To be fair, I didn’t want to watch this movie. I was dragged in, beaten, and left to watch as a vegetable. So I legitimately had no choice but to stare at the screen. (As a brief aside, watching this as an IMAX feature made me question life with the sounds so intense I wanted to tuck my head between my legs, and not for the usual reason). Mentioned previously, I’ve only seen this movie’s predecessor and not others, nor do I have any intent on watching them. Not critiquing this movie as another tired installment of cars doing things, I will say some of the action scenes left me open-mouthed, though I’m not sure if it was out of shock and aw or to guffaw at Dwayne Johnson’s ridiculousness. I’m getting off-topic when I rant how outlandish is has become to make this actor into some horse-like animal with crazy strength (picking up a man and pinning him horizontally to a wall; running into three men and having them tossed into the air like bowling pins; punching dents into steel walls). It’s almost a practical joke that will have people mocking in 2034.
The science and facts of life behind this movie go out the window. And it makes sense to a degree. For example, with Saw VII or Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan, it’s less about reality and more concentration on being more unique than the last 6-7 installments. So I get it. How do you top cars jumping out of a plane? And so, appreciating it for what it is and not what it’s worth, I enjoyed and admired how these action scenes, as expensive as they were (a hearty $250 million budget), were almost entirely real and not CGI, though Director F. Gary Gray (who directed….yes…TLC’s “Waterfalls” video and 1995’s Friday) admits to digitally enhancing some of the scenes. Yet, I found myself oddly impressed with the action sequences through most of the movie (the New York City’s zombie car scene was reinventing) and sadly underwhelmed by the climactic submarine scene after using deductive reasoning.
Little to behold is the cast. Yes, Fate hosts an arsenal of big names, old and new. Charlize Theron finally becomes the series’ first female nemesis, and does a sensational job, all things considered. Ultimately, Fate of the Furious delivers what it promised: fast and shiny cars, fires, bad acting, awkward dialogue, aged actors that need to retire to television rom-coms, and Dwayne Johnson as The Hulk.