By: Felix Felicis (Two Beers)-
The Fast franchise is to cinema as a bedazzled hamster strapped to a nuclear warhead launched into a black hole made of kittens riding space unicorns is to a mouse holding a sparkler: Next. Fucking. Level. And I say that fully embracing the shark-jumpery abounding in this latest, most furious installment of Vin Dieselry. They go bigger. They go badder. And way more cars bite the mother-fudgin’ DUST… IT’S ROBIN SPARKLES TWO, Y’ALL.
To the three people who got that HIMYM reference, I salute you.
The Fate of The Furious follows Dom and Letty on their street race-laced honeymoon with a dash of baby talk before Dom gets mysteriously blackmailed into some evil-as-shit shenanigans by Rachel Dolezal 2.0 AKA a dreadlocked Charlize Theron as cyber hacker “Cipher” who chews up evil villainery in a way I haven’t seen since 101 Dalmatians. Swap out puppies for nuclear warheads and you’ve hit the nail on the head. It takes a thief to catch a thief, so cue the old team plus The Rock as Good Agent Gone Rogue “Hobbs” scrambling to save the world and their bald-yet-buff leader from inevitable doooooooom.
Ever since the rebooted renaissance of ridiculousness that was Fast Five, Vin Diesel and Co. have managed to up the ante and deliver an ensemble tour-de-force of escalating badassery each and every time the credits roll. Let me state for the record that these movies (and this franchise) are in no way, shape, or form serious cinema, so suspend that willing disbelief and embrace Fate for what it is: popcorn entertainment at it’s finest. The only way possible to top this latest installment of vehicular insanity is for them to somehow set F9 in space. I need Vin Diesel racing a spaceship one quarter lightyear at a time in my life.
The bulk of the movie is carried by Vin Diesel, The Rock, and Jason Statham (with solid assists from the rest of the ensemble cast) and they own every single second of it. Fate starts, continues, and ends with a bang that has this latest Furious flick destroying more cars than ever before in the pursuit of automobile asskickery.
It’s an entertaining, if slightly hollow, ode to upping the ante. The magic of the franchise lies within the breathtaking stunts (check) and the rapidly dwindling number of Dom’s original crew (slight check). There’s no denying that they took the mind-blowing machinery next-level. But even the dreadlock-twirling delight (and bonkers, world-ending evil mastermind) that was Charlize Theron couldn’t mask what leads me to beer number two.
There is a Brian O’Connor/Dominic Toretto bromantical-shaped hole in my heart that no amount of pyrotechnical razzle-dazzle can fill, and while Fate is a wildly entertaining, face-meltingly awesome Fast film; I still feel the loss of Paul Walker and that feeling may never go away (though Vin Diesel racing spaceships would help). There was an ineffable charm to their real life and onscreen friendship that lent a depth I didn’t realize would be lacking (or even expected from a franchise built on fast cars and denim-clad asscheeks) in future movies without it. That feeling might go away. It might not (and can we just NOT with the filler roles like Scott Eastwood’s baby secret agent?- who yours truly went to high school with and can accurately report that he’s a real life dick. Thanks). But I’ll be in a seat waiting for the next Fast flick, regardless, every damn time.
For a good time, fire up Fandango and book a seat on this rollercoaster ride of Vinsanity. Seatbelts optional. IMAX encouraged.
The Fate Of The Furious (2017) Drinking Game
Take a Drink: every time Dom does something way out of character.
Take a Drink: each time Hobbs throws a verbal beat down.
Do a Shot: when the weather calls for a light smattering of cars.
Take a Drink: anytime Cipher goes all evil-monologue-y.
Shotgun your Beer: for the legacy of Brian (you’ll know when).