"The Fate of the Furious" is the eighth installment in this high-octane franchise. The last three films have proven to be among the best in the series.
So where does this one stack up? Well, it has the typical ridiculous, over-the-top action we’ve come to expect, but I think this time the term overkill might be understatement.
We pick up after the events of "Furious 7" and Vin Diesel’s Dom and his team are once again on a job that will involve fast cars and leaving plenty of mayhem in their wake. The only difference this time is that their brother Brian (the late Paul Walker) has retired to raise a family.
Nevertheless, that doesn’t stop these guys, who include returning regulars Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson as enforcer Hobbs; Michelle Rodriguez as Letty, Dom’s wife; Tyrese Gibson as the wise-cracking Roman; Rapper-actor Chris "Ludacris" Bridges as tech-savvy Tej; and Natalie Emmanuel as Ramsey, a computer hacker.
At the beginning, they’re blowing things up real good in Berlin until Dom turns on his own team and joins forces with a cyber-terrorist known as Cipher (Charlize Theron). She has some dirt on him that forces Dom to compromise his principles and challenge the one thing he loves most: Family.
The Rock ends up in prison as a result and becomes reacquainted with Jason Statham’s Deckard Shaw. Together the two of them attempt an elaborate escape and then they’re forced to work together thanks to Mr. Nobody (Kurt Russell).
The team tries to stop Dom at all costs which pretty much sets up a series of incredibly sensational, yet unbelievable, action sequences that once again defy logic and physics. A New York chase has hundreds if not thousands of cars obliterated that truly dwarfs any kind of demolition derby. Another sequence involves Statham’s character protecting a baby on a plane in Russia with some truly hilarious results. That same scene also takes place during the climax while the team is gaining on Dom in icy conditions and of course, there’s a huge submarine in their path. I won’t give away any more details. Let’s just say some of the stuff is so preposterous it would’ve killed either Superman or the Avengers.
Is it fun? Sure. Will it entertain you enough on a Friday night? Absolutely. However, and I can’t believe I’m saying this about a "Fast and Furious" movie, when it comes to the next one, I think they should dial down some with the action.
The good news? We get the same old, same old. The bad news? See good news.
Rated PG-13 for prolonged sequences of violence and destruction, suggestive content, and language.
This review is dedicated to the memory of Murray Odum.
Hall is a syndicated columnist in South Georgia.