The Movie: The Fate of the Furious
The Director: F. Gary Gray
The Cast: Vin Diesel, Jason Statham, Dwayne Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris, Charlize Theron, Kurt Russell, Nathalie Emmanuel, Luke Evans, Elsa Pataky, Kristofer Hivju, and Scott Eastwood
The Story: When a mysterious woman seduces Dom into the world of terrorism and a betrayal of those closest to him, the crew face trials that will test them as never before.
It's a really rare and special thing when a movie franchise can reach it's eighth installment while not only maintaining a consistent level of quality but actually elevating to new heights with each new film. If I'm being honest, I really did not like this series up until the fifth movie where they added in The Rock and turned it into a large scale action spectacle instead of what it was. With this new movie, director F. Gary Gray was tasked with bringing to life the franchise's most ambitious project yet while also turning the page and leaving behind one of its most essential and popular characters (RIP Paul Walker).
The bold and glossy visual style Gray is known for is a perfect match for this series and he makes every moment pop on screen from cars flying around the streets of Cuba to The Rock busting heads in an ice covered Russian military base. Speaking of Mr. Johnson, he is in top form both physically and with his razor sharp wit which I'm sure had the cast and crew laughing between every take. We even get an on screen moment where Jason Statham's character can't help but crack up at an insult slung his way. Compared to Fast 7, Statham has a much bigger role in this movie and he takes advantage of every moment he has on one of the biggest cinematic stages in the world. He even teams up with a very unexpected ally for some of the cutest action scenes you will ever see. That statement will make a lot more sense once you see the movie.
The rest of the returning cast members are as likable and fun as ever and the addition of Scott Eastwood to the team is a really nice touch. I believe he will fit in nicely with the rest of the "family" for a long time to come. I had really high hopes for Charlize Theron as the villain in this film as she certainly has the ability to give us a deliciously evil performance given the right material. Unfortunately, the end result just wasn't there for me as her character really doesn't have much going on other than ordering people around and furiously typing away on keyboards. I feel like this was a lost opportunity for Theron to do something really special but the story itself just didn't allow her to be much more than the type of generic villain we've seen dozens of times over the years. That being said, she is still a very worthy adversary and creates more than enough mayhem and destruction for our heroes to handle.
The Fate of the Furious is a high powered, action packed blockbuster that does everything it possibly can to deliver on what we have come to expect from this franchise. The action is always just a little bit over the top and that's exactly why we love it so much. This movie is big, it is bold, it is sexy, and it is a lot of fun to watch.