The Fate of The Furious is the eighth (EIGHTH) instalment in the Fast & Furious franchise, this time it is Dom who turns his back on his family, creating panic, confusion and anger with the team. Dom has turned back to a life of crime with a mysterious new villain – Cipher (played by Charlie Therzon). It soon becomes clear that Vin is being forced to comply by Cipher, Cipher wants to control the world. And that is my biggest problem with this film – it is just to basic and generic. Cipher wants to control the world – full stop. Why? Because she does. The film itself is very different to what many (and myself) credit as the saviour of this franchise – Fast Five. But this is because of the nature of the film, because Dom has turned his back on his family it means that there is no real reason to focus on the family.
The film has to dedicate time and energy into giving development and creating the relationship between Cipher and Dom, that the team/family don’t really have any development, Letty just stands about, the rest are just there – it is only Hobbs who really wants revenge. And, when The Fate of the Furious dropped, one of the problems I read people had with the film in their reviews was that Dom and Hobbs only shared the screen three times. And that in itself, has to give an indication of how different this film feels. It is almost as if the film shoe-horns the team in, in order to sell the film and no spoilers, but as the film progresses, Statham’s character is given something to do and this literally steals the thunder from what the team was doing. But, I don’t have an issue with what was done – I don’t mind taking Dom out of the team and having him turn his back on family but it was the manner and execution of how it was done that was, ultimately disappointing. The Fast & Furious franchise is as much a ensemble film as it is an action film – but many characters literally didn’t do much but stand there. Furthermore, not even the confusion the team had was explored – bar Letty, the team just seemed OK with Dom turning his back on them – there was only one scene, but surely, there has to be more heart for this characters because they are not supporting characters in my opinion. The franchise works because it is an ensemble, and that is what I felt this film lacked.
But, the film does have some stand out moments – Jason Statham makes a case as the best character in the film. The action sequences are fantastic, the zombie of cars – although at the moment felt like the franchise was just putting in mindless action pieces, looking back at it now – was fantastic. The whole submarine scene was great but nothing can beat a very memorable Jason Statham scene – and the Rock and Statham both excel in the break out scene.
This film is just frustrating because it doesn’t give me what I want the Rock, but he really does do nothing. The crew hardly do anything, instead more time is given to Cipher trying to build her up as the big baddie for the rest of the franchise but because of her basic and generic plan, I don’t find myself routing for her once. But, the film is still good it isn’t as good as it’s last couple of predecessors, but is still an enjoyable film. I give it an 7/10 – I am being really generous.
Whilst the spoiler-free review was a general overview, here I will talk about the parts of the film that I liked and the parts that I didn’t, furthermore – this bit is me reviewing every aspect of the film.
I have already mentioned by problem with the film no longer being an ensemble film and how I felt they are almost shoe-horning characters in to do something but I did appreciate the change in direct (and it may seem crazy with the sub-marine) but I think Fate of The Furious was slightly toned down from Furious 7 which I just thought was stupid, and the story was better this time around. But Furious 7 is a great film because of the emotional factor it has. It focuses on the emotion and that is why it is so great. I don’t think it was a great story, and multiple times throughout the film I was annoyed but it was a beautiful send off for Brian O’Connor.
I have already said I liked the idea they were going for, things had to change, the franchise has to evolve – whether you like it or not it is a box office juggernaut, so something needed to be done to evolve this franchise. What I didn’t like about this movie was it’s execution, I think it mis-underestimated the importance of certain characters and gave the wrong motivation behind a kick ass villain like Cipher. Now, disclaimer I absolutely LOVED the link in between Cipher and Dom, and if it was left like this I would’ve said Cipher was much better but all she wanted was to control the world a long way from stealing a bank vault in Fast Five.
Onto the characters themselves, I have already said about twenty times so I am not going to explain my thoughts on team. I liked Dom betraying his family, it actually gave him some development as a character, and that scene where he shouts at Cipher telling her he got no choice, was probably the one time he had any development as a character. The guy from Game of Thrones was just there – again. Yeah, him and Dom didn’t get along because he didn’t trust Dom, but I think the director and writers thought that final battle between them would have more meaning and weighting than it did. But, on the other hand, that battle showed that the true Dom was back. Like I have already said multiple times before, the only character that came out any better of that film was Dec Shaw but the one thing that really annoyed me is that he isn’t a villain anymore – I WAS SO HAPPY AFTER THE END OF NUMBER 6, when he killed Han, I was thinking this is going to be fantastic but we haven’t seen him be the killer / villain that was hyped to us. And, then there is Cipher – I was so excited, Charlie Therzon playing the baddie, yes please! And she was a good character ad well, she is the ring leader, making Owen Shaw work for him and that guy from Furious 7, but it is her motives that makes her not fantastic. There isn’t a true villain anymore, Cipher because of the stupid “I want to control the world” is just weak because we no that isn’t going to happen it needs to be on a smaller scale where the stakes are higher. I have said the team didn’t have much to do but let me explain -(quick note – I love these characters) Tej is no longer necessary because Ramsey does a better job, Ramsey says maybe 10 words, Roman over-quip’s. The reason I love his character is because of his relationship with the rest of the team but in this film but of his jokes are with or around the new guy. And the new guy isn’t that bad, Little Nobody was a good character, it was like a baby the team had to take care of and then, Mr Nobody does whatever the story needs him to do, he knows all the answers until her doesn’t – but who cares it is Kurt Russel
Now, onto the reason Dom is doing this all, I actually liked that Vin had a baby. I am a sucker for continuity, and I loved them bringing back Elena and actually found myself slightly upset that she died, which is surprising considering she has hardly been in the films. I think giving him a son will hopefully create an interesting dynamic between Dom and Letty which I hope will be explored in the ninth. GIVE LETTY SOMETHING TO DO
I guess I have to mention one other problem I had with this film that will lead nicely into my next point. I liked the zombie cars, thought he showed Cipher was actually fantastic but the one thing I DID NOT LIKE was when fricking G.I. Dom wore a mask like he was a frickin superhero and started cutting the car open, I mean – c’mon!
And that leads me nicely to my changing opinion of this franchise. I now see three stages in the franchise, the first is the Fast stage, where no-one expected anything and it was just people racing each other (is it OK if I slightly miss that), the second stage is 5-7, my favourite films and now in the eighth we are just in crazy land. Yeah, I want to see Vin and the gang blow things up and flip cars, but I don’t want to see them save the world like they are CIA agents. They are outlaws and that is what was the heart and what was fun about it. Cipher flopped because she wanted to control the world which is just BASIC. And this is just such a big change of dynamic from what we are used to seeing, YES! Bigger is better, with this franchise but bloody WORLD DOMINATION is a bit of a step too far – don’t you think. I want to see cars flipping, Vin jumping out of an airplane and still surviving (somehow), hell – I wanna see The Rock re-direct a torpedo with his bare hands but I don’t want to see the team become CIA agents. It has just taken away the heart and soul of the film – they are outlaws, they only care about the family and yes. in that sense it does work out because you can say the only reason they saved the world was because they wanted to save their family but it is such a change from what I loved about the franchise.
Fate of the Furious is not a bad film, it just isn’t great – there are amazing action pieces and Statham steals the show. But if you are a fan of the franchise, this sequel does jot manage to integrate the heart and soul of the franchise. But, it still isn’t a bad film. – maybe I just had to higher a hopes for the film. I give it a decent ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️(7) / 10 – a B.