The Fate of the Furious (2017)
April 23, 2017 6:17 PM - Subscribe

Episode F8, in which a haka is performed with great fierceness (Go Red Dragons!), Helen Mirren chews scenery, and we learn a Most Important Lesson: The only thing more important than family is...MOAR FAMILY!

Is it the best of the series? Probably not. But it's still a gloriously silly installment of the franchise, and inspired this review in the New Yorker:
Because I could not stop for Vin—
He would not stop for me—
But drove his Dodge straight at the hood
Of my—Infiniti—

The Fast—& Furious—has reached
Installment number Eight—
In which the vital word of Fast
Has been replaced by—Fate—

A Diesel going Rogue—alas—
Has left his Friends in shock—
He even swings a Wrecking Ball—
In vain—to crush the Rock—

The Villain is Charlize Theron—
Who makes the Streets explode—
Yet she was more a bomb-ass Bitch
In Mad Max—Fury Road—

The Stunts that gild the Franchise are
The sickest ever seen—
The modes of Transport now include

You feel—however—that the Guys
Are racing Lamborghinis—
To sublimate a swelling wish
To wave around their—Weenies—
How will the franchise end? Some have suggested in space. Others might prefer a musical.
posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide (22 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I went to see this on opening weekend with my girlfriend, having previously discussed the glorious silliness of the later movies in this series with her. She loved it -- "It was exactly as ridiculous as I expected, and that was great." Her one complaint: "I don't know how they managed to take someone as attractive as Charlize Thereon and give her hair that looks that bad." I don't know that I had as strong a negative reaction but they definitely veered weirdly into "oh hey look! it's cyberpunk! she has dreads!"

I think we may have laughed a bit more than most people in the theater, because some of what you could misinterpret as high drama is "are they.. there's no way.. that's so dumb.. physics doesn't work like.. but they DID! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!"

I'm pretty sure I could watch Vin Diesel read the phone book, so long as some explosions were going off somewhere in the background. He's obviously having fun with the silly fantasy world, which makes it easy to have fun with it too.

The Big Bad's evil plot reminded me a bit of something halfway between Die Hard With A Hacker (that was 4, right?) and The Ghost Fleet, substitute anarchic hacker mastermind for The Entire Government of China. The conceit was a bit silly but the film tackled it with enough wink-wink-nudge-nudge-we-know-this-is-stupid-but-have-fun-with-us ("Okay, make it rain.") that I bought in anyway. I could not have enjoyed it played straight, but the movie is okay with itself, which worked for me.

I'm a bit intrigued that, with the introduction of the supervillain character tying together the International Heists That Happen To Be Do-Able Primarily With Fancy Cars from the last couple of movies, F&F has essentially gone Full James Bond, or possibly Full Superhero. Not quite sure which, guess the next movie will tell.

I want to see F&F In Space: It's Even Easier To Drift With No Friction But You Need More Delta-V.

But it's always about family, right?
posted by Alterscape at 6:41 PM on April 23, 2017 [3 favorites]

That New Yorker review makes it sound like they lik the bred.

In my headcanon reboot of Star Trek: The Next Generation, Vin Diesel plays Worf.
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 6:51 PM on April 23, 2017 [6 favorites]

How will the franchise end? Some have suggested in space.

Before too many more people scoff, let's just remember that, after Rocky IV came out, a joke was going around Hollywood that, after Stallone had taken on Dolph Lundgren, the only way he could top that would be to fight an alien, and a couple of aspiring screenwriter brothers said, "But seriously, though..."
posted by Halloween Jack at 10:00 PM on April 23, 2017 [1 favorite]

Saw this in the theater, a first for me with these movies. I don't need much from a movie in this genre to get it into the "win" column. In this case, the movie offered constant WWE-style shit talkin' between the Rock and Jason S. Also, I laughed at the Rock, in the midst of a car chase involving a nuclear sub, asking Tyrese while he's always yelling.

C'mon, the Rock. It's because this shit is crazy.
posted by Ipsifendus at 4:19 AM on April 24, 2017 [3 favorites]

All I could think during the New York scene was how many babies and toddlers in the non-hero cars were dying of injuries during the chases for the sake of Diesel's one baby on the airplane. Almost a classic trolley problem.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 4:19 AM on April 24, 2017 [1 favorite]

Sifting through all of the ridiculous, hilarious nonsense in this movie, my favorite part ends up being the Haka at the soccer match.
posted by doctornecessiter at 5:05 AM on April 24, 2017 [3 favorites]

Saw it this weekend and thought it was great cheese for the nachos.

My big question (and maybe I missed something) is whether or not anyone else found their explanation for why Brian (Paul Walker's character) wasn't around to be incredibly unsatisfying.
posted by Gronk at 11:19 AM on April 24, 2017

Walker's death while the last movie was still in production probably makes any satisfying explanation impossible. To deal with it appropriately at the script level would require knowing ahead of time that it was coming. I think the epilogue at the end of the last movie was probably about the best they could do.
posted by Ipsifendus at 12:04 PM on April 24, 2017 [3 favorites]

In my headcanon reboot of Star Trek: The Next Generation, Vin Diesel plays Worf.

In mine he's Captain Picard.
posted by dng at 2:59 PM on April 24, 2017 [1 favorite]

"oh hey look! it's cyberpunk! she has dreads!"

See, I didn't even consider that possibility, as "cyber"/"hacking" has been a theme at the very least since Furious 7 and now half of the people in these movies are 'hackers'. (And the other half are 'muscles'.)

I felt entertained, it was okay. I am one of those people who came on board when Fast Five rolled around and delivered a movie that was (knowingly, but not eye-winkingly) ridiculous, looked fairly decent (practical stunts and all) and had a diverse and charming cast. I feel like after F3 and F4, Justin Lin finally figured out how these movies had to be made, but sadly left the franchise after F6. And those directorial changes, starting with F7, may be minor -- it's still ridiculous comical car action at its core -- but dampen my enjoyment quite a bit. First and foremost: we don't see our characters interact as much anymore, when they're not "on the job". Look at the time spent in garages and hidehouts in 5 and 6, it's noticeably less in F7 and with F8 I had the feeling they tried to cut those scenes altogether[*]. Now I get that they want to make these movies "faster", bigger and fill every minute with explosions and punches - but I'd propose that, for those punches to really land, you need to give them some breathing room in between. Parts of F7 and F8 felt like continuous (and not super exciting) CGI mush to me. (It didn't help that F8 looked shockingly cheap in some scenes.)

I get that part of this decision may be due to Paul Walker's passing, and Han and Gisele's absence [**] from the latest movies. In this regard, it was smart to make Vin Diesel into the antagonist of F8 (because he was never the heart of this group - it was always Walker), so that the family could be reinvigorated in their united opposition. ...And yet this somehow didn't quite work? Partly because the team (minus Letty) cracks the same old jokes, despite Dom's face-heel turn, partly because the new faces (Nathalie Emmanuel and *sigh* Scott Eastwood) feel tacked on.

If I sound too overly critical, I apologize. I know that this is just brainless action cinema and I should feel happy to spend the easter holidays every two years with the/this family. I guess I'm holding the F&F franchise to different standards than most action franchises because
a) they had some better/more functional movies already and I think they could do it again
b) they are still one of the more progressive action franchises out there and thus closer to my heart than, say, Transformers or whatever.

* The runtime of F8 was given as 160 minutes, at first, on IMDb. (Could have also been a mistake, of course.)
** I say absence and not death, because... who knows. It's the F&F franchise after all.

(One of my longest comments and it's on The Fate of the Furious, oh boy. I'm just glad I didn't go into my theories on the ingenious use of CGI at the end of F7 and my largely nonsensical comparison of Vin Diesel and Agamemnon in F8... :D)

posted by bigendian at 3:04 PM on April 24, 2017 [1 favorite]

The FF franchise for me seems to have a checklist of things it must still touch on, no matter how ridiculous the action gets, and this installment got the mandated lady butt parade and street race out of the way quickly. Another element that's persisted throughout the series is making best family out of one's enemies, so I imagine that in the next one, Cipher will join the team despite everyone's objections and they'll need to take on Mr. Nobody or something like that.

I did wonder if I missed how the submarine got into the ocean from drydock? I can forgive all the superhero physics stuff, because that's clearly the nature of these films at this point, but that seemed like a basic continuity error.

And who was feeding/changing the baby after they shot Elena? Did Cipher hack the baby?

Lastly, it's confirmed that Taylor Swift exists in the Fast & Furious universe. Hope to see her make the team in a later installment.
posted by Durhey at 4:04 PM on April 24, 2017 [1 favorite]

Saw it tonight. It was good, if a bit long.

I too have a few nitpicks!

Aside from heroes with handguns it feels like people in this universe should just abandon firearms all together. Or maybe the rule is that the likelyhood you kill someone with a gun is inversely proportional to how many bullets you use. The amount of plans this crew has which involve getting shot at with automatic weapons is way too high! This is a fault of almost every action movie now though, so I can't really blame this one directly.

While I don't mind flashbacks to things we hadn't seen or scenes from previous movies, I hate hate HATE flashbacks to shit we've already seen. I get the movie's a couple hours long, but I'm not a goldfish, give me some credit here. I guess there's probably someone watching saying, "Ohhhhhh, he's the guy from the beginning of the movie!"

Hellen Mirren didn't get to drive?

There's no way that kid is 12 pounds.
posted by ODiV at 11:45 PM on April 25, 2017

dng, I've got Colin Salmon in that role.
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 7:12 PM on April 27, 2017

I thought this was fun, but not the best in the franchise. It seems like a lot of the team doesn't contribute anything unique. It's just convenient to have extra bodies sometimes, but the writers are having trouble feeding the pipe for that many characters.

I really wanted Ice Cube to show up at some point and have Vin Diesel look at him like he just can't quite put his finger on why it's not right.

I want Jason Statham to be my best friend.
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 7:16 PM on April 27, 2017

eeeee! It was great, and exactly as stupid-fun as I had hoped it to be. That being said, I'm glad there was less of The Rock in this one, its an ensemble, not a rock show. The lack of coronas at the end was odd.
posted by captaincrouton at 7:20 PM on April 28, 2017

I could definitely vibe with everything in the movie, except for Fake!Brian. Scott Eastwood earned his seat on the bbq table way too fast imo.

posted by cendawanita at 2:13 AM on May 2, 2017

yeah Little Nobody needs more cred, especially after he fumbled twice.

I don't think they showed the submarine getting into the water at all. I guess that's more CGI than they could afford, what with water action and such.

This was still enjoyable though. I could've used more bantering and garage scenes, but those were always best with Bryan around, his digs on Roman come from more of a shared history rather than just mean jokes from Tej.

I definitely wouldn't mind a Rock and Jason Statham spinoff that they're not-so-subtly hinting at.
posted by numaner at 9:39 AM on May 12, 2017

I finally saw it today, as I'm in the midst of a stressful time and needed to laugh at something so gloriously and unapologetically fun and dumb and predictable. I LOL'd for real when Dom's car took out like half of the endless supply of Russians separatists before, of course, taking out a sub that miraculously didn't take out the rest of the ice (or how Roman didn't die of hypothermia after his dunking...).

Thing that did actually surprise me: I would totally watch another movie where Jason Statham carries a baby while killing an endless supply of redshirt baddies and pauses occasionally to coo/check the headphones on the Chimpunks soundtrack...
posted by TwoStride at 5:21 PM on May 15, 2017 [4 favorites]

The baby scene is possibly a tribute to the similar scene in John Woo's Hard Boiled.
posted by elgilito at 1:04 AM on June 9, 2017 [2 favorites]

One of my favorite CGI scenes of the year is the part where they do that trendy zombie thing where the zombies are just a huge fast-moving tidal wave of bodies, except it's with zombie cars. I laughed so hard when that hoard of cars rounds a corner looking like a scene out of World War Z.
posted by straight at 10:14 AM on June 23, 2017 [3 favorites]

I haven't watched many of the other entries in the franchise, but the expository flashbacks - here's how Shaw didn't really die! - reminded me of Leverage.

Dom driving off the mountain definitely felt like a nosedive.
posted by Pronoiac at 12:11 AM on August 20, 2019

At this point Dom & crew are essentially paid assassins of the deep state. Those poor Russian soldiers guarding the submarine did absolutely nothing wrong and were gunned down by... Roman? Possibly the least murdery person in the entire series. Dom & co's blind allegiance to "family" and their immutable belief in their own inherent goodness make them easy pawns for dark forces.
posted by grumpybear69 at 12:28 PM on April 17, 2020 [1 favorite]

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