THE FATE OF THE FURIOUS (2017) – My rating: 9/10

I honestly don’t know how they do it.  After seven Fast and Furious movies, they managed to make an eighth one even better than the others.  Dom turns bad?  Now there’s an interesting concept — the main character not only turns bad, he turns his back on the love of his life and the team he calls “family”.  That’s enough, if you’re a follower of the series, to hurry to your local theater and purchase a ticket to see it for yourself.

Director, F. Gary Gray has tied every scene together, giving every character a purpose.  Known for speed, excitement and fast and furious cars, this eighth installment is actually bigger, faster and features a barrage of fast, beautiful, slickly designed cars that would cause the likes of Mario Andretti to blush with envy.  So far The Fate of the Furious has grossed $690 million worldwide, making it the second highest-grossing film of 2017.  An untitled sequel is scheduled to be released on April 19, 2019.

The film opens with Dominic “Dom” Toretto (Vin Diesel) and Letty Ortiz (Michell Rodriguez) on their honeymoon in Havana.  Dom gets involved with his cousin’s spat at an auto show and is challenged to a street race by a local racer named Fernando (Janmarco Santiago). This turns out to be one of the most spectacular races I’ve seen because Dom is using his cousin’s beaten up, ancient, piece of car to race in.  I can only say by the end of the race, even I had new respect for Dom’s driving skills.   The next day, Dom encounters elusive cyber-terrorist Cipher (Charlize Theron), who appears to be a damsel in distress.  He tries to give her a hand with her car but her conversation lets him know that she knows him and is not very friendly.  She shows him a device right after telling him that he will now be working for her.  Cipher leaves after giving Dom full instructions as he fully accepts his new role.

SOME SPOILERS BELOW!

Dom and Letty along with team members Roman Pearce (Tyrese Gibson), Tej Parker (Chris ‘Ludacris’ Bridges) and Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel), are recruited by Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) agent Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) to help him retrieve an EMP device from a military outpost in Berlin. During the getaway, Dom goes rogue, forcing Hobbs off the road and stealing the device for Cipher. Hobbs is arrested and locked up in the same high-security prison where he helped imprisoned Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham). After escaping, both are recruited by intelligence operative Mr. Nobody (Kurk Russell) and his protégé, Little Nobody (Scott Eastwood), to help the team find Dom and capture Cipher.  FYI:  Helen Mirren makes an uncredited cameo appearance as Magdalene Shaw, the mother of Deckard and Owen Shaw.

The whole cast moves to Russia where a long chase, war and shoot out takes place among the teams, which includes the Russians.  Here, there is a lot going on and the fate of the world, the movie and the plot depends on the outcome.  This lengthy scene was a bit much and a little hard to follow because it was easy to lose track of who was who.  The environment was extremely cold and the fight was cumbersome.  This may have shaved a few points off of an otherwise exciting thriller movie.  Charlize will blow your mind — you will probably want to blow hers right out of her head.  I highly recommend The Fate of the Furious. If you’re looking for a thriller, you’ve come to the right movie!

 

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