Now on its eighth installment, the Fast and Furious franchise seems to have been everywhere and done everything. I mean, how can you top driving between two skyscrapers in Abu Dhabi from Furious 7 or the ridiculous tank jump rescue from Fast & Furious 6? Throw in a nuclear submarine, that’s how! The Fate of the Furious is just as outrageous and over the top as past films, and by this point, audiences know exactly what they’re in for. There’s no limit in sight for what this film family can do.
There’s honestly no need to go over story details because they really don’t matter. The Fast and Furious franchise has never been about the story since the Fast Five anyway. This time Dom (Vin Diesel) has gone rogue and betrayed his family, teaming up with cyber terrorist Cipher (Charlize Theron) to get their hands on some nuclear missiles. In order to stop Cipher and her new partner Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) and the rest of the team must work together with former foe Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham). It’s fast cars, massive explosions, and more action than you can handle.
The Fate of the Furious opens with an awesome race sequence in Havana, Cuba that is reminiscent of the time when the franchise was actually about the cars and not the superhuman stunts. Of course it ends in spectacular fashion with Dom racing towards the finish line in reverse and his engine exploding to give him the edge at the last second before his car flies off the road and into the ocean. From there, the film only gets more ridiculous.
The franchise has become a soap opera. Characters come and go regardless of past actions and plot twists are about as surprising as a vehicle explosion. But like a soap opera, you’re not watching the film for the overall story arc, you’re watching it for what is happening in the moment. You don’t care that Deckard, who just killed Han not even two films ago, is now a member of the team. All that matters is the hilarious banter between him and Hobbs and the wonderful fight scene he has while holding a baby. It’s mindless fun; nothing more and nothing less.
I was curious to see how the Fast and Furious franchise would handle things after the tragic death of Paul Walker, and while there’s no replacing Brian they do play homage to his character. The Fate of the Furious drives home the family aspect the series has always been known for, but now that Walker is gone it seems especially poignant.
With two more films on the horizon, I honestly can’t imagine how much bigger things can get for the franchise. Then again, I never imagined we’d be seeing 10 Fast and Furious films, either. They could take cars to the moon and I’d still watch so long as it’s entertaining. Clearly there’s still plenty of gas left in the tank.