“The Fate of the Furious” slows to a grinding halt

With no end in sight, the “Fast and Furious” franchise’s newest installment, “The Fate of the Furious,” drags its audience through another racing extravaganza turned spy thriller. Like the past “Fast and Furious” films, it checks every single box that every previous movie has done already — boring plots, droll acting and weakly conveyed themes. Even worse, the stunning action visuals and sequences aren’t especially astounding. At its core, the “Fast and Furious” series will always revolve around cars and racing. Although “The Fate of the Furious” may have been an attempt to move away from the previous seven movies into the spy or mystery genre, it was an unsuccessful one.
The “Fast and Furious” films have always been limited by a set of basic filmmaking rules and tropes, leaving a bland viewing experience for their audience. The movies often reuse old villains, running gags and gimmicks. Besides that, the movies offer an easily predictable and rather simplistic storyline that really serves to build anticipation for what the series is known for: cool, action-y cinematography.
“The Fate of the Furious” takes place right after “Furious 7,” in the wake of lead protagonist Paul Walker’s untimely demise. His death — by car collision — was seen as a major setback to plot development because all of the other “Fast and Furious” films relied on the combined development of both his and Vin Diesel’s characters. In light of this news, I expected “The Fate of the Furious” to take a darker, more introspective turn given that the theme of family supposedly plays so heavily in this franchise. Such a creative decision could have arguably turned “The Fate of the Furious” into a much greater movie, but the film played around with the idea of a broken family with little success.
The whole premise of “The Fate of the Furious” lies on the theme of family as Dom Toretto struggles between the betrayal of his “crew” and his mayhem and chaos he causes in order to save his ex-lover and her child. The biggest problem with this story is the intense focus on Dom Toretto. The series can’t really accomplish a substantial commentary on the theme of family, as it is only seen through Dom Toretto’s eyes. Little insight is given into the minds of starring characters like those played by Michelle Rodriguez, Dwayne Johnson or Tyrese Gibson, leaving the audience with a shallow portrayal of the central theme. Of course, at the finale, Vin Diesel has a sudden change of heart and hastily repudiates his betrayal, cleaning up the series for the premise of a ninth movie.
That isn’t to say that the fight scenes and races that contributed to the eye candy of the action in this movie wasn’t stellar this time around. From Havana, Cuba to the icy tundra of Russia (actually filmed in Iceland), the filming and location was pretty impressive. The fact that “The Fast and the Furious” always goes over-the-top with every action scene is always welcome. Most notably, in an intensely visual scene where the villain, Cipher, and lead character, Dom Toretto, rob nuclear launch codes from a Russian diplomat in New York, dozens of cars are “hacked” and remotely driven off the roof of a parking complex to rain down on a Russian diplomat’s convoy.
“The Fate of the Furious” won’t be a memorable film even if some parts of it were entertaining. The movie just did not break any expectations or leave any lasting memories. The plot remained lazy, and the action is still the only focal point of the movie. If there’s any advice to give before watching this movie, prepare for a relaxing nap with some interruptions for the car races and shooting.

Posted by Winston Lee

After a free and naive freshman year, Winston is pumped for a new and year as a Features writer. In addition to playing sophomore year at "Legendary" difficulty, Winston enjoys dragon boating and playing Minecraft with his bros. Academically, Winston is a huge history buff and wins every Quizup game that involves history.

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