The movie franchise that started as a Point Break homage has now spawned 8 films. How does the latest film in the Fast Franchise stack up? I delve deep to work out where this movie falls in this blockbuster franchise.
Dom Torretto has gone rogue. Or at least that’s what all the promotional material for the newest Fast & Furious Movie would have you believe. He’s turned his back on ‘La Familia’ and joined up with newcomer to the series Charlize Theron and now the whole gang has to team up with both friend and foe to take them both down. Pretty simple plot but the Fast series has never been known for its thought provoking plots and character development, more cars, butts, and Coronas. However that is not entirely the case with this movie. The one thing the movie going public can be promised going in to a Fast Movie is lots of car based action, explosions and insane set pieces. This movie has all those things so if you were worried don’t be, but it feels like this movie is the lightest on all those elements since the series went away from the streets and became a globetrotting pseudo Bond franchise.
This movie, however, tries to give you more character moments as we spend time with Dom and him struggling with his decision to go against his family. The actual reason I won’t spoil here, but just know that Charlize Theron’s character has something on Dom that would push him to this extreme. Theron’s addition to this franchise once again ups its star power and makes this franchise run the odd line of being conceptually ridiculous, yet pulling in some of Hollywood’s biggest names movie after movie. She plays a hacker named Cipher who, shockingly, has a plan to hack everything and take over the world (or something like that it really doesn’t matter). Little backstory is given but it seems she has been tangentially tied to Dom and his crew for a few movies now and finally decides to jump in the fray herself, targeting Dom and kicking off the meat of this movies action. She gives a solid performance in her role and has a real fun time being the bad guy (think her role from Prometheus turned up to 11).
The other performances in this movie are about the same as they have always been. Tyrese cracks one liners, Ludacris gets his ‘I’m a real smart dude’ scene and Rodriguez dances between being in puppy love with Dom and her usual brooding bad girl self. The real standouts here and Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham. These guys need a spin off movie just focused on their characters. The banter between them is quick and at times laugh out loud funny. There is not much left to say about Johnson. He is one of the most charismatic men in Hollywood and everytime he’s on camera he owns it, especially when he is allowed to go back into his pro wrestling roots and cut promos on those sharing a scene with him. with that said the one that stood out most in this movie is Statham. His comic timing has never really been an issue but it is in full force here, as are his terrific action chops. There is a scene in this movie (once again no spoilers) where he gets to show off both and there were moments that had my cinema laughing very loudly, myself included.
There are some faults with this movie. As with all the movies in this franchise the dialogue at times is stilted and wooden and the overall story is so far beyond believable that at times it can take away from your viewing experience. With that said if you forgot to take your brain out of your head before entering the cinema you only have yourself to blame.
This series has been built on over the top action and one off insane action pieces, and this movie is certainly no exception. If you’ve seen all the movie up until this point then it is your sworn duty to complete the set, and if you’re just a fan of action movies in general then this movie is for sure one to check out.
3/5 Dom Toretto speeches about Family
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