‘Fate of the Furious’ too big for own good

Liyang Wan | Staff Writer

“Furious 7” (Fast 7) was probably the peak of the series, and it was a good point to end. However, some film execs seem to be unsatisfied with this success. Hence, we not only have “Fate of the Furious” (Fast 8), but also “Fast 9” and “Fast 10” to look forward to in a stream of endless-sequels. The series has also officially entered into the “Post-Paul Era,” and the downfall in quality in the new series is inevitable with the loss. “The Fate of the Furious” (Fast 8) was probably never going to be good.

“Fast 8” has a similar plot to “Fast 6.” Cipher (Charlize Theron) is the new criminal causing headaches for our heroes with her super-high IQ. While Cipher is set up to be more difficult villain to deal with than the Shaw Brothers in “Fast 6” and “Fast 7,” she fails to really grab the audience’s attention.

The audience does get a taste of a new Dom (Vin Diesel), and one who might turn his back on his family. While it is okay to change the personality of a main character, there must be a good reason to do so. With only trailers hinting at Dom’s arc with an angry “I have no choice!” audiences did not have much to speculate with when going into the theater. As it would turn out, they were not given a lot during the movie either.

The terrible plot development also has former antagonists Deckard (Jason Statham) and Owen (Luke Evans) join the family. The end of the film shows that everyone praying and eating together, and  Director F. Gary Gray seems to forget about the conflict in the past films. Deckard, the man who killed several family members before, is sharing a table with the family in a bizarre twist of events, and while Deckard saves Dom’s son, the whole idea of this new family is too ridiculous to accept.

“Fast 8” does manage to upgrade its action scenes. It adds more vehicles and more destruction, and because the film producers have an unbelievable budget, they can go all out and even have dozens of cars drop from the sky in a veritable shower of motor automotive. The biggest surprise in “Fast 8” is the battle-on-ice scene, but unfortunately, only the last half of it is good, with the rest being just okay. The inclusion of a nuclear submarine feels like a cheap trick to raise the stakes as well, even with its minimal build-up. 

The quality of “Fast 8” represents a noticeable decline in the “Fast” series in spite of the box office showing there’s still leftover support from the previous entry. The question now then is what will happen in “Fast 9” and “10.” The new trilogy has begun, and it will not stop, but if the audience isn’t feeling any fresh, new elements, I am afraid the series will only become worse.