Unless you’re living under a rock, you probably heard there’s a new movie out this weekend called The Fate of the Furious. This is the eighth film in a franchise that… ahem… no one thought had much gas in the tank. After director Justin Lin completely revitalized the franchise with a crazy timeline shift in the fourth film, and certainly once they added the Rock in the fifth, these movies kept getting better and better.
And not to speak ill of the dead, but this franchise is way better off without Paul Walker.
These aren’t good movies, exactly. But they’re tons of fun. They know exactly what they’re doing and rather than apologizing, they lean in. They say “family” every chance they get, and while they might dip their toes in the water of a theme for a scene or two, they don’t let it distract from what you came to see: outrageous, over-the-top, no-holds-barred, physics-defying, logic-confounding action and dialogue.
I hated the first Fast and Furious movie. I openly ridiculed 2 Fast 2 Furious. Everyone laughed at Tokyo Drift. No one paid attention to Fast and Furious. Fast 5 got some buzz, and I saw the last three in the theater. Shooting from the hip, having just walked out of Fate about an hour ago, I would say this is easily my favorite.
I came to recognize that these movies are by far the most fun, diverse and enjoyable major franchise working right now. They have a formula and they work it even better than the Marvel folks do.
If you like these movies, you’ll love Fate of the Furious. If they’re not your cup of tea, are you even human?
Mild Spoilers Beyond this Point
Without further ado, here are the random thoughts I had while watching The Fate of the Furious:
- I was wondering from the trailers what could make Dom betray the #Family. After he hoisted that girl on his shoulder (after winning the race backwards!) and talking babies with Letty, I assume he (somehow) has a kid.
- The Rock’s introduction is not only the greatest intro he’s ever had in a film, it is quit possibly the single greatest introduction to a character in the history of film (barring, of course, the Joker in The Dark Knight). A girls’ soccer team performing Maori Haka and the bleachers full of soccer moms? Hilarious and amazing.
- I could watch Statham and the Rock trash talk all day long.
- Somehow a footchase in a prison break is amazing.
- Rubber bullets. Big mistake.
- Oh, Little Nobody is new Paul Walker.
- #WhiskerBiscuit is my new thing forever.
- Welp. Dom has a son. This is my shocked face.
- The baby doesn’t have a first name? It will obviously be Brian. Oh no, unless it’s Paul. Ugh I’m actually praying for it to be Brian.
- Zombie cars are somehow at once absurd and terrifying. This sequence is incredibly well-done.
- HELEN MIRREN FANCIES A CUPPA AND SHE’S FIRSTY
- Charlize Theron is amazing. Crazy and amazing.
- Really disappointed with how they utilized Elena. She’s a better character and deserved better.
- New Paul Walker > Old Paul Walker times infinity.
- “I am the crocodile at the watering hole.” Woah. She is perfect in this role.
- Saved by a propeller? Letty is tougher than this fight gives her credit for.
- The Rock vs 10 regular-sized humans is still not fair.
- Wow. Owen is back. The twins are back. Everyone is in this movie.
- The Rock throws a torpedo at a truck. Statham kills two dozen people while babysitting. Vin races a missile. It all works because they embrace it.
- Tormund Giantsbane was fun. I wish they hadn’t killed him so he could join the #Family in the next movie or two.
- Everyone is playing nice with Statham now. So much for #JusticeforHan. Maybe he’ll come back to life also?
- Ramsey makes a nice dig at the way the franchise tends to objectify women.
- Yup. The baby is Brian. The hits just keep on coming.
- Oh I guess since Elena died they can be #NuclearFamily with no awkwardness.
- So glad they didn’t kill Charlize. Now she can join the #Family.
- There’s no post-credits scene? But I need a teaser for FAST AND FURIOUS: THE NINE LIVES OF DOMINIC TORETTO!
- #WhiskerBiscuit #NeverForget