The Dallas Movie Screening Group

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Friday, April 14, 2017

The Fate of the Furious

Preposterous, Inane, Ridiculous, Far-fetched and Goofy are just a few of the adjectives that describe “Fate of the Furious,” the eighth entry (Eegads!) into the road racing movie series that has actually gotten better with age. I really did not care for the first four entries in the series because they had no substantial plots, twists or storylines.

They went in to as far as to trick viewers into making the fourth chapter “Fast and Furious,” since they took out the thes! That is the dumbest way of misleading viewers to return to a franchise that was near death to ending its over welcome stay in the industry. Sorry, but to me they were run-of-the mill stories with no real intrigue.

I did not start caring until the fifth chapter in the saga wherein they brought the credible Dwayne Johnson into the mix. He has presence, and I think that goes back to his days as Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, an alter ego who made faces by just shifting his eyes and stupid she grins.

Gone are the street racing days of Paul Walker and Vin Diesel since those times have led to a modern day heist cops and robbers franchise. To me, the only real car in the early entries was the car Dom (Vin Diesel) drove, a 1960s Dodge-era Super Sport.

Going back to “Fate,” this is the first chapter without Paul Walker involved in the story arch. Instead, we are treated to a corrupt and evil Charlize Theron pulling the strings to get the aforementioned Diesel’s Dominc Toretto to essentially turn on his extended family.
For some unknown reason, her character Cipher has weird blonde locks that are very reminiscent of Angelina Jolie’s character in 2000’s update of “Gone in 60 Seconds.”

Also cool in this chapter is the presence is Oscar-winner Helen Mirren (“The Queen, “RED”) as the mother of brotherly villains Deckard (Jason Statham) and Owen (Luke Evans). She, like Theron breathes a much needed breathe of fresh air into this once faltering franchise.
Returning as well are Kurt Russell as Mr. Nobody and the aforementioned Johnson. New to the mix is Scott Eastwood’s (“Suicide Squad”) Little Nobody, a higher up suit who works for Russell.

The storyline here is the hijinks of a Russian submarine, the God’s Eye (a plot device from the seventh chapter) and a forgotten lover, Elena (Elsa Pataky) from a previous chapter.

The reins on this entry were handled by F. Gary Gray, who previously worked with Theron on 2003’s update of “The Italian Job.” I liked that one, giving it a B- when it originally came out.

“Fate,” like Diesel’s return as Xander Cage in “xXX: The Return of Xander Cage,” is a complete mess of over-the-top action scenarios involving illogical situations and ridiculous outcomes. It is, however just fun to watch on the big screen
I hate to say it and admit it, but this chapter delivers the goods big time. It is just so far-fetched and ludicrous that one will be entertained regardless and leave the theatre smiling.

Grade: B-
(Review by Ricky Miller)

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