Fate of the Furious review roundup: Lots of action without a concrete storyline
The Fate of the Furious or Fast and Furious 8, whatever you call it, may just be the decisive factor of the future of the franchise.
Fast 8 follows Vin Diesel's Dominic Toretto as he's seduced by a mysterious woman (Charlize Theron) into a world of crime he can't escape from easily, leading him to betray his family and those closest to him as they all face trials that test them as never before.
Though the film franchise has already raked in $3.9 billion over its lifetime, the early reviews of the new film range from indifferent to decisively bad:
Paul Walker's absence didn't have much effect on the story of the film according to this critic
The Hollywood Reporter's John DeFore says "The result isn't as big a gear-shift as some fans expected in the wake of original castmember Paul Walker's death. In fact, it recycles plot-twisting devices from earlier chapters and keeps action firmly in the street-hoods-save-the-world neighbourhood entered a couple of years ago. Fate delivers exactly what fans have come to expect, for better and for worse, and it would be a shock to see it disappoint producers at the box office."
The critics were not impressed with the film for different reasons.
The Independent's Jacob Stolworthy states that "A third of the way through Fast and Furious 8, it hits you: the franchise may have reached its limit. While this outing is often an enjoyable, pulse-quickening spectacle that should be seen on the biggest screen you can find, the franchise's peak — fifth film Fast Five — just won't be bettered. For the first time, this film's existence smacks of obligation as opposed to necessity (an issue, when considering this is the start of a new trilogy)."
Indiewire's David Ehrlich wrote: "F8 is the worst of these films since 2 Fast 2 Furious, and it may be even worse than that. It's the Die Another Day of its franchise — an empty, generic shell of its former self that disrespects its own proud heritage at every turn. How did the great F Gary Gray, whose surprisingly strong remake of The Italian Job displayed a tremendous flair for comedic vehicular mayhem, waste the biggest budget of his career on such boring smash-ups? How did Diesel and company manage to learn all of the wrong lessons from the last two movies, delivering an episode where everything feels so fake that even the 'family' matters seem forced?
A few critics, however, think the film lives up to its premise of being a fast paced action film:
Uproxx's Mike Ryan thinks "The Fate of the Furious is not a short movie and about three-fourths of the way though it drags a little, but then the heat-seeking missiles and the submarines show and it clicks back into overdrive. (I had to do one sort of car pun. I’m sorry.) This isn't my favourite of the series – that’s still Furious 7 (it's hard to top those jumps from skyscraper to skyscraper, but this is a worthy entry). These movies know what they are. These movies know they are fun. These are fun movies! I had fun watching this. Fun! I mean, don’t you kind of want to see Dominic Toretto race a heat-seeking missile?"
IGN's Jim Vejvoda says "The Fate of the Furious is as ridiculously entertaining as you might expect. It’s certainly better than its trailers — which came across more like parodies of a Fast and Furious movie — suggested. Indeed, no eighth movie in any franchise has any right to be as fun or effective as Fate manages to be.”
Entertainment Weekly's Leah Greenblatt says, "Screenwriter Chris Morgan, now on his fifth Furious outing, swats away plot logistics and the laws of physics like the pesky mosquitoes they are, and director F Gary Gray (Straight Outta Compton) has no intention of slowing his roll. But the movies are nothing if not consistent in their themes of loyalty and brotherhood and blowing stuff up—and in retaining the core crew… The movie ends with more than one literal bang, but the series' fate is hardly sealed; it’s merely to be continued: There are two more sequels due by 2021."