Friday, April 14, 2017
The Fate of the Furious
As the first studio film shot in Cuba, the movie opens with an exhilarating car chase on the scenic streets of Havana, where Dom (Vin Diesel) is taking a honeymoon with Letty (Michelle Rodriguez). But Dom is also under surveillance by a poised and capable hacker Cipher (Charlize Theron) who blackmails him into becoming an accomplice against Dom's gang, or the "family" as he calls it.
The ambitious Cipher isn't a small time terrorist. She wants to use Dom's extraordinary talent to acquire nuclear weapons, which she plans to use. A government official Mr. Nobody (Kurt Russell) and his assistant (Scott Eastwood) recruit muscle men Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) and Deckard (Jason Statham), who have been holding grudges toward Dom and each other, to join Dom's crew in defeating Cipher's evil plan.
Let the fun begin.
Given the jaw-dropping level of action sequences involving cars, trains, tanks, and airplanes in the previous Fast and Furious franchise films, the bar is exceptionally high for this new installment. You wonder what kind of new spectacles the director F. Gary Gray might be able to deliver. It turns out there are plenty.
F. Gary Gray surely doesn't disappoint. Even when you think you have seen enough flying cars in previous films of this franchise, he came up something that is ingenious, hilarious, and awe-striking such as turning cars into zombies. You will chuckle with both the silliness and cleverness of many scenes in the film. When cars and tanks are not enough for him, he deploys a submarine. Despite how inconceivable it sounds, he makes it look fun and as credible as another car chase on the streets.
No one is expecting the actions in this film to pass a reality test, and probably no one cares about such a test either. In fact, you feel content to be able to escape the depressing reality and prefer to be in the middle of a chaotic war zone where the heroines actually fight the Russians. The film is made to entertain its fans and to gain new followers. You cheer when huge fireballs go off one after another; you gasp when cars run through busy sidewalks; and you giggle when the characters throw one liners at each other between their fast moves within split seconds. (How could you forget that insulting line involving teeth and toothbrush?)
In the end, if you feel reluctant to leave the party when the credits start to roll, you will be glad to know that the 9th and 10th installments are already in the works and they are scheduled to be released in 2019 and 2021 respectively.