Monday, April 17, 2017

Movie Review: The Fate of the Furious

The new twist on the extended series of the Fast and the Furious is to put their leader into the role of a villain. Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) is on his honeymoon with Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) when he meets Cipher (Charlize Theron) who provides a video that makes Dom work for her. Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) is invested in his young daughter's soccer team when the agency requests he takes on a difficult mission of stealing an EMP in Berlin. Hobbs calls up Dom who agrees and the team assembles to pull off the mission but when Dom betrays them, Hobbs end up in a prison cell right next to Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham). 

The rest of the team, Tej (Ludacris), Roman (Tyrese Gibson), Letty, and Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel) are confused as to why Dom betrayed them. Mr. Nobody (Kurt Russell) recruits them to hunt down Dom and Cipher with his trainee Little Nobody (Scott Eastwood). Hobbs and Deckard break out of prison with the help of Mr. Nobody and they all work to hunt down Dom but he shows up at their undisclosed location to steal the God's Eye from the previous film. Cipher operates in a plane that flies through radar systems undetected and hopes to steal nuclear launch codes for power.

The spoiler is that Dom's old relationship with Elena (Elsa Pataky) resulted in a baby boy. Dom has to work for Cipher to protect his child from murder and anytime he tries to fight back, she takes a life, first Elena, and then threatens his son, Brian. Dom has a plan of his own though when he works with Magdalene Shaw (Helen Mirren) in a humorous cameo to recruit her two boys Deckard and Owen (Luke Evans). Cipher is able to take control of all the cars in New York City and cause a typhoon of motor vehicles, allowing Dom to steal the launch codes from the Russian defense secretary. This action scene was the customary over the top style of these films though filled with noticeable special effects.

Letty is especially distraught by the betrayal of her brother and is nearly shot by Cipher's henchman Rhodes (Kristofer Hivju). The team is defeated by Dom's slick driving and he escapes with the launch codes. The final mission Cipher asks of Dom is to take over a nuclear submarine at a Russian base that had been captured by separatists. The team chooses their vehicles and head to the base to catch Dom. Meanwhile, the Shaw brothers, at the behest of their mother, track down Cipher's plan thanks to a tracking device in Dom's cross necklace. In an especially humorous scene, Deckard saves Dom's son from henchmen and earns forgiveness for killing Han in Tokyo Drift.

The final battle on the tundra with a submarine is insane and impractical but pretty fun to watch. Dom has become an unstoppable superhero and his team can pull off absurd stunts like Roman using the door of a Lamborghini to beat up henchmen on snowmobiles. With Dom's child free, he betrays Cipher and kills Rhodes. He tricks a heat-seeking missile into blowing up the submarine. Cipher manages to escape leaving the series open for yet another sequel. They all end up celebrating on the rooftop for another episode as they are feeling somewhat formulaic despite the new twist. 

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