The Fate of the Furious

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Rated Greg’s Top 5 Car Chases*

  1. The chase with the pole-dudes in Mad Max: Fury Road
  2. Cage’s Ferrari vs Connery’s Hummer in The Rock
  3. The Miami freeway chase with the car carrier in Bad Boys 2
  4. Arnold and his Harley vs the T-1000’s semi in Terminator 2
  5. The chase with the tank in Fast & Furious 6

*My viewership of films released B.C. (Before Cruise) is admittedly deplorable, so I usually have to disclose that I haven’t seen a few classics that are missing from these lists.  This is especially true for this category, as I haven’t seen Bullitt, the French Connection, or Blues Brothers.

In the beginning, God created The Fast and the Furious.  And God saw that it was good.  It was the hit of summer in between Junior and Senior year of high school and it tricked us into thinking Honda Civics were cool.

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On the second day, God created 2 Fast 2 Furious.  And God saw that it was shit.  2 Fast 2 Furious will always remind me of that awful souped up car week in Ocean City, MD.

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On the third day, God created The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift.  And God did not see this movie.  NO ONE saw this movie.

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On the fourth day, God created Fast & Furious, the least effort God had ever put into naming something since the orange.  And God saw that it was “you know what, not that bad all things considered, a step in the right direction.”

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On the fifth day, God created Fast Five.  And God saw that it was fucking GLORIOUS, the theatrical equivalent of Kirk Franklin’s Stomp.  Bringing The Rock on board, the biggest movie star on God’s green earth, leveled up the franchise to new heights.  Fast Five pivoted from the previous four and basically turned it into a multicultural Mission Impossible.

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On the sixth day, God created Fast & Furious 6.  And God saw that it was a goddamn treat.  More of the same from Fast Five, only this time with a tank.  For the record, this movie is my favorite of the bunch.

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On the seventh day, God created Furious 7.  And God saw that it was bittersweet.  The 5th and 6th installments are really dumb fun, but 7 starts to teeter towards dialogue and action scenes that are a little a too ridiculous (yes, even Fast and Furious needs to draw the line somewhere). That sense is mostly forgotten though since the film is overshadowed by the heartbreaking real life death of Paul Walker (the true O.G. of the series) halfway through filming.  Instead of all the stunts, the most impressive sequence this franchise has ever pulled off is how it handles sending Walker’s character into the sunset at the end of Furious 7.  It’s beautiful.

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God should have stopped at 7.  The Fate of the Furious, or as I like to call it, “Hot Wheels: The Movie” is all the way stupid.  Where Furious 7 toed the ridiculous line, 8 blows right past it.  Why are they all basically super heroes now?  Does villain Charlize Theron’s master plan make any sense? (No)  And why does she have braids?  Was she just on a tropical vacation?  Why is Tyrese’s vehicle of choice for the Russian frozen tundra a Lamborghini?  Isn’t Tyrese just THE WORST?  How is Kurt Russell’s character alive and well without any mention that he died in Furious 7?  Do The Rock and Vin Diesel really hate each other in real life?  (It seems like that reported beef is real because they do not share a single frame in this movie)  Why is this 2 hours and 20 minutes long?  And finally, where’s the Corona?  You can’t drink Corona for seven movies and then randomly switch to the tallboy aluminum Budweisers.

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There is one redeeming factor in Fast 8, and that’s Jason Statham.  In an upset that I did not see coming, Statham earns movie MVP over The Rock and it’s not even close (Tyrese is the LVP).  Each of Statham’s scenes is admittedly fantastic, and it makes me wish he did more action comedy (like he did in Spy) and less straight to on demand Taken ripoffs.  There are already two more Fast & Furious sequels on the way, which I am not excited about, but I would definitely watch a spinoff of Statham’s character.   Grade: C

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