The Fate Of The Furious is basically the action movie equivalent of your dad catching you smoking a cigarette and making you finish the entire carton. I left the theater confused, drained, nauseous; feeling sick and queasy from something I thought I’d wanted, as if I’d just beer-bonged an entire package of Skittles. You win, dad, I regret everything.
Yes, the gang has come a long way since the days of stealing DVDs and “bullsh*t, asshole, no one likes the tuna here.” In this latest installment, the gang 1) outruns a nuclear submarine 2) which is being controlled remotely by a sexy hacker 3) over the arctic ice 4) while driving Lamborghinis. At one point, Tyrese snaps off the Lamborghini door and uses it as a bullet shield while single handedly taking out three Russian separatist soldiers with a pistol. Tyrese! And he’s supposed to be the buffoon of the group! (In the movie and in real life).
Which is to say, The Fate of the Furious is nothing if not boldly stupid, and before now I’d thought bold stupidity was the best thing about this franchise. It was never a question of abandoning its roots, because, as noted above, Fast‘s roots weren’t good. Michelle Rodriguez catching Paul Walker as he’s falling off a cliff by hooking him with her car’s spoiler as she drifts it by the cliff’s edge in Fast 7, that was good. Vin Diesel jumping a car from one skyscraper to another skyscraper, that was good. Virtually every scene in F8 is even more creatively preposterous than my favorite parts of 7 Fast 7 Furious, but somehow it’s less fun now. F8 took everything I thought I liked about this franchise and bludgeoned me with it for two and a half hours.