The Fate of the Furious
By: Ashlee Dell’Arciprete
This past weekend, I had the opportunity of attending the World Premiere of the new film of The Fast and the Furious franchise, The Fate of the Furious, at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. Before the film started, star Vin Diesel came up on stage to premise the eighth installment that it’s all about family. He also said the film kept Paul Walker’s spirit in mind and, not to spoil anything, but wait to the end. Also in admittance at the premiere were Paul’s mother Cheryl Walker and his daughter Meadow.
The basis of the film is that Dom is given an ultimatum by a new character named Cipher, played by Charlize Theron, that cuts his honeymoon short and causes him to go “rogue” against the team. Cipher reveals something to Dom that gives him no choice, but to work with the villain. Luke Hobbs (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson) is tasked by the FBI gather a team to stop them, but he already has one. Various characters, new and old, come into the picture to try and stop Ciphers plan that include Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham), Letty (Michelle Rodriguez), Roman (Tyrese Gibson) and Tej (Chris ‘Ludacris’ Bridges). Surprise characters from earlier films in the franchise also appear.
The performances by the cast are great. As someone who hasn’t seen the entire franchise yet, I was pleasantly surprised with the delivery of heart-wrenching scenes while also having bits of comedy relief. Roman, specifically, was probably my favorite character and I found myself actually laughing throughout his lines. Jason Statham was also great as Shaw. If you saw the various trailers released, you saw him holding a baby. The baby is incorporated into the various fight scenes as Shaw tries to protect him and it is super cute.
As for the directing, F. Gary Gray did an incredible job. The film is shot in several different locations from Havana, Cuba, to New York City and to Russia. Gray really captures the spirit of each location. Notably in the opening of the film there is a car race like the old days of the franchise where Dom races through the streets of Havana in a beat up car he hotwires with NOS like the old days.
Final analysis: Overall, Fate of the Furious was surprisingly entertaining. It can be enjoyed by avid fans of the franchise while being easy enough to keep up with if it’s the first time you’ve been introduced to it. The theme of family is definitely prominent and drives the arc of the story. Grade: A-