The series that basically defines “sit back and enjoy the ride” is still going.
Do you remember how you saw the first “The Fast and the Furious” movie? It’s funny how much I feel it dates me because I didn’t see it until I rented it on DVD. Same with the second film and Tokyo Drift and, by that point, I was mostly burned out on the series. I didn’t even consider seeing the fourth movie in the theaters, which admittedly I regret, because that completely changed the franchise on almost every level. I skipped the fourth and fifth films until I decided to watch the sixth film, only to discover that the movies I missed were probably the best in the series. Since seeing those, I’ll admit that I’ve enjoyed these movies more and more because I finally started to get into all of the spectacle of it. They show you crazy stuff that you just couldn’t see anywhere else and that’s one of the most beautiful parts of movies as a medium. Since then, every movie has had to one-up the previous level of insanity and, against all odds, has mostly succeeded. This movie is no exception.
Two years after the events of The Fate of the Furious, Dom Toretto (Vin Diesel) and Letty Ortiz (Michelle Rodriguez) are living a secluded life raising their son Brian. They’re approached by Roman, Tej, and Ramsey (Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris, Nathalie Emmanuel) about Mr. Nobody (Kurt Russell) capturing Cipher (Charlize Theron), Dom’s former blackmailer. However, the plane is attacked and taken down by none other than Jakob Toretto (John Cena), Dom’s never-before-mentioned brother. Dom needs to get the whole team together, including a still-alive Han Lue (Sung Kang) (It’s not a spoiler if it’s in the trailer) in order to stop his brother.
In a franchise that uses the word “family” approximately 300 times a movie, it’s a bit of a tough sell that Dom Toretto has a brother that he has somehow neglected to mention, despite the fact that his sister, Mia (Jordana Brewster), is a recurring character. Naturally, the movie shows us a falling out between the two brothers to try and explain it, but it still feels a bit contrived. Then again, it’s Fast and the Furious, so you quickly move past it and enjoy the ride. The stunts in this movie, naturally, obey only the laws of Fast and the Furious Physics, which is to say no real physics whatsoever. You have to suspend levels of disbelief equal to most fairy tales, but the movie absolutely makes that worth it. Some of the fight sequences that cross over with the driving sequences are equal parts ridiculous and awesome. In a surprising twist that adds a level to the film, the movie actually has one of the characters realize how ridiculous the escalation of events have gotten and point out that they all should be dead by now. There’s not much of a conclusion to this revelation, so I’m hoping it continues through the tenth movie.
Overall, solid film if you liked the rest of the franchise.