Directed by: F. Gary Gray
Written by: Chris Morgan, Gary Scott Thompson
Cast: Vin Diesel, Jason Statham, Dwayne Johnson, Charlize Theron
The latest installment in “The Fast and the Furious” franchise races into theaters this weekend. Although there was definitely a part missing (R.I.P. Paul Walker), The Fate of the Furious was an excellent continuation of the storyline. Featuring an exciting street race through Havana, a giant wrecking ball, a prison riot, a zombie car-apocalypse, a giant submarine, and the most philosophical villain I’ve met in a long time, The Fate of the Furious was a fast-paced, funny, emotional ride.
Dom (Diesel) and Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) are on their honeymoon in Cuba. While there, Dom’s cousin Fernando (Janmarco Santiago) gets in a bit of trouble with Raldo (Celestino Cornielle), a high-ranking street-racer in Cuba, resulting in a race for pink slips between Dom (in his cousin’s falling-apart car) and Raldo (in his fancy ride). Shortly after this bit of adventure, Dom runs into a mysterious woman on the street, Cipher (Theron) who basically blackmails him into working with her.
Around the same time as the happenings in Cuba, Luke Hobbs (Johnson) is coaching his daughter’s soccer team. He leads the soccer team in some weird, islandy dance meant to intimidate the other team. It works. During the game, Luke is visited by his boss who strongly encourages him to lead a mission in Germany to obtain an EMP machine. Luke gathers the team together and they acquire the EMP machine. Here is where the giant wrecking ball comes in, during their daring escape. Unfortunately, this is where Dom betrays his family by taking the EMP machine to Cipher, leaving Luke to take the fall for the rest of the team.
Since Luke was abandoned by Dom, he is fingered for the crime and put in jail. Guess who is in the next cell? His “old friend” Deckard Shaw (Statham). Shortly after Luke is settled into his cell, an exciting prison riot ensues, and Luke and Deckard manage to escape. Not to anyone’s surprise, the whole event was orchestrated by Mr. Nobody (Kurt Russell) and his new partner/trainee they call Little Mr. Nobody (Scott Eastwood). Mr. Nobody gathers the team together, comprised of Luke, Letty, Roman (Tyrese Gibson), Tej (Ludacris), and Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel), to try to make sense of what the heck Dom is doing. Also reluctantly joining the team is Deckard.
The team discovers that Cipher, Dom, and Cipher’s crew, including Rhodes (Kristofer Hivju), another member of the Game of Thrones cast, are heading to New York City. This is where the zombie car-apocalypse happens. Cipher’s crew hacks into all of the cars on the streets of Manhattan and they are driving themselves everywhere. It was a bit scary to be honest. The cars trap the visiting Russian Minister of Defense (Olek Krupa) in his limo, where Dom acquires nuclear codes. So now, Cipher and her crew have an EMP machine and nuclear codes, Russia is not happy about this incident on US soil, and now Luke and company have to travel to Russia to stop Cipher, Dom, and the rest from hijacking a nuclear submarine and starting World War III!
The Fate of the Furious was thrilling, it was fun, and I really enjoyed it. One of the standout performances in this movie was from Jason Statham. I was very impressed by his character arc. He showed a new side to Deckard Shaw. I also enjoyed the banter between Roman and Little Mr. Nobody. Also vital to the story, but only appearing briefly in the film, was Helen Mirren, who was fantastic in her role.
Overall, the eights movie in “The Fast and the Furious” series was a solid continuation of this amazing franchise. If you are a fan of the movies you will not be disappointed!