breaking news

Third Trump Campaign official pleads guilty in Russia investigation

‘Furious’ crew returns for more high-octane fun


The films that make up the “Fast and the Furious” franchise — inexplicably on its eighth installment — are review-proof. There is likely no Rotten Tomatoes score that could affect the box office take. But more than that, the often silly, always outrageous, comfortably formulaic films about fast cars and chosen family have a charm that manages to permeate the crusty exterior of even the most curmudgeonly of critics. Most of us got into this gig because movies are fun, and the “Fast/Furious” movies are some of the most fun of all.

F. Gary Gray takes his turn behind the wheel directing “The Fate of the Furious,” but directors come and go. It’s the appropriately named star, Vin Diesel, who always remains the same. Diesel plays Dominic Toretto, who has risen from the Los Angeles outlaw street racing scene to a sort of career as a freelance international driver specializing in the extraction, transportation and removal of highly sensitive material. He’s always being pulled out of an idyllic retirement to do one last job, because, of course, he drives real good.

In the “Furious” franchise, Diesel is never the most interesting person on screen, but as a producer, he has a talent for assemblage, surrounding himself with some of our most charismatic performers. Diesel brings out the best in tough girl Michelle Rodriguez, and found an easy groove with the late Paul Walker. He’s collected Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham and even Snake Plissken himself (Kurt Russell) along the way, and in “Fate,” he taps no less then two best actress Oscar winners in Charlize Theron and (no joke) Helen Mirren to come along for the ride.

At first it seems as if Gray might be grounding things in a more realistic world, because he opens on an almost quaint street race in Havana featuring cars from the 1950s. It’s a throwback to the good old days, the essence of what made Dom who he is. But that assumption of a grounded realism turns out to be wrong. The last act involves a high-speed chase across a frozen sea, featuring snowmobiles, a tank, a neon orange Lamborghini and a nuclear submarine, among other things.

“Fate of the Furious” doesn’t achieve anything new for the franchise, and even seems to downshift a bit. Gray fails to reach some of the rather operatic heights and flights of vehicular fantasy that directors like Justin Lin and James Wan pulled off. But there are a few exceptional action sequences, some laughs, and a barbecue at the end with a toast to family, so in the end, “Fate” does manage to deliver the “Furious” goods.

MOVIE REVIEW

“The Fate of the Furious”

Grade: C+

Starring Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez and Charlize Theron. Directed by F. Gary Gray.

Rated PG-13 for prolonged sequences of violence and destruction, suggestive content, and language. Check listings for theaters. 2 hours, 16 minutes.

Bottom line: Not that much is new, but that doesn’t mean it’s not fun



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Living

Jennifer Lopez celebrates twins Max and Emme’s 10th birthday
Jennifer Lopez celebrates twins Max and Emme’s 10th birthday

Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony’s twins are growing up so fast! Max and Emme celebrated their 10th birthday on Feb. 22, and Lopez was right there to celebrate with her kids, sharing multiple posts on Instagram.  >> Read more trending news  Sharing a video of her kids’ -- whom she affectionately calls her coconuts -- cutest...
Big catch: The best places in Georgia for Atlanta fishermen
Big catch: The best places in Georgia for Atlanta fishermen

Some of the best fishing environments in the country are right here in Georgia's lakes and rivers.  For the casual fisherman (or fisherwoman) and their families, Lake Patrick has already won the title as Georgia's best place for family-friendly fishing.Plus, serious fisherman get to work far south of Atlanta on commercial fishing operations...
Know before you go: metro Atlanta farmers markets guide
Know before you go: metro Atlanta farmers markets guide

Once trendy and scattered, farmers markets have become a common staple in neighborhoods across metro Atlanta. More than 35 farmers markets dot metro area maps, each offering handcrafted bites, locally grown produce and some seriously delicious grub. New to the market? Don't breeze through. Take time to explore the great food, friendly faces and...
Coca-Cola taps into nostalgia with new fruit-flavored sodas
Coca-Cola taps into nostalgia with new fruit-flavored sodas
Coca-Cola is going back to its roots with two new artisanal sodas. Coca-Cola Georgia Peach and Coca-Cola California Raspberry hit grocery stores, restaurants and bars across the country this week.  Although the Atlanta-based brand has been moving away from full sugar beverages with recent rebranding efforts such as Coke Zero Sugar,...
5 simple things you can do for the environment and your health
5 simple things you can do for the environment and your health

With climate change predictions coming from scientists on a regular basis, many people are increasingly concerned about their personal impact on the environment. At the same time, who isn't concerned about their health and well-being? While it's a no-brainer that severe pollution and ominous natural disasters can be detrimental to humanity, there...
More Stories