Fate of the Furious
2.5 Waffles!

Are you reading this review because you want an honest assessment of the film, or are you seeking justification for buying your ticket?

Vin Diesel is back as Dom, and his furious family is about to be handed the challenge of a lifetime. While on his honeymoon in Cuba, Dom is confronted by the mysterious Cipher (Charlize Theron). She’s a 21st century terrorist/hacker/anarchist who needs the big burly bald guy to help her execute a maniacal masterplan.

Because she has something to hold over Dom, he agrees to go to the dark side and become her lackey, which shocks the rest of the gang. Of course, Hobbs (Dwayne “I will always call him The Rock” Johnson), is asked to capture Dom, and the rest of the gang is ready to help to get to the bottom of this mystery.

What is Cipher trying to accomplish?

Why is Dom willing to be a villain?

We can all pretend these movies are about family and honor and all of that high-minded virtuous stuff, or we can admit it’s about moments like the opening sequence where Dom is racing a car backwards and while on fire (and, umm, plenty of women in bikinis are watching).

Fate of the Furious captures the spirit of the previous 7 installments as the film is full of awesome dream cars, a bevy of beautiful women, beefy dudes, chase scenes, chase scenes and more chase scenes. You have to give it to director F. Gary Gray, the crew and the stunt team. They know how to amp up the action, especially when the plot doesn’t really matter or make all that much sense.

Everything in Fate of the Furious is overblown from the gang fighting off a nuclear submarine to the cast dropping one-liners in the middle of death defying situations to The Rock’s unreal muscles (he can play The Hulk old school-style without any CGI enhancement, like Lou Ferrigno).

Yet, you can’t look away. This movie will not win any Oscars, but it delivers what you want from each member of the cast. The Rock, Michelle Rodriguez and Jason Statham are kicking booty. Ludacris and Tyrese provide the comic relief. Vin Diesel broods his way through the entire flick.

Then, Theron becomes the cold, calculating, evil villain most actors dream of performing. You have to admire the way she dedicates herself to make the character slightly demented, but not as outlandish as everything else in the film.

We even get an appearance from Helen Mirren, who openly lobbied for a chance to be in the film because it looked like so much fun.

Fate of the Furious is fun.

Fate of the Furious is rated PG-13 for prolonged sequences of violence and destruction, suggestive content, and language.

136 Minutes