Starring Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Tyrese Gibson, Michelle Rodriguez,
Scott Eastwood, Chris "Ludacris" Bridges, Kurt Russell and Charlize Theron
Screenplay by Chris Morgan
Directed by F. Gary Gray
Out of Four
Reviewed by Patrick Gibbs
Fast and Furious
franchise is starting to wear thin is a little like saying that Mickey Rourke doesn't quite have the prettiest face in Hollywood anymore. It's become the Police Academy of its time, and each one becomes more preposterous and vague in its premise than the last. But what it has over Police Academy is very skilled action craftsmen having the time of their lives, and that sense of fun is infectious. The over the top cartoon the series has become is more popular among critics than the original, and it has become a reliable, exteme guilty pleasure popcorn franchise. But the fact is, the popcorn is starting to get a bit stale.
Sorry. My mind is wandering as I write this, but not as badly as it did while viewing the film, and I grudgingly admit that a few elements that made no sense weren't helped by my lack of caring, but regardless, this is as much a "check your brain at the door" action movie as I've ever seen. I was expecting that, but I was also expecting to be a little bit more entertained as well. The novelty of the tongue in cheek self parody this has become is running out, and the presence of respectable actors like Russell, Theron and (I kid you not) Helen Mirren only adds to the feeling that "it is what it is" can only go so far. And the biggest problem is really quite simple: the element of surprise is gone. Now, instead of walking out of these movies saying "that was more fun than it had any right to be", even critics are going into them with actual expectations to be met. The rather strange question becomes: did these movies actually get to be too much dumb fun for their own good?
The Fate of The Furious certainly marks the beginning of blockbuster season, and it's a nice appetizer, but one can only hope that there is something coming in the main course that we have not sampled so many times before.
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