ludacris, who plays a nerd hacker and who I have always loved.) (Please start an organization soon to get kids interested in coding instead of helping sell Xfinity packages.)

Anyway, I was still so happy coming out of that movie, and you bet I’ll see the next 2 in theaters. Whatever, I don’t care! Go see it and let me know what you think!

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