Dearest Blog: After a two-week hiatus, yesterday it was off to Marquee Cinemas to watch some of my favorite folks drive fast cars, shoot big guns, and blow stuff up in the Fate of the Furious.
Spoiler level here will be mild, nothing you wouldn't know from the trailers.
This being the eighth installment in the Fast and Furious franchise, one has to ask: Did they miss an opportunity in not writing it "The F8 of the Furious?" Because I don't see it like that on any of the marketing (despite the official hashtag being #F8) and it's bummin' me out. Secondly: Is the series running out of gas? (Har. Har. Har.) I mean, literally, I think you HAVE to ask that, because every single headline I've seen so far has done so. But I digress...
The Fast and Furious franchise has buttered its bread by making each installment bigger and crazier, and this most recent outing is no exception. I didn't feel there was any one huge showpiece (like dropping the cars from an airplane last time), but the whole had higher stakes, better surprises, and more sustained lunacy. Vin Diesel is again front and center, as F8 sees Dominic Toretto turning on his team to work with an evil madwoman, portrayed with gleeful relish by the brilliant Charlize Theron. I was very pleasantly surprised by a couple much-loved faces turning up in the supporting cast, though I'd fervently hoped for one and the Internet tells me I should have known about the other. (Not spoiling here in case anyone else wishes to remain in the dark.) Dwayne Johnson is his usual charming self, and I say with only the tiniest bit of bias that the movie is a good deal better when Jason Statham is onscreen than when he isn't. Despite the world's fate hanging in the balance, F8 has plenty of lighter moments, and the humor, though juvenile and predictable, usually hits the mark. The film throws down massive stunts, explosive action, and, of course, some pretty sweet rides. Negatives are relatively few, but, as usual, the ending comes with extra cheese. Michelle Rodriguez is bad enough that I wondered how I ever thought she wasn't, and the movie could have used at least a 30-minute trim.
The Fate of the Furious runs 136 minutes and is rated PG13 for "prolonged sequences of violence and destruction, suggestive content, and language."
The Fast and Furious franchise gets full marks for giving its audience exactly what it wants, without ever taking that audience for granted. Of a possible nine Weasleys, the Fate of the Furious gets seven.
Until next time...