Vin Diesel goes from Christ-like figure (his "let the children come to me" moment happens before the title card) to traitorous Judas in this semi-overwrought, patently ludicrous sequel. The onscreen pairing of a never-better Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham helps "Fate" put some gas in the tank, with Statham in particular allowed to be more charming and lethal here than he was in any given "Expendables" flick.
Perhaps the series should have finished with the previous entry that seemed to wrap things up quite nicely...but then we would have missed out on a devilish turn by Charlize Theron which is the main reason to see this one. Otherwise this is a pretty routine entry in the long running franchise that seems to think bigger and louder is always better.
I once wrote in my FAST FIVE review (still the only anomaly masterpiece the franchise produced up until now) that somewhere in Hollywood, Mark Wahlberg is pissed off because someone stole his Brazilian Job pitch. Well, he should be even more pissed now that they stole his director, and the results were turned out to be a giant fun. The NY scene in particular reminds me of that brilliant ITALIAN JOB heist.
That a series so proudly, artlessly idiotic continues to rake in so much money is perhaps only fitting in this bona-fide idiocracy. As blatantly sexist as ever, too, yet I doubt we'll see any Vice articles about it; no points for picking at something that isn't even trying.
This was an action packed thrill ride with some genuinely funny moments and plenty of wtf moments but in all in all this a solid film excels at entertaining the audience. In my opinion this is the best of the series but it kind of lacks some of the heart the other films had. But Charlize Theron is deliciously evil here showcasing her excellent acting abilities and I look forward to the next two entries.
After Furious 7 perfectly wrapped up everything the Fast & Furious franchise was initially about and came to be about so well, it was disheartening for me, a casual fan, to know they would make more sequels. The Fate of the Furious is a bit reassuring, offering the same dose of incredulous action with frequent pathos concerning brotherhood and loyalty in an installment where it feels like real stakes do exist.
If Fast Five was the franchise's Bad Boys II, Fate of the Furious is Transformers II: it make the series as bad, incoherent, contrived and lifeless as its detractors make it out to be, casting aside characters and directing. F. Gary Gray only set out to make a dumb action flick, but these movies deserve better.
Diesel's oily-mits seem to leaving finger-marks all over my nice chassis; F8 stakes an emotional investment in the Charmless Giant's talents which don't pay off. Combined with a director talentless in action, misguided villain circa 1998, an over-reliance on bad CGI. Then again, the prison break.