Review: The Fate of the Furious Still Feels Fresh And Exciting

The Fast and the Furious franchise has been going on since 2001 and there are no signs of it slowing down. Even though the franchise is now on its eighth movie, the series still manages to feel fresh and exciting. This is mainly because The Fate of the Furious almost feels like a total reboot.

The first four movies of the franchise were strictly about street racing most of the time. Universal Pictures felt the series was starting to get stale so they "rebooted" it into a more action style of movie with 2011's Fast Five. The subsequent movies of Fast & Furious 6 and Furious 7 somewhat followed this trend.

In my opinion though, The Fate of the Furious feels like a second "reboot" as it is much different from all of the other movies that preceded it. What used to be about movies featuring fast cars and robbers is now turned into a series that is about action heroes saving the world.

The new feel of the film works in The Fate of the Furious' favor though because this film's story is unpredictable and exciting throughout. This is mainly due to the movie's main hook of Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) suddenly turning into a bad guy and starts working for the villainous Cipher (played excellently here by Charlize Theron).

Toretto does feel conflicted working for Cipher, although the movie does keep you guessing as to why he's turned into a bad guy. It's worth mentioning the story has some twists and turns and never feels too predictable. You have to have watched the previous films though to understand what is going on. This is because some characters from the past movies do return. Specifically to fully appreciate The Fate of the Furious' story, go back and watch Fast Five, Fast & Furious 6 and Furious 7.

Aside from the story, another reason this movie works so well is the ensemble cast. Vin Diesel is a total badass playing a villain. He reminds me a lot of The Winter Soldier as he appears in sporadic parts to make life hell for his former teammates. As aforementioned, Charlize Theron plays an excellent cold-hearted villain. Not to mention Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham and Kurt Russell are also all great.

The movie is also very exciting from the beginning until the end. The start of the film is a nice throwback to the older movies since it features an old-school street race. From that point onward though, the story kicks in and the incredible action follows. There are so many cool fist fights, shoot-outs and vehicle stunts to see.

The only time the part of the movie drags on for too long is maybe near the climax. The climax of the film does feel overly too long and drawn out. The pace of the film could have been better if they cut a few more minutes off of the climax. That being said though, the movie never gets too boring.

To fully enjoy this movie though, you have to really suspend your disbelief. The stunts and action sequences are unrealistic considering none of these characters have super powers. Not to mention the characters themselves have completely changed in terms of their skill sets. It still feels weird to me that a group of street racers/mechanics are now action heroes trying to prevent World War 3 from starting...

You may not like this film if you preferred the street racing elements. This movie feels more like G.I. Joe or The Expendables in comparison. Sure it's not an official reboot, although the tone and feel of the entire film is just vastly different from what was done prior.

Overall, The Fate of the Furious is a great and enjoyable movie with a surprisingly good story and excellent cast. It may not have the emotional tone of Furious 7 or the amount of humor seen in Fast Five, but in my opinion it's the third best movie of the franchise even though it does not seem like a Fast & Furious film.

Verdict: 4/5 stars

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Universal Pictures