The Fate of the Furious: an emotions-filled review

April 24, 2017

I. Loved. This. Movie.  I loved it SO MUCH.  I loved it so hard that there is a non-zero chance that my husband’s left hand has soft tissue injuries because I gripped it so hard for the last 25 minutes of the movie.  (I expressed this to him and his response was “last 25 minutes?  You were doing that for the whole movie.”) This was just all-around a delight and I cannot stop thinking about it, and because I can’t stop thinking about it I’m going to try to write out my feelings.  Spoilers ahead, so this post is likely best for those who have seen F8 or haven’t but never plan to – if you still need to see it and care, don’t read!!!

The (very small, but exists) bad

Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson still fighting

Ugh, why, boys?  Why?  Please be cueball meathead bros forever and stop being mad at each other.  Apparently Vin was not respectful of people’s time (making cast and crew wait), but he also made some style choices that cut some of Dwayne’s scenes, and on one hand, I get Dwayne because that *is* rude, but on the other hand I get Vin because this is his and Paul’s series, and just… please get along.  My heart hurts.  Go play Dungeons and Dragons together.


*whimpering* I get it, but oooooof.  This one hurt.  Charlize Theron’s baddie had to be genuinely bad for us to take her seriously as having some hold over Dom, but ow ow ow ow no why owwww.  I was also not psyched about how it looked (kill her so there’s no mom issues! Letty wins!) and I’m not entirely sold on an unplanned pregnancy as being in character for either of them.  I guess this part was bad both because I didn’t adore some of the particulars of this plot twist, and in a larger part because WHAT THE HELL, TORMUND.  HOW DARE YOU.  THAT IS ELSA PATAKY.

Not enough Tormund

Like that is a general life criticism, “not enough Tormund,” but Kristofer was h*ckin underused in this.  Yes, there was a scene where he tosses his beautiful red mane back a bit so he can better look into the scope of a sniper rifle, and I didn’t know I needed that scene, but oh boy did I, and it was delightful, but I needed more of that.

Scott Eastwood

He was… fine, I guess?  I enjoyed watching Roman sass the heck out of him (and “Little Nobody” was a good one), but in an ensemble cast with the largest personalities in the whole world, having a sharp jawline and a Clint Squint ain’t gonna cut it.  No, he did not reach Daario-levels of generic, but I didn’t totally understand why he was there.  Like, Charlize Theron’s hair was more of a character.  And if they are introducing him to be another Paul Walker I have one question

how dare u

there is more to Brian than prettiness u monsters

I’m 0% kidding they had better flippin NOT

The Good

Charlize Theron’s hair

Just kidding what white-girl-dreads nonsense was that

The race at the beginning

Aw man, yes, good!  This was classic engine-revving NO2-blasting gratuitous-butt-viewing Fast and the Furious and I appreciated it so much.  I v much like that they placed the race in Cuba, and that the cars in the race were like, yep, this is how a lot of the cars in Cuba were and are.  Putting Letty on the motorcycle to help referee, Dom winning but saying that earning the loser’s respect was more important in his “I’ve lived solely off of gravel for 2 decades” voice, lighting the stupid old car on fire because of the CUBAN NO2, SURE, I AIN’T EVEN MAD.  This was bright and fast and FUN and felt like a quick trip back to California and I like Michelle Rodriguez’s makeup and just, YES.  Boat engine, hell yes.

The nuclear-football-stealing scene

YOOOOOO.  This was a really flippin’ cool idea.  It may and up looking dated as heck in a couple years (you know when you see a character using a flip phone in an intense scene in movies between 1997 and 2007? and you laugh?  because what u gonna do with ur liddul dumbphone, character?  you gonna flip it open, like a doofus? I’m being mean, aren’t I okay yeah I’ll stop) but for 2017 this was bananas relevant as a legitimate fear.  All those cars diving out of the parking garage????  Like are you kidding me we have a villain who can make it rain Kias because you can hack into a CAR, WHAT.  This looked great, was exciting, and felt believable (within the framework of a ridiculous premise of course).  And sure, Dom’s car has 5,000 horsepower and his tires don’t light on fire, sure.  I ain’t mad.

Sneaky references

Yes, please, Statham, call Dwayne “Hercules.”  He played “Hercules.”  I hope that in this movie universe the actual Hobbs played “Hercules.”  And Dwayne asking Tyrese “why are you always yelling?!” HE IS ALWAYS YELLING.  The submarine scene, “we’re gonna need a bigger truck” THIS STUPID LINE WORKED SO WELL.  And Dom saying “okay Buster, let’s see if this works” BRIAN TAUGHT YOU THAT, HE IS BUSTER, I’M A WRECK.  YOU BEAUTIFULLY SELF-AWARE MOVIE.

They also through a Friday reference in there (“hey, Ms. Parker”) but someone had to point that out to me so that counts less idk I love this stupid stupid movie

The Haka

I didn’t know I needed Dwayne Johnson and a girls’ soccer team performing the Haka to another girls’ soccer team but hoo boy I did, I did SO MUCH

The 10 Most Wanted joke

Oh my WORD, yes.  Placing the whole team on the 10 Most Wanted, except for Roman, because it has to be Roman, and then “Number 11 my ass” like cannot BREATHE, LAUGHING TOO HARD

The prison fight scene

Like, yes, I could go through the whole movie and just address every scene and why I liked it, but this one in particular deserves a shoutout.  There was a ridiculous amount of fight choreography in this scene, and it looked very very good.  There’s also a very well done contrast in fighting styles between Johnson and Statham, and the balance of their filming showed this off to great effect: Johnson just being a moving brick wall of destruction and seriousness, and Statham jumping and spinning his way through an environment that he’s treating like a playground, smile and all.  Not kidding, this was a well-shot, well-balanced fight scene and I love my two muscley meathead prison babies.

The Gooder Than Good; The Amazing

Submarine fight

This scene was absurd and phenomenal and everything I could want ever in a movie ever.  Dwayne Johnson strongarming a torpedo.  Roman knocking out a bunch of snowmobiles.  Dom taking his car on a dive over the sub to blow it up. The Lambo on the ice.  Letty getting to drive, forreals, because sometimes they don’t like to show her, but girl can drive and she diddddd.  The family coming together at the end to make a car barricade to protect precious Dom CAN YOU HEAR THE PEOPLE SING SINGING THE SONG OF FURIOUS MEN




This was a good Letty movie, y’all.  I know Letty can get problematic (her early movies had a decent amount of “other girls are bitches” in them and I know, I know it sucks) but she was great and Michelle Rodriguez was great.  This movie asked a lot of her character, to stay loyal to Dom while trying to stop him, and knowing that he wouldn’t do this without a good reason, and that he loves her and wouldn’t shoot her, and that she’s like “cool, you have a kid! look at this cutie! family!”  And this didn’t come across like “Cool Girl”-type garbage (she’s not doing this because she’s a Cool Girl who doesn’t mind getting shit on), this came across as a really deep level of trust, and a reciprocal act for Dom’s work on bringing her back in previous films.  They don’t give up on each other, and y’all, this love TOUCHES MY HEART.  DOM & LETTY 4EVA

Helen Mirren

If you get one f-word in a movie, and Helen Mirren is in the movie, you give it to Helen Effing Mirren.  She clearly had a great time doing this, including her accent (which I would describe as Jason Statham IS Eliza Doolittle) and scolding her sons.  She is the sword in the darkness and I love her.  She apparently said in an interview that she wanted to be in one of these movies and now she has and just <3 <3 <3

Jason Statham fighting while protecting a baby

This was the best thing about this movie and tbh the best thing about my life right now (my spouse would agree with probably all parts of this: we love each other but we also love Jason Statham and his back muscles; we really do).  He puts Alvin and the Chipmunks on little headphones and tells the baby it’s going to get kind of loud I AM DECEASED.  STATHAM.  He is legitimately an amazing stunt actor and I feel like he was psyched to shoot this scene and I’m pretty sure I died a second time when he looks at the little smiling kid and winks and then goes off and murders people.  “You were gonna shoot a *baby*?”  YOU PERFECT HUMAN, YOU PERFECT SCENE, I LOVE EVERYTHING FOREVER.


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