Reviews for Universal’s The Fate of the Furious have begun to make their way online and they’re positive, to say the least. The Fast and Furious franchise has never been one to accommodate high-brow viewers, but it has managed to race into the hearts of general audiences and film fans. Starting off as a series of films that focused on street racing, the stakes quickly escalated once Vin Diesel returned to the franchise in 2009’s Fast and Furious. Each subsequent film managed to outshine the other with crazier stunts and even crazier plot lines.
So here we are, eight films later, and where does the latest iteration in the franchise stand? High-enough, we’d say. The upcoming film has been praised for its ridiculous action sequences and set pieces… and that’s pretty much it. Below, we’ve highlighted some of the most interesting reviews on the film.
Here’s what Variety‘s Owen Glieberman had to say:
If this series, over the last 16 years, has taught us anything, it’s that just when you think it’s about to run out of gas, it gets outfitted with an even more elaborate fuel-injection system. And that’s never been more true than it is of the eighth film in the series, “The Fate of the Furious,” which may just be the most spectacular one yet.”
Jim Vejvoda of IGN made it very clear in his review that the film has no right to be as good as it:
“The Fate of the Furious is as ridiculously entertaining as you might expect. It’s certainly better than its trailers — which came across more like parodies of a Fast and Furious movie — suggested. Indeed, no eighth movie in any franchise has any right to be as fun or effective as Fate manages to be.”
Uproxx‘s Mike Ryan thought the film was fun, like, really fun:
“The Fate of the Furious is not a short movie and about three-fourths of the way though it drags a little, but then the heat-seeking missiles and the submarines show and it clicks back into overdrive. (I had to do one sort of car pun. I’m sorry.) This isn’t my favorite of the series – that’s still Furious 7 (it’s hard to top those jumps from skyscraper to skyscraper, but this is a worthy entry). These movies know what they are. These movies know they are fun. These are fun movies! I had fun watching this. Fun! I mean, don’t you kind of want to see Dominic Toretto race a heat-seeking missile?”
Now that we have the good out of the way, let’s get to the bad. Forbes‘ Scott Mendelson wasn’t too keen on the film’s existence.
“The film is the first one in over a decade to feel narratively unnecessary. The weird continuity, which put Tokyo Drift way into the future, gave the next three films something of a goal and an end. But with the current continuity wrapped up, and many core characters killed off or written out, this eighth film can’t shake the feeling that it only exists because the last film made $1.5 billion worldwide. The whole thing has a “going through the motions” feeling hurts a movie that lacks the sizzle and pop of the prior three films.”
And here’s the ugly coming from IndieWire’s David Ehrlich:
““F8” is the worst of these films since “2 Fast 2 Furious,” and it may be even worse than that. It’s the “Die Another Day” of its franchise — an empty, generic shell of its former self that disrespects its own proud heritage at every turn. How did the great F. Gary Gray, whose surprisingly strong remake of “The Italian Job” displayed a tremendous flair for comedic vehicular mayhem, waste the biggest budget of his career on such boring smash-ups? How did Diesel and co. manage to learn all of the wrong lessons from the last two movies, delivering an episode where everything feels so fake that even the “family” matters seem forced?”
While most reviews are positive, there are a few that say the franchise has overstayed its welcome, which makes sense after eight movies. Maybe the next film in the franchise will fare better critically if they give people want they want: space.
Now that Dom and Letty are on their honeymoon, Brian and Mia have retired from the game, and the rest of the crew has been exonerated, the globetrotting team has found a semblance of a normal life. But when a mysterious woman seduces Dom back into a world of crime that he can’t seem to escape, the crew will face trials that will test them as never before.
Directed by F. Gary Gray, the film stars Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Charlize Theron, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Chris Bridges (Ludacris), Kurt Russell, and Helen Mirren.
The Fate of the Furious hits theaters on April 14.