It’s been at least 15 years since we last saw any Fast and Furious movie, so we had no idea that the latest film, The Fate of the Furious, would have very little do with drag racing. Apparently, the series is now about Vin Diesel and his crew hitting up major cities, speeding around in fancy cars, and trying to save the world. This eighth movie continues the trend with Oscar winners Charlize Theron and Helen Mirren joining in on the adventures. Fate goes to some pretty extreme lengths to entertain, and we’ll detail them below. However, we learned no character’s actual names in this film, so apologies in advance.
Also, nonstop spoilers ahead!
The Fate of the Furious begins with Vin Diesel and Michelle Rodriguez on their honeymoon in Cuba. Then Charlize Theron, a cyberterrorist with crazy long blonde dreads, threatens Diesel with something on her phone and then disappears on her secret plane.
Kurt Russell’s secret agent dude interrupts The Rock’s daughter’s soccer game to tell him to do something shady, and then The Rock recruits the rest of Vin’s crew (Tyrese, Ludacris, Missandei from Game of Thrones) to steal something in another country. During their escape, Vin betrays them and steals it for Charlize instead.
The Rock goes to jail for stealing, where he has a shouting match with The Transporter, who The Rock threw in jail in another movie. It is during this brief scene that The Rock says, “I’m going to beat your ass like a Cherokee drum.”
Of course, Kurt Russell stages a prison break where The Transporter and The Rock fight everybody and then each other. Kurt Russell then forces The Rock, Vin Diesel’s wife and crew, and The Transporter to work together to take down Charlize. They bicker amongst themselves while trying to save the day. Charlize terrorizes Vin and forces him to steal and destroy things all over the world, but Vin has a secret plan! When Charlize flies Vin to a fake ice-only city in Russia to steal some missiles, his old crew is there. And Vin recruited some rascals to assist with hijacking Charlize’s secret plane. Some of the most ridiculous action sequences we’ve seen in recent memory take place in this Ice Town, pushing the limits of our suspension of disbelief.
(As much as we love a slow motion walk away from an explosion, coming away from it unscathed is just a lazy lack of attention to detail. If someone is temporarily plunged into ice water, how do he/she emerge from it completely dry? Does the speed at which they are racing away double as a way to dry off? We know nitrogen is a turbo booster for a vehicle, but is it actually enough to launch a car over a mountain and straight into a tank? Also, how are luxury cars supposed to race across ice and away from danger without skidding or hydroplaning? Can Neil deGrasse Tyson please fact check the plausibility of these sequences the same way he fact checks space movies?)
Though Vin Diesel is billed as the star, The Rock just slays from beginning to end. From “We’re not stopping Dom; we’re stopping World World III!” to “I’m going to knock your teeth so far back you’ll be brushing from your asshole,” his delivery is so sincere that I can get over how absurd all those words strung together actually are. I also doubt the cement block he picked up to throw out a window was fake. And at one point, The Rock picks up Clint Eastwood’s son and Hulk-Smashes him into a wall. The man is badass.
Was this movie ridiculous? Yes — ridiculously fun. And if you’re looking to have a high octane joy ride with a bit of heart, this is the movie for you. If you are looking for something crazier, we highly recommend the 1993 Hong Kong action film The Heroic Trio, which screened back at Metrograph here in NYC a few months ago. It’s utterly bonkers but features three female action heroes, lots of babies in danger, and a crazy ghoul/man with supernatural powers. So far, THAT is the most ridiculous movie we’ve seen this year.