The Fate of the Furious Parent Review
The script uses humor to help viewers endure well-over-two-hours of countless careening cars and reckless heroics.
The street racers return for their eighth turn at the wheel in The Fate of the Furious, a title that evokes a sense of mystery. Well, let me assure you the biggest mystery continues to be how the laws of physics are put on hold so Dominic (Vin Diesel) and his merry men and women can pull off the four-wheel tricks this franchise is known for.
In fact, the opening minutes prove to be the most invigorating and comical of the entire movie. The first act is shot in Cuba (one of the very first American movies to do so since the political thawing). Dom is on his honeymoon with Letty (Michelle Rodriquez) and can’t resist racing a local down the cobbled streets of Havana. He pushes the old beater he’s driving so hard that the engine catches on fire. No problem. A quick one-eighty and he takes the finish line—in reverse. The gimmick gets the laughs it deserves, and demonstrates the style of humor that will help you endure the well-over-two-hours of reckless heroics to follow.
The story shifts into drive when Dom meets a mysterious woman in Havana (Charlize Theron) who shows him a photo on her phone. We don’t get to see the image, but suddenly our main man turns into Zombie Dom. Shortly thereafter, a pair of government agents (Kurt Russell, Scott Eastwood) send Dom and his team to Germany to intercept an EMP (electromagnetic pulse bomb). Once they have acquired the device, Dom turns rogue and takes the precious cargo with him. Of course he’s working for Cipher, the femme fatale he met earlier. But the big question is why?
No one is more interested in getting that answer than Letty. Eager to help her figure out the identity and intentions of the bad blonde are Roman, Tej and Ramsey (Tyrese Gibson, Chris ‘Ludacris’ Bridges, Nathalie Emmanuel). Their mission gets a dual shot of testosterone from Hobbs and Deckard (Dwaine Johnson, Jason Statham)—two guys that have a little making up to do after the last outing. Putting their plan into high gear will involve countless car chases in exotic vehicles while the evil Cipher flies around the world in a huge pimped-up plane that never seems to run out of fuel and uses a sophisticated computer grid to keep an eye Dom and his “family” of colleagues.
Amongst the countless careening cars crashing through hordes of scurrying pedestrians (perhaps a little too much considering recent terrorist vehicle incidents) and racking up massive property damage points, there is also plenty of time for gunplay and hand-to-hand confrontations. Little blood is seen, apart from a character thrown into the blades of a turbine (the carnage is off-screen) resulting in blood spattering against a wall. Other fights depict characters who kill off victims by smashing their bodies and breaking their necks. In another incident, a helpless character is shot off screen at point-blank range. The good news? The “babe quotient” has been dialed down, except for the opening Cuban race sequence where countless women bare their assets for the cause of street racing. After a brief scene of Dom and Letty in bed together, the action plot takes over.
As so many movies do, this franchise continues to depend upon many people with shady pasts to save the world. It also preaches “family” but, like a mafia clan, all that love and harmony leaves a trail of violence and destruction in its path. By the time we make it to the checkered flag of this far too long adventure, we begin to think the world might be a safer place if Dominic would only commit to his desire to settle down for a nice long marriage.Directed by F. Gary Gray. Starring Vin Diesel, Jason Statham, Dwayne Johnson, Jordana Brewster, Charlize Theron. Running time: 141 minutes. Theatrical release April 14, 2017. Updated April 13, 2017
Get details on profanity, sex and violence in The Fate of the Furious here.
The Fate of the Furious Parents Guide
How does this movie glamorize criminal behavior? Does a “good cause” justify the killing and mayhem that follows the characters’ actions?
The main characters claim they are protective of “family”. Why do they seem unconcerned or unaware that others likely have family members too? How does the script’s absence of connection for any of the “bad guys” make it easier for viewers not to care about what happens to them?