A Russian submarine vs five cars… This franchise has truly went 180 degrees!

ff8-poster

Directed by F. Gary Gray (Straight Outta Compton), The Fate of the Furious (AKA The Fast and the Furious 8) is the latest installment to the FF movie franchise. At this point, having 8 movies in the span of 16 years might be too exhausting. But the latest addition to the franchise proves it still has a lot of fuel to burn.

During his honeymoon with his wife Letty (Michelle Rodriguez), Dom (Vin Diesel) gets recruited by top cyberterrorist Cipher (Charlize Theron), who has leverage against Dom. This causes Dom to betray his team. In a desperate attempt, intelligence operative Letty (Kurt Russell) recruits Luke (Dwayne Johnson) and Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) to join the FF team.

I’m going to state the obvious (and the expected). The car scenes/chases/sequences in this film is beautiful. After 8 films,  it is heavily expected that it would be poetry in motion…like a perfect blend of demolition derby and ballet.

It is also amazing to see Vin Diesel grow as an actor. I am not saying he turned into Denzel Washington, but this is the most layered portrayal he has made so far.

Hearing Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham banter each other apart is cool to watch. Filled with much testosterone, their scenes together are well-executed.

The chemistry between Scott Eastwood and Tyrese Gibson provides the comic relief in the film. Their interactions are similar to those buddy cop movies.

The cameos from past characters and new ones are also a welcome sight.

The entertainment value of this film is still surprisingly high. This is just visceral entertainment for you (much to the same effect as Schwarzenegger’s Commando). At first, I was extremely skeptical to FF’s turn to the action genre. Then, I found myself deeply questioning their physics-defying sequences, but the franchise has grown on me. The FF movies know what they are, and if you still demand a life-changing experience after watching this…then sorry for you.

However, the film still has problems that other FF movies have. The last act of the film wraps too conveniently…as if all the trouble and problems given were nothing all this time.

Also, though I admire the genre change, the FF movies as of late portray Dom similarly to another character of Vin Diesel: XXX. Just like the third XXX movie, this film portrays Dom as this one-man wrecking crew/army. Dom’s team repeatedly tells us how badass or how unstoppable he is. He is a racer! Add the fact that Dom is slowly being overshadowed by Luke Hobbs (and Deckard Shaw in the film’s climax), and you got “Red Ranger vs Green Ranger Effect”.

The Fate of the Furious only shows us that The Fast and the Furious franchise still has a lot of fuel left, but it still has the same problems. Only time will tell if the filmmakers will finally learn from this (two sequels and rumored spin-off movies are on the way). This film is…

GREAT GOOD BAD UGLY

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