THE FATE OF THE FURIOUS. Directed by Gary Gray, with Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Charlize Theron, Jason Statham, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris and Kurt Russel

THERESA SMITH reviews

Fanciful and farfetched, this latest instalment of “what are Vin Diesel’s pecs up to” mines the nostalgia of Paul Walker’s passing. Again.

That’s not to say everyone else doesn’t get up to a lot of hijinks involving fast cars and… well, little else… But, the cars are certainly pretty, so there is that. Plus car crashes in slow mo are always entertaining.

Everyone Domenic Toretto (Diesel) has gathered in his wake over the past seven movies are back for this eighth instalment, including some of the bad guys. After all, our fave street racer turned criminal has a habit of charming enemies into friends. Point in case would be agent Hobbs (Johnson), but if for some reason you had not picked up on this trait, it is enforced with a heavy hand in the opening sequence which takes place in Cuba.

The beautiful hotrods dating back to 50s and 60s are shiny and Havana looks picture postcard beautiful, as do all of the places the crew soon find themselves travelling to.

The basic storyline is that Dom gets drawn into the nefarious schemes of a mysterious terrorist (Charlize Theron in long braids) and his friends try to figure out how to stop him.

The plot relies heavily on Dom’s teammates being in the dark, so saying too much about what happens rather spoils the fun. Don’t go in expecting major character development (despite some interesting and usually rather good actors like Helen Mirren popping up unexpectedly), or any deep insight into the psyche of man.

Fate of the furious Vin Diesel
Over-the-top, adrenaline-fuelled action

The Fast and Furiousa

Theron’s Cypher character starts off spouting some pseudo intellectual axioms, but doesn’t take that anywhere, so her role remains aptly named. Before you say ‘but it is an action movie, so don’t expect deep musings about the nature of mankind’ – just remember Theron’s Furiousa role in Mad Max Fury Road. It can be done.

As the film revs along and more is revealed, plot holes start popping up but as long as you just shrug them off, this is a highly entertaining ride as always. This particular film series jumped the shark several movies back, and they are running out of potential stunts their cars can credibly pull off – but they still give it the old heave-ho.

As always the banter between Roman (Gibson) and Tej Parker (Ludacris) provides the funny, Hobbs gets an excuse to painfully body-slam several people to the floor, and Letty comes up with a clever bit of mechanical know-how to save the day.

The cast’s chemistry continues to save the film, and who wouldn’t want friends who would risk their lives (and expensive cars) to save yours? The over-the-top, adrenaline fuelled action is the bonus that makes the film worth watching on the big screen.

What: The Fate of the Furious
Classification: 10-12 PG LV
Running time: 136 mins
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