I have been a fan of the Fast & Furious since the first movie. Customised fast rides and hot guys how could I not fall in love? Eight movies later, this franchise hasn’t lost its magnetism. If anything, it’s gone full throttle on every aspect – the stunts, the cars, the storytelling and the casting. For me, The Fate of the Furious is the best one yet.
Hats off to screenwriter and executive producer Chris Morgan for upping the ante to mind-blowing levels. He has evolved the storyline. No longer is it just about drag races and the criminal underbelly of that world. Now it’s about a more slick, organised crime-fighting unit with specialised skills behind the wheel.
The movie opens with Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) going up against a rival, who challenges him to race the Cuban mile. Of course, he does a few necessary modifications to his rundown car.
I don’t need to tell you how the race ends, although the view at the start (I’m talking about the bootylicious flag girl) will go down well with the guys (one of whom is in my office and couldn’t stop raving about it).
Just as he gets back into enjoying his honeymoon with Letty (Rodriguez), Dominic crosses paths with Cipher, a cyber terrorist and criminal mastermind. After their encounter, he is forced to make a decision – go rogue on “his family”. Since he is the alpha in the group, this becomes a game changer in the narrative.
However, everything becomes clearer as the storyline gains traction and Dominic’s conflict about his Catch-22 situation is exposed.
Thanks to the intervention of Mr Nobody (Russell) and his green sidekick Eric Reisner (Scott Eastwood), Luke Hobbs (Johnson) is forced to rally the team together and partner with Deckard Shaw (Statham).
What follows is a tsunami of action scenes involving dodging cars and artful deception.
This season, Roman Pearce (Tyrese Gibson) and Tej Parker (played by Chris Bridges aka Ludacris) seem to be downgraded to providing comic relief, but he also gets to share in parts of the action.
Most of the scenes are dominated by Dominic and Cipher, with a serious battle-of-the-brawn showdown between Luke and Deckard, who trade insults with serious gusto.
It was good to see a South African actress land another heavyweight role and pull it off with such aplomb. Charlize Theron clearly has a knack for playing Machiavellian characters with gravitas, as she proved in Snow White and the Huntsman and The Huntsman: Winters War.
Aside from the cat-and-mouse chases intensifying with the storytelling, petrol heads are going to be in utopia when they get a peek at the customised wheels in the movie.
And don’t even get me started on the stupendously orchestrated action scenes where they take hacking to insane levels of mayhem on the streets of New York.
Sadly, Eastwood does seem a little out of his element in this testosterone-charged atmosphere – he has a lot of muscle to compete with.
I don’t want to give too much away, but I will say that a doe-eyed, gurgling little face steals the show while Paul Walker gets to “live on” in the franchise