For the most part, the premise of the Fast and Furious movie franchise can be summed up in one sentence:
‘Watch; don’t think’.
It’s hard to knock a franchise that has grossed over five billion dollars and is eight movies deep. However, it is what it is. The Fast and The Furious franchise has been around for seventeen years and have collectively grossed over five billion dollars. When you consider, however that the last one (Furious 7) single-handedly grossed 1.6 billion dollars, more than the first five installments of the franchise combined, you know they (Universal) know they’re onto a good thing – and as is usual, will ride it till it can be ridden no more.
For the most part, The Fast and The Furious requires suspension of belief from the audience in spades – but never more than in the latest installment; The Fate of The Furious.
While honeymooning somewhere ‘off the grid’, Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) is approached by a mysterious woman who coerces him into working for her against his ‘family’.
I’m serious. That’s as far as ‘plot’ for this particular movie goes.
Fate (as I will be calling this movie from here on) opens with; (wait for it)…a street race. I mean, of all the openings F. Gary Gray, fresh off the huge success of Straight Outta Compton could have gone with, it had to be the cliché of all clichés – as far as this particular movie franchise is concerned?!
An alluring, mysterious woman; Cipher (Charlize Theron) shows up at Dom’s honeymoon destination (you get nothing for guessing where this destination is) and shows him something on a mobile phone screen, ‘something’ she believes is powerful enough to make him come and work for her – even though she’s a terrorist and he knows. Almost immediately, Dom gets a call from Agent Hobbs, asking for his help. The usual suspects (the family) are quickly rounded up again by Agent Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson; The Rock) to go steal some EMP to stop it from falling into some terrorists hands – same piece of machinery Cipher needs for her ‘grand plan’. The mission is successful – only for Dom to sabotage it, steal the EMP and dump Hobbs into police hands.
Somehow, he ends up in the same prison Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) is in…
One of the biggest issues I have with this particular outing is how short on memory everyone seems to be. Wasn’t Deckard the same dude who killed Han (Sung Kang) as revenge for his brother’s ‘death’ in the sixth film? All too suddenly, they’re forced to work together and when the team is given news of Deckard’s death, they’re actually sad.
Trust me; moments like the one I just described abound. Cipher, played with amazing detachment by Charlize Theron is another misnomer in her role. She’s the big bad in this movie, and unfortunately, she has nothing different to offer from the other ‘big bads’ in the other Fast and Furious movies. She’s a boring antagonist; it isn’t clear what she wants, she rambles a lot about nothing or pointless rhetoric, and is passionless. Her ‘kissing scene’ with Dom was just that; a bland uninspired lip-lock.
Exhale for a bit – and then, wonder with me how human hands can be used to redirect the path of a torpedo. Or how a submarine dives and resurfaces effortlessly as though it is a dolphin. Moments like those are why the description ‘mindless action’ exists.
The ‘family’ was interestingly inept in this venture; it was as though they couldn’t find any use for themselves individually. That diversity that made us love As an aside, be prepared to hate that word ‘family’. It is thrown around like so much confetti at a wedding, as though the characters need to remind themselves in their many ‘why are we doing this again?’ moments.
Roman’s (Tyrese Gibson) humor was responsible for quite a number of the laughs in the movie – and frankly, it begins to be annoying at some point. I would have loved to see more Helen Mirren who played Magdalene Shaw, and the partnership between the Shaw brothers was another good one.
All in all, for all my issues with this installment, I acknowledge the truth that Fate isn’t a bad movie. For all my knocking it, I don’t go to cinemas for ‘intellectual, life-changing’ movie experiences. I do that shit in my house.
No; I go to the cinema to be entertained and refreshed. And on that score, Fate delivers EXCELLENTLY.
I personally recommend it.
I’m not saying you should run in the streets naked screaming ‘it’s Christmas o (though if you were to do that, it’d help me identify my people). What we’re saying to you is to let your hair down.
It’s been a long year and if we’re alike you probably are waiting for an opportunity to sleep like dates and time have simply ceased to exist. Sleep, sleep and sleep till sleep itself says ‘OKAY. YOU MIGHT HAVE OVERSTAYED YOUR WELCOME!’
Or something like that.
But sleep. Rest. Dream. Relax. Fantasize. Pray. Laugh. Love. Laugh again. Share. And get ready to live in the greatest year of your lives so far.
This year has been quite awesome. I found out I have another sister by another mother, hung out with some interestingly amazing people, found love when I wasn’t looking for it, experienced God’s mercy and grace like never before, saw new places (which reminded me how beautiful Nigeria is), released another free project, finished another novel, forged a better relationship with my Creator and savior…
And met some amazing people. Like you.
Thank you for making time from none to read my posts. Thank you for your comments. Your likes. Your shares. Thank you for encouraging and inspiring me. Thank you for giving me a sense of purpose; of belonging. You are special in amazing ways you have no idea.
To have someone like you enjoy my work is amazing.
I want to say; I will keep doing what I know how, and I will keep getting better at this gift I’m privileged to share. Some really great things are coming for all of us next year – I pray God preserves us till and long after then. We will not have reason to cry this period or any time else, and for those of us who are hurting, may God; whose peace passes all human understanding comfort and heal us in Jesus’ name.
Thank you so much. God bless us all.
Save me a piece of chicken!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
He did not get it at first.
As he collected the result from the doctor he felt rather than saw the man flinch away as though he was radioactive or something. Which was mild, compared to what the piece of paper confirmed. He smiled bitterly and walked out of the hospital, not seeing the nurses who were shaking their heads behind him. For the first time in his life, he appreciated the saying ‘ignorance is bliss’.
He stood on the sidewalk in front of the hospital, contemplating a future that was suddenly bleak. He thought about the stories he planned to write. He remembered the scripts he was to supervise. He saw all the plans he had made with Tara about their life together become dust…as irrelevant as the smoke from the exhaust of passing buses. Here one moment, gone the next.
Feeling a deep cough coming from his chest, he turned and began to walk slowly towards the house in which he lived with his parents, wondering how he was going to tell them that after being sick for almost six months, he was going to die. Suddenly he began to cough, rasping coughs that felt as though his chest was being filled with hot coals. And then he spat out a huge glob of blood. Feeling relieved, he bent over and gasped for air, noticing how people walking past gave him a wide berth. He wiped flecks of blood from his lips and placed his palm against his chest, feeling his heart beating strongly, and pumping blood back and forth to keep him alive. He felt as though his heartbeats were the winding down of his life’s clock.
He was dying.
They were waiting, varying emotions on their faces. From the bored detached look on his father’s face to the nervous-fearful one on his mother’s, to the looks of curiosity of the twins, to the ‘trying-to-look-concerned-but-failing expression of his girlfriend he was not surprised. The only thing that hurt him was the knowledge that he had failed to change his father’s opinion about him. Mutely he handed the slip to his father and took his seat on the easy sofa facing all of them as he took his shoes off.
The man looked at the paper he was given and hissed. And without so much as a glance in the boy’s direction handed it to the woman seated beside him who took it with shaking fingers. She took one look and wailed, tearing off her damask head tie and flinging it away as she clutched the result slip to her chest. The twin nearest to her snatched the paper from her and with her second bent over it, whispering loudly. Finally they handed it to his girlfriend and helped their father lift his wailing wife from her seat and half-carried half-pulled her out of the sitting room, followed by their father.
He smiled and turned to his girlfriend who sat staring at him. And then she stood and walked up to him, reaching to touch his cheek but she pulled her hand back, shook her head and walked out of the house, head bowed.
As he sat there, a small dog ran into the room and stopped by the door, alarmed by the silence. It sniffed, nose in the air and then came running towards him to stop a few meters away, watching him warily. He idly wondered if the dog could smell the virus, and then it came closer and licked his fingers.
Lanre started crying.