Fate of the Furious

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The newest installment of The Fast and the Furious franchise, entitled The Fate of the Furious, is the eighth addition in the series’ sixteen-year run.

Opening with a cast of familiar characters, the film begins with Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and Letty Ortiz’s (Michelle Rodriguez) honeymoon in Havana, Cuba. However, it is cut short by the introduction of a powerful hacker-villain named Cipher (Charlize Theron), who recruits Dom to collect nuclear weapons, turning himself against his own team in the process. The movie raises question after question as plot twists keep watchers on the edge of their seats. For one, what does Cypher have on Dom that makes him betray his family? This is exactly what his perplexed team—Letty Ortiz, Luke Hobbs (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson), Roman Pearce (Tyrese Gibson), Tej (Chris “Ludacris” Bridges), and Megan Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel)—strives to solve as they travel to New York City and Russia.

The Fate of the Furious amps up its props and special effects, outdoing itself each time as the movie progresses. Not only do cars literally rain from the sky, but the team later has a speed chase on ice while a massive submarine is inches off their tires. In addition, the cars range from a bright orange showcase Lamborghini, which cruises (and miserably skids) on the ice, to an army tank.

Though it is difficult to fit humor between all of this action, viewers will nonetheless find themselves laughing at the witty lines and antics throughout the film. Roman and Tej are, as usual, a large part of the movie’s humor, with their constant competition over everything from cars to women (Ramsey, in particular). The characters add a lighthearted mood to such an action-packed movie.

Although the plot seems reasonable in the context of the movie itself, fans of the franchise may leave with many unanswered questions. The numerous plot twists were enough to explain the story behind this film, but it was difficult at times to line the events of the movie up with those of its predecessors. Moreover, there was a plethora of new characters, including Cipher and her gang and a special cameo by Helen Mirren, which felt a bit unrelated to previous movies and more like they were thrown into the franchise without a clear explanation. As a whole, though, the plot was enjoyable, with the downside of moments where the storyline felt forced.

The biggest difference between this film and its predecessors in the absence of Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker), with only a handful of references to his absence. The first was when Dom initially went rogue, causing Roman to sigh and say, “Brian would know what to do,” but quickly be shut down by Letty, who exclaims that they would not drag him and Mia into this world. His presence did not go unnoticed, as no one can truly replace his charismatic persona and the way he and Dom interacted, the perfect duo who balanced each other’s good and bad nature. While the movie did a great job shaping a new direction for the franchise, bringing in crazier plot lines and stunts, nothing will replace Brian.

Overall, the film satisfied all of a fan’s needs: mindblowing stunts, crazy plot twists, and amazing cars. Was it fast? Yes. Was it furious? Even more so.

The Fate of The Furious will be showing in select theaters on April 13 and will be showing everywhere on April 14.

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