Movie Review: Fate of the Furious

The Fate of the Furious is the eighth and newest installment in the evergoing “Fast and Furious” franchise. Directed by F. Gary Gray, who directed other big name movies like Straight Outta Compton, takes on this addition to the series with the usual big-name cast of characters like Vin Diesel (as Dominic Toretto), Dwayne Johnson (as Luke Hobbs), Tyrese Gibson (as Roman Pearce), Ludacris (as Tej Parker), and others like Jason Statham and Michelle Rodriguez. This installment also adds new characters, and with new characters comes new cast members like Helen Mirren (as Shaw’s mother), Scott Eastwood (as Little Nobody), and Charlize Theron who plays the character Cipher, the main antagonist.

The eighth movie carries on the series theme of insanely fast and expensive cars, massive explosions, impossible stunts, fist-fights thrown in for effect, and the theme of “family.” This theme of “family” has been the carrying proponent of most of the movies, especially the last two.

The new movie has a seemingly simple plot. It basically has the main character, Dom, turn his back on his family after an unknown terrorist is introduced. This terrorist, an uber-smart hacker named Cipher, uses the technique of blackmail to force Dom to turn his back on his team and steal a series of important devices. These devices were used to help Cipher and her team reach and takeover a remote Cold War era Russian Sub base, which was already coincidentally taken over by another armed and dangerous terrorist organization a mere-month before.

This develops and leads to the physics-defying and impossibly long iced-over ocean race against guys with military grade missiles and a massive submarine with nukes that is being controlled remotely. This ending scene can only be compared to the ending of the previous Fast and Furious 6, where the crew chases a terrorist infested Boeing jet on a seemingly neverending runway, and somehow this super massive plane is not able to take off partly because of cable anchorages hooked to cars under the wing. This scene, and every other ending scene to the series, ends with the death-defying stunts (like redirecting a moving torpedo) and the impossibly fast cars.

The movie does not include the late actor Paul Walker, as character Brian O’Conner, because of his tragic death in 2013 during the filming of Furious 7. It does, however, include a small tribute to the late actor’s character at the end of the movie. This comes after Furious 7’s tribute to Walker at the end of the movie and the hit song “See You Again” by Charlie Puth and Wiz Khalifa.

This was the first movie of the series to not include him. Walker was a huge loss to the franchise because his death was sudden and untimely, and because he was such an important figure it was hard to fill his spot. This hole in the movie was filled by Jason Statham, who plays character Deckard Shaw. Shaw was the main antagonist in Furious 7, but was forced to team up with the main guys to stop Torretto. This came with a lot of tension between the group because of the Shaw family history of fighting the group and the personal hatred between Shaw and character Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson).

This installment was a great move by the director and main writers. It provided an unforeseen twist to the plot and added a part to the movie’s meaning of “family”. Overall it was one of the better movies of the franchise. It has done well at maintaining the initial theme of the series and carried on the tradition of the crazy car races and the well known theme of action that has always carried the franchise.