It takes a special kind of talent to extend a movie franchise about boy racers to an eight-part saga which sees them go from stealing DVD players to saving the world from a cyber-terrorist controlling a nuclear submarine. The title is a clever pun (Fate? F8? Geddit???) but that’s about where the intellect level peaks in this ridiculous romp, which travels from Cuba to Berlin to New York to the Siberian tundra.
With the obvious exception of Paul Walker, the characters remain virtually the same. Ludacris retains his role as Tej the tech genius (remember when he just ran a garage?) and the straight man to Tyrese Gibson’s wannabe playboy Roman, who both engage in some very uneasy flirting with Ramsey (Game of Thrones’ Nathalie Emmanuel). The Rock (or Dwayne Johnson, as he likes to be called these days) is still massive, and engages in an enemy-to-bro story arc with former foe Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham), a relationship which is touching but about as subtle as Johnson’s absolutely bonkers biceps. Charlize Theron is Cipher, the main antagonist, with annoying lipstick and entirely unnecessary dreadlocks and somewhat undefined motives. Vin Diesel is just Vin Diesel, and isn’t involved in one sequence of sustained dialogue in the entire film. He just looks tough and delivers badass one liners while ripping a car apart with his bare hands. Badass.
According to Google, there are fifty-seven different synonyms for ‘insane’. There are probably many more that the search engine didn’t cover, and they can almost definitely all be applied to The Fate of the Furious.