So, it’s come to this, has it? After seven films, we are finally about to see the actual fate of the furious? Oh, what? It’s just a play on words? We’re getting two more movies after this? Oh, right on! The Fate of the Furious is finally here, folks, which means it’s already time to start counting down until part nine because these films are just plain insanity. Are they sometimes a little silly? Yes, and they wouldn’t really work properly if they didn’t embrace their silly side in order to balance those high extremes. That’s why the films didn’t really start getting good until part five. That being said, eight movies is still a lot for one series, so where does the story go from here?
Dom is targeted by a woman, named Cipher, who blackmails into helping her carry out a massive terrorist attack, and in doing so, turn on his team that he’s built up until this point without telling them why. This turns into a manhunt with his team against him. The only person that keeps the faith is his wife, Letty, who is convinced there is something deeper at stake. With one man down, they enlist the help of Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham). Just wait until the cars start falling from the sky, folks.
This series really is insane, and it just goes to prove action films are more than just mindless action. Otherwise, this series would have either died out a long time ago, recast with more unknowns, or lessened the costly visual effects. Something would have happened if they were all mindless action films. Instead, these series honestly, truly have a soul. They have a reason to exist, and they have an ultimate story to tell. Even so, they do something exceedingly surprising: they are able to tell each story as standalone as possible, without completely relying on knowledge of the previous films – though, that does help.
Now, I do have The Fate of the Furious rated the highest out of the series, but I wouldn’t look too much into that. The other films weren’t rated with my current rating system so it wouldn’t be truly fair to call this one the best…though, I suppose it is always a possibility. Let’s go ahead and break this one down, shall we?
PEOPLE SCORE – 10/10
Acting – 2|Characters – 2|Casting – 2|Importance – 2|Chemistry – 2
Don’t make me laugh. The people score was obviously always going to get a high score. If it didn’t, something terrible just happened…because that’s really what these films are all about at heart, the people, the characters. Without that, it would just be what I initially thought the movies would be before I saw them – movies about cool-looking cars. Ooh.
No, it’s the people. While I don’t think anyone will really get Oscars for their acting, I still think they all did a really good job with what they are given. There are so many characters, as per the point of the series, that it’s hard not to give characters full points. Same with casting, the cast in these films is always impressive. Adding Charlize Theron to the mix was a genius move, as well. Next up is the importance of the characters. Does every character add to the plot? I believe they all do, yes. There may be some here and there that do less than they’ve done before, but it’s all pretty much on cue. How about chemistry? Other than characters, this film series is also about the concept of being a family and being loyal to each other, and you wouldn’t feel as though it’s a family without the chemistry, we’ll just put it that way.
WRITING SCORE – 6/10
Dialogue – 1|Balanced – 1|Story – 1|Originality – 1|Interesting – 2
Now, this is a category where you never know where it will stand. It could be anywhere on the spectrum, and today, it’s in the middle. Why? Well, a lot about the writing, in particular, didn’t truly stand out. The dialogue was mostly everything we’ve heard before. There’s a lot of characters and a lot going on in these films that it’s hard to say it’s not at least partially convoluted. The story itself is fun and everything, but I would hardly call it original or even all that strong of a story. It feels like a Fast & Furious film, as it should, but other than adding some cool things here and there, it lacks in making a fully fresh film, but as always, it’s super interesting.
BTS SCORE – 8/10
Visuals – 2|Directing – 1|Editing – 2|Advertisement – 2|Music – 1
Next up, we’ll talk about behind-the-scenes. So, how did this category go? Well, the visuals were phenomenal, as they have been for the past few years. The directing, however, wasn’t really amazing. The director had to juggle a lot of storylines and make them all fit into one main story, and sometimes that felt forced. As cool as a breakout from prison is, that whole sequence was actually unneeded. The editing was mostly pretty good. I had some complaints about speeding up fight scenes, but everything else seemed to flow really nicely. This was as-advertised, but nothing really stood out music-wise.
NARRATIVE ARC SCORE – 10/10
Introduction – 2|Inciting Incident – 2| Obstacles – 2|Climax – 2|Falling Action – 2
Next up, we have the narrative arc score, which did get a perfect score. As far as the structure of the film, it followed an overall path that made sense. The introduction was reuniting with Dom and Letty on their honeymoon and Charlize Theron’s ultimate blackmailing. The inciting incident is when Dom makes the decision to backstab his team and work with Theron. The obstacles were all about finding Dom and Cipher and every time Dom got away. The climax was a buildup of everything exciting for one super exciting sequence, and this series always does a fantastic job at actually having a falling action that’s satisfying, as if it were the last film in the franchise, even though we know there will be two more.
ENTERTAINMENT SCORE – 7/10
Rewatchability – 2|Fun – 2|Impulse/Buy – 1|Impulse/Talk – 0|Sucks you in – 2
Second to last, we ask the age-old question of – is the movie entertaining. Well, I believe the whole series is entertaining, but the real question is….how entertaining? I consider this a wholly rewatchable and fun film that sucks you in throughout the film. As for if I would buy this? Probably not. I’d probably get it a collection set with it involved, but buy it on its own? Probably not. This film also doesn’t give me any impulse to talk about it with anyone.
TOTAL SPECIAL – 50/50
Sequel – 10|Adds New – 10|Action – 10|Paul Walker – 10|Halfway Decent
Finally, the specialty questions that I wrote before seeing the film. First and foremost, this is a sequel, so does it feel like it belongs in the universe? Absolutely, you could probably watch this back-to-back with the 7th film and not notice a distinct difference. Does it add anything new? Actually, I believe they did – enough to warrant full points. They utilized a modern technology and hacked it to really control their surroundings. How was the action? Insanely good, as always. This next question, I wasn’t sure what they would do, but what would Brian’s story be? They mention him somewhere in the middle of the film and later in the film, there is a sweet tribute to his character that really gave this full points. Finally, was it halfway decent? It was a thrill ride, so yes.
TOTAL – 91/100