FILM REVIEW | The Fate of the Furious

Furiously fast: Tyrese Gibson, Chris 'Ludacris' Bridges, Scott Eastwood, Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson, Nathalie Emmanuel and Michelle Rodriguez in The Fate of the Furious, rated M, in cinemas now.
Furiously fast: Tyrese Gibson, Chris 'Ludacris' Bridges, Scott Eastwood, Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson, Nathalie Emmanuel and Michelle Rodriguez in The Fate of the Furious, rated M, in cinemas now.

It’s happened – the Fast and Furious franchise has reached its peak state of ridiculousness.

If you thought driving cars out of planes with parachutes attached was as over-the-top as the now 16-year-old franchise could go, you were sadly mistaken.

The Fate of the Furious  features a climactic showdown in a secret, icy Russian military base with a submarine, heat-seeking missiles and a nuclear warhead. Not to mention the tank. Driving on the ice.

This film picks up shortly after the events of Furious 7.

Dom (Vin Diesel – franchise appearances: seven) and Letty (Michelle Rodriguez, five appearances) are enjoying their honeymoon in Cuba and considering starting a family.

But, this being a Fast and Furious movie, there is danger in store.

New villain Cipher (Charlize Theron, relishing the chance to be evil) uses secret footage to blackmail Dom into working for her and against his team, his ‘family’.

Dom’s betrayal becomes apparent to his crew during a job in Germany, where he runs FBI agent Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson, four appearances) off the road.

Soon the crew is mustered together by Mr Nobody (Kurt Russell, two appearances) and newcomer Little Nobody (Scott Eastwood) to work with the only other person who has ever tracked Dom down, Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham, three appearances). 

A set-piece which sees Hobbs and Shaw break out of prison is action-packed and joyously fun – director F. Gary Gray plays on Hobbs’ indestructibility and Hulk-like strength more than ever before.

While there is no doubt the film is a lot of brainless fun, The Fate of the Furious eliminates any semblance of believability the series might have had left.

It’s just plain ridiculous, there is no other way to describe what goes on in the film.

The friendship and banter between the fabulously diverse core cast has always been one of the franchise’s most commendable aspects, but even that is at an all-time low here.

With the absence of Brian and Mia (the late Paul Walker and Jordana Brewster) and the killed-off Han and Gisele (Sung Kang and Gal Gadot) some of that spark is sadly lost.