by Langdon Kessner ‘17
Arts and Life Editor
What is there to say, really? This the eighth film in this franchise. Eighth. They made eight films from what originally began as a street racing B-movie. In the last movie, Furious 7 (2015), the film depicted a car driving off of a skyscraper and into another one. In The Fate of the Furious (2017), cars can take down a submarine.Two more sequels are already planned, but what else is there to do? All that’s left is outer space and time travel.
Then again, there is no point complaining either. People know what they are getting into when they purchase a ticket. In other words, the audience is established after eight films. No one walks into these movies expecting a smart plot, decent acting or any sort respect for the laws of physics.
The plot revolves around Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) being swayed by a mysterious hacker (Charlize Theron) and, therefore betraying his team. I could go further, but why bother? The story doesn’t make any sense, and not many people who see this movie care about it either. Why have story structure or character development when cars are falling off the buildings of New York City?
That being said, I did enjoy the movie overall. It has all the ridiculously over-the-top stunts necessary for this sort of film. One of the high points of this franchise has always been the cast, and they’re quite good here too. Vin Diesel is, well, Vin Diesel, so make of that what you will. Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham have great chemistry together and a very fun prison break sequence. The rest of the cast, such as Tyrese Gibson and Ludacris, do an admirable job of hitting their marks too, showcasing a nice rapport.
As the villain, Charlize Theron is in a rather thankless role. All she really does is stand behind a computer that can only work for so long. The same applies to Kurt Russell, who reprises his role as a government agent from Furious 7 (2015). Why they hire these immensely talented actors and give all their good bits to Vin Diesel is beyond me. The movie makes a fun time and satisfies the craving for big action spectacles. For that, an achievement not many movies can claim, I tip my hat.
Let’s return to the main problem about the movie: it is just unnecessary–entertaining, sure, but unnecessary. What did I get out of this film that I didn’t get in Furious 7 (2015)? Or Fast and Furious 6 (2013)? Or Fast Five (2011)? The latest installment doesn’t really bring anything new to the table. The whole movie trudges along with a feeling of “Been there, done that.”