The Fate of the Furious is the eighth instalment in the Fast and the Furious franchise. The direction of said franchise, changed lanes to become the box office juggernaut that it is today with its fifth instalment. From there it has been one crazy adventure after another, until Furious 7. That movie not only was Paul Walker’s last movie, but probably the best of the franchise so far. It was crazy, funny, and the biggest heart string pulling thing that the Fast and the Furious franchise had achieved, granting it entrance to the billion dollar club. Not only was the movie good but it had weight that powered everyone to bring their A game and give their best performances. So how do you continue the 10 movie series without one of the main characters in your movie? Simple, let’s get even crazier.
There is no limit to the destruction that the writers for these movies can dream up. Now with hacked cars creating an army, to a submarine with a nuke firing torpedoes so Dwayne the Rock Johnson can push it across a frozen ocean. This movie is more crazy than it has ever been but it does bite off a little more than it can chew. There are just some sequences and instances where I cannot actually believe that our main characters do some of the things they do. Like getting into a firefight against trained military combatants and not getting shot. If they were in vehicles I would have bought it, but they were just walking around. The whole movie acted as this weird bag of mismatched things that were good and bad.
The movie seemed like it was slightly off its game, not really reaching its full potential like it did in Furious 7. All the pieces didn’t fall together, but it still tried really hard. The writers did an admirable job trying to give this movie depth and meaning behind the destruction porn, but it ended up falling short. This in itself was a big missed chance because of how they tried to get the audience to get into it, but the overall tone was to blame for the inconsistency. The movie tonally played like a Marvel Studios movie, the ones from Disney. So many jokes throughout the movie, but unlike the Marvel Studios movies, it couldn’t transition to more serious moments. It is actually more similar to a Marvel movie than it might appear to be from a writing perspective. The continuous streams of jokes that for the most part don’t land very hard, with the added bonus of the failed deeper moments. I do have to give a small clap for the writers trying to give the action substance, but it ended up failing in the long run.
Some redeeming factors of the movie are the more surprising elements that you just didn’t see coming. One sequence in particular really was a treat and I didn’t even know I wanted it. Other than that one sequence that I will not spoil, there wasn’t too much to the movie that was really cool to see. Sure, CGI explosions and jokes are nice but nothing grabbed me. There were a couple of nice throwbacks and new faces that added a nice mix to the movie, but overall I think the franchise needs to drop more people. Too many people make the movie slightly crowded and makes the story lose focus on what's important.
Overall there were a couple editing gripes that I had with the movie and some major lack of enthusiasm for the story. It does deliver some fun action sequences, but nothing truly worth labeling ‘spectacle’. The main missing ingredient is actually Paul Walker which is a shame. I hope that the writers can somehow fill the void in the next two movies, but we will have to wait and see.