The Fate of the Furious Review — Family-Friendly Explosions

Even Jason Statham is aware of what’s appropriate for kids to see in this film.

  • I think it’s official at this point that Fast & Furious is the definition of what today’s non-Michael Bay Hollywood action exploitation blockbusters strive to be. Even after eight films, people still haven’t gotten tired of it, it’s made more money than Belgium, and several people I pretend to respect consider it the greatest action movie franchise (or anime franchise if you still think that joke is funny) to ever grace our eyes.
  • I am fond of these movies, but I definitely wouldn’t consider myself a “fan” of them. They’re sort of like the Yakuza franchise in that for all their manliness and hilarious macho action setpieces, they do get kind of same-y. Fate & the Furious is basically just the same plot as the last few films, only Dom gets blackmailed into turning against his team. And anyone who thinks said blackmail will have long-lasting consequences…well it does have one thing that can’t be taken back, but we all know that we’re going to walk out of a Fast & Furious film with a happy smile on our faces, assuming we like this sort of action. Because let’s be honest, a franchise whose plotlines are just an excuse to see how much car action you can put into a two-hour movie like Fast & the Furious isn’t for everyone.
  • There’s really no point in me talking about what actually happens in this film because you either don’t care or haven’t seen it yet, in which case who am I to spoil it for you? Let’s just talk about how it compares to the other entries. After the disappointment that was Furious 7 – yes I call bullshit on that having a higher critical rating than this – it’s nice to see action scenes that I can actually see this time, even if the shaky cam during the fist fights can be a little intrusive. And it’s nice to see that the series still hasn’t lost its touch for starting with a bang and building up to an incredible final climax from that high starting point, which is always a tall task for anything that relies on setpieces to carry an audience’s attention.

Hello, I’m Charlize Theron. I’m here to play Charlie Theron. And I’m gonna look good whilst doing so.

  • It’s still almost impossible to see the actors in this as actual characters like Charlize Theron or Jason Statham, but that’s been a problem with most actions films for years now (does anyone remember the names of who Ahnuld plays besides Conan and the T-1000?) so this franchise can’t really be struck down for that. Not to mention, it doesn’t make the explosion-heavy soap opera drama surrounding them regarding the importance of family and such feel any less genuine – although I really wish Brian would stop getting brought up, especially considering how he’ll never come back unless one of Paul Walker’s siblings decides it’s time for a Carrie Fisher-like cameo.
  • Admittedly, there were times when I thought to myself that this movie was running on a little long thanks to the plot being too similar to F6 and F7 along with how predictable everything was playing out. There’s only so much pure action and funny lines can carry a person whose favorite actions films either mix in heavy pseudo-philosophy into the gun shots or star a nerdy boy whose voice gets hilariously deep after turning into a literal garbage man. Mind you, I don’t want this franchise to go that route because that’s really not its strength at the end of the day, and there’s a high chance it’ll just become like the Pirates films if it overreached like that. And incidentally, please tell me that new one coming out in May is the last one.
  • Fate and the Furious is just another Fast & the Furious movie when you get down to it. Explosions, car chases, action stars showing off to the camera, smarmy quips, repetitive speeches about the importance of family, and convoluted plots that you’re not supposed to think about it. And it’s definitely not as strong an entry as when the franchise finally gained critical acclaim, which is why I refuse to give it the same “best anime EVAR” praise as some corners of the Internet that I admittedly have so little in common with it makes the relationship between China and Japan look like a brotherly bond.

Spoilers: we don’t get a conclusion to this rematch in the film

  • But at the end of the day, most people can’t deny pure fun. And Fate & the Furious is definitely fun. I may not love this franchise nearly as much as I did years ago, but it’s still doing right what most of today’s action films do wrong, and the mixed reviews regarding F8 honestly have more to do with how it’s outstaying its welcome rather than the actual quality of the product. Admittedly, I’m not sure how it can continue to keep going unless it goes all Saints Row 4 on us and adds superpowers to the mix, but I’m into following Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson butt heads for a good while longer whilst avoiding their solo films entirely.

Minor Quips

  • What exactly does “anime” even mean anymore?
  • Why do people feel the need to make their opinions on something come off like a competition?

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