The Fate of the Furious is the franchise’s eighth film. Like the rest, it’s pure formula and finds the group at odds with their leader Dom, who — via personal threats that will remain undisclosed — goes to the dark side. He teams with Cipher, a villain who is out to — oh, what a surprise — control the world by stealing nuclear secrets.
Unable to fathom why Dom would sell out his “family,” Hobbs, Letty and Dom’s friends team again with Mr. Nobody to figure it what happened to Dom and to stop Cipher’s madness.
The Fate of the Furious teams Vin Diesel with Dwayne Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris and Jason Statham. Kurt Russell redoes Mr. Nobody and we are introduced to Scott Lockwood’s Little Nobody. He — and we — are forced to endure a couple of bad jokes that point fingers at Lockwood’s famous dad, Clint.
Charlize Theron does Cipher and we’re treated to an all-too-short cameo by Helen Mirren.
It’s impossible not to get revved up by the almost nonstop action. Add to that Theron, who is a terrific villain. She’s cold and hard, and sells the character with a flat, monotone delivery that fits Diesel like a glove. He’s grown very rich and very successful doing monotone.
But acting isn’t why we love this series. Diesel’s style nicely offsets Johnson, who shouts everything. They lead the rest of the cast, who have little to do but toss off disjointed and equally monotone lines here and there.
Straight Outta Compton’s F. Gary Gray directs a script written by Chris Morgan, who’s written the majority of the Fast and Furious flicks. Familiarity — yours and his — with the characters helps sell Morgan’s ripoff of an idea that is a better fit for James Bond or Mission: Impossible than a bunch of aging hot-rodders.
Gray’s unfamiliarity with effects shows in some pretty cheesy and very obvious, miniature toy car crash scenes. Cheesy, yes. But also fun. Fans aren’t surprised at that. It’s the formula, and it works. In fact, all that’s changed since 2001’s The Fast and the Furious is the injection of more humor, the untimely death of Paul Walker and a run time that grows longer with each movie.
Movie name: The Fate of the Furious
Director:F. Gary Gray — Straight Outta Compton
Stars: Stars: Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris, Jason Statham, Kurt Russell, Nathalie Emmanuel, Scott Eastwood, Charlize Theron, Kristofer Hivju, Helen Mirren
Mr. Movie rating: 4 stars
Rated PG-13 for mature themes and violence. It’s playing at Regal’s Columbia Center 8, the AMC Kennewick 12, the Fairchild Cinemas Pasco and Queensgate 12s and at Walla Walla Grand Cinemas.
5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen.
4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it’s your type of movie.
3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on DVD.
2 stars to 1 star: Don’t bother.
0 stars: Speaks for itself.