‘The Fate of the Furious’ Review: The Eighth Film Doesn’t Have Enough Absurdity To Be Entertaining

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source: Universal Pictures

The Fate of the Furious turns to character drama forgetting what made it famous in the first place

Absurdity, The Fast and Furious‘ cup of tea. We’ve all accepted the fact that these movies don’t make a lot of sense. They get out of fiery cars, rolling car crashes, and burning buildings without one scratch. It doesn’t make much sense, but we love it anyway. The fast-paced action, the head bobbing soundtrack and the cool cars are all aspects we expect to see in the latest installment. For a franchise built on such absurdity, The Fate of the Furious sure lacks of it.

Dom (Vin Diesel) has turned against his “family.” He has joined Cipher (Charlize Theron) to try and get her nuclear weapons. For his team, this doesn’t seem like the Dom they know. But they need to stop Cipher and uncover the secret that is keeping Dom tied to the most notorious hacker in the world.

There is a lot of mixed bags in Fate, but one thing is certain. The action continues to be entertaining and oh, so much fun! Whether it may be driving away from a submarine or hacking and controlling thousand of cars, these movies sure make for some mindless fun. For the most part, the action is well filmed and well done which adds to the excitement. The opening car race is an excellent way to open the film; however, it’s not so much a great indicator of what’s to come. As well as Fate knows what its audience wants, it only gives it half of the time.

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Dwayne Johnson continues to be the most charismatic character in The Fast and Furious franchise – source: Universal Pictures

The eighth installment lowers on the action to focus more on character drama, a massive misjudgment. While racial diversity has always been a strength of the Fast and Furious films, shifting focus solely on characters, especially Vin Diesel, isn’t a smart move. The more dramatic moments aren’t elevated by the film and all fall flat. Diesel is forced to draw on his acting ability, something best kept hidden from the big screen. The saving grace could have been Theron, but her emotionless monotonous performance doesn’t help. The big violent heavy score used in the more dramatic scenes seem misplaced in such a Latin-infused soundtrack. These choices bring out the somewhat mediocre dialogue that ultimately gives it a parody feel. It’s a shame that Dwayne Johnson’s charismatic performance is underused as well as Helen Mirren who is barely in the movie. The Fate of the Furious could have desperately used them in these moments.

Ultimately, the movie pieces together a resolution both rushed and underwhelming. For all the drama and build up, there isn’t anything to show for it. Fortunately, we finally get a big absurd action scene to take our minds off the mediocre resolution. Having bared watching Diesel’s fake tears and Theron hamming it up for the past hour 90 minutes, I can’t forgive this toss up of a resolution. Fate should have focused more action and less on the story. Every good, bad movie keeps it fun and never tries to get serious.

The Fate of the Furious gets serious and pays the price for it. On the one hand, it has big fun over the top action scenes, and on the contrary, it has cheesy dramatic moments. The drama exposes the many flaws of the film lessening the overall impact. Fate forgets what makes the Furious franchise so much fun instead it tries too hard to impress in other ways. A word of advice for other sequels, stick to what you do best.

GRADE: C

The Fate of the Furious opened on April 14th and is currently playing in theaters.

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