Yeah, we’re up to number eight of these Fast and Furious films now. By this stage the Saw franchise has gone 3D, Police Academy has given up and Jason Voorhees has decided to take on Manhattan. Well, the Fast crew are going to take on New York and their own leader as — if you haven’t watched any promotional material — Dom, the leader, family man, freshly married and seemingly semi-retired from his old lifestyle is going bad. Dominic Toretto has gone rogue.
I really needed the betrayal of Dom to make sense as well, or I simply wouldn’t have been able to buy into this latest FF film at all and luckily, it works. In fact, it’s a great plot point and the reveal offers up one of the darkest scenes in the entire franchise. The reveal of why Dom betrays his friends (family) and leaves them to work for the new bad guy on the block and hacker extraordinaire, Cipher (Charlize Theron), is a fantastic scene. Vin Diesel gives a great performance, Theron is truly menacing and it’s a great character scene for everyone involved. It’s a pity the rest of the script or the story isn’t as new or interesting as where this one scene goes for the FF franchise.
The returning cast minus Jordana Brewster and the late Paul Walker are all great, of course. At this stage, the crew really have the formula for the fun back and forth banter and action scenes down-packed. Dwayne Johnson as Hobbs gets a lot more screen time compared to his mostly hospital-ridden self from Fast 7; a prison riot scene where Hobbs is clobbering people like flies is one of the highlights of the movie. That scene features also Jason Statham as Deckard Shaw returning from the previous film where Hobbs locked him up. Statham in The Fate of the Furious is the biggest doubled edged sword the franchise has ever received.