Fate of Franchise Hangs in the Balance in Latest Film

By TOM MOORE
On April 19, 2017

Photo courtesy of Gage Skidmore, Wikipedia

Straying far from the original premise of the fast-paced life of street racing, “The Fate of the Furious” uses ridiculous action sequences, literally unstoppable protagonists and comical characters to make a dumb yet enjoyable film.

“The Fate of the Furious” brings back the iconic crew from the previous films to deal with a new enemy that threatens to destroy the characters’ family as well as the world. When Dom (Vin Diesel) goes rogue and begins to help a terrorist hacker named Cipher (Charlize Theron), a mysterious government agent named Mr. Nobody (Kurt Russell) gathers the rest of Dom’s crew to bring him back to their side and stop Cipher from inciting World War III.

So while “The Fate of the Furious” definitely follows the previous films’ trend of becoming crazy action films overlooking the world of street racing, the film’s opening will make fans of the original “Fast and Furious” feel thrilled and get audiences’ hearts pumping. However, from here the rest of the film begins to feel like any other action movie put on steroids. Each action scene feels like it is constantly trying to one-up the previous scene with more explosions, senseless and mind-numbing fighting and buffed-out characters that would make WWE wrestling feel like slap fighting.

The crew is pretty much the same as they have been in the rest of the films: tough but goofy and comical. Tyrese Gibson’s character, Roman, has the demeanor that is even referenced in the film of a walking 12-year-old. Everyone else, though, is decently enjoyable throughout, but the characters are often given the qualities of typical action heroes. With ridiculous lines that mostly feel like quips, solving problems with their fists first and toting any heavy artillery that Mr. Nobody allows them to have, most of the characters in “The Fate of the Furious” feel like they were easily created in the image of a Stallone or Schwarzenegger role.

Theron’s Cipher is actually a character that many viewers will find fun, evil and intelligent. Theron’s performance makes her character stand apart from the rest of the cast, and audiences will feel that Cipher has made her cruel and villainous mark on the series. Her incredible hacking skills also offer up some fresh action and make her quite the formidable foe.

Even though Cipher seems like she would clearly have the advantage against Dom and his crew, audiences will quickly realize that the film’s protagonists are immortal. Dom and his crew constantly survive literally impossible odds and will walk away from accidents like explosions, getting shot, falling out of their speeding cars and even going toe-to-toe with trained soldiers without a scratch. Special Agent Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) is especially showing of this when he gets shot by multiple rubber bullets and is seemingly unfazed. Thus, he is unstoppable to anyone in front of him and begins to literally throw people across the room like he is Superman.

So even with “The Fate of the Furious” having characters and action sequences that feel ridiculous and odd, the film is still fun for both long-time fans and average moviegoers. “The Fate of the Furious” is filled with fun and memorable references from the previous films that longtime fans will love and heart-pounding action that audiences will enjoy.

tmoore3@ramapo.edu

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