THE FATE OF THE FURIOUS Review
By Victoria Alexander, Film Critic
Las Vegas Informer
A howler of a mess. “Scowling face” hasn’t masqueraded touchy-feely homoerotic subtext since FAST AND THE FURIOUS 2.
The characters have all become comic book superheroes and the villainess is richer than all the oligarchs combined!
The love-hate, enemies then friends then enemies then forced friends again brings Dom (Vin Diesel) out of Cuba to team up with DSS Agent Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson). Did you know that it is always “Spring Break” time in Havana? Dom was enjoying a honeymoon with his new wife Letty (Michelle Rodriguez). So once again Mr. Nobody (Kurt Russell) brings the band together for another farewell tour: Roman (Tyrese Gibson), Tej Parker (Chris “Ludicris” Bridges), and Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel).
Mr. Nobody and his new flunky Little Nobody (Scott Eastwood) want the Furious Team to find Cipher (Charlize Theron), a master criminal schooled by SPECTRE. Cipher lives aboard a custom-built airplane staffed with a small crew who can essentially do anything because they are computer geniuses. They can control every automobile in the United States! Cipher can know what you are dreaming when you are asleep.
“Scowling face” hasn’t masqueraded touchy-feely homoerotic subtext since FAST AND THE FURIOUS 2.
Cipher’s lieutenant is the very capable Rhodes (Kristofer Hivju), a man who loves his job. Stalking Dom in Havana, Cipher blackmails Dom into going along with Mr. Nobody, get the nuke codes and then go “rogue.” Like all master criminals, she wants complete world domination. But she has a philosophical take on world domination. Its all “game” theory with a dash of quantum entanglement to smooth out the rough edges. She’ll begin with global nuke attacks. But first she needs Dom to get the suitcase of codes. Before Dom can get that done, he gets thrown into jail – the very jail holding arch-enemy Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham). Dom and Deckard flirt with each other by promising to kick each other’s ass but we know they just want to fight because the lovemaking afterwards is always so good.
A couple of nuke attacks are fine, but Cipher will not let Dom free from her service until he gets the nukes on an unguarded Russian submarine. Cipher can remote control the submarine from her airplane’s lounge.
If this sounds like a James Bond plot, it is more Avengers. The Furious Team have become superheroes. Dom and Hobbs hurl men around like rag dolls. Hobbs rages like The Hulk.
You want fast cars? I am sure there is someone who will count the number of cars – real and digital – that are destroyed. New York City becomes rubble when cars are blown up remotely by Cipher. Of course there is a car chase in New York City. Luckily every taxicab and UBER is off the streets but women with baby carriages are always in the way and not looking left then right.
Vin and Dwayne are either over-pumped up or getting fat. Eastwood’s thankless role has him being roughed up and pulled up by his neck. He is called demeaning names by Mr. Nobody. But then, out from under Mr. Nobody, he toughens up. Will he joining Dom’s team as comic relief or go blond to fill in the hunk role?
Only Theron remains unscathed by THE FATE OF THE FURIOUS. She’s all in and acts. (Apparently Charlene’s agent did not tell her acting was not essential.)
The script is by Chris Morgan and Gary Scott Thompson. Directed by F. Gary Gray, it is the eighth installment of the franchise. For the ninth, how about getting back to drama and a gritty heist? The guys are getting older and the template has gone stale.
Member of Las Vegas Film Critics Society: www.lvfcs.org/.
Victoria Alexander lives in Las Vegas, Nevada and answers every email at email@example.com.