Movie Review: The Fate of the Furious (2017)

Well this review was a long time coming. If you’ve followed my blog for an extended amount of time, you’re probably aware that I spent a decent chunk of 2015 reviewing every “Fast & Furious” movie leading up to the seventh installment. Then later that year I did that one. So this franchise has become a bit of a staple for this blog. So let’s talk about the eighth installment.

Family… “The Fate of the Furious”.

After our beloved gang pulls another job for the government, their leader Dom Toretto (Vin Diesel) betrays them and starts working for a shady hacker/terrorist known as Cipher (Charlize Theron). So we follow the crew as they do everything in their power to stop Cipher and get Dom back. Not gonna lie, I found myself surprisingly engaged by the narrative here. Maybe I’m biased because I’ve grown attached to this world and these characters, but I felt like there was a lot of effort put into making the story here as dramatically engaging as possible without sacrificing the fast and furious thrills of the franchise. This does bring down the pace ever so slightly, but never to the point of ruining the movie. It’s still generally a fast-paced action fest, and I do appreciate some of the slower moments as they add a surprising amount of nuance and genuinely interesting conflict to the story. So yeah, not perfect, but still very good.

The characters in this are just as colorful, charming, and entertaining as ever, but now also have added character conflict due to the aforementioned part of Dom going bad. Speaking of which, let’s start with Dom, once again played by mumblegrumble master Vin Diesel. Dom is usually the same ol’ guy in every movie, so it’s nice to see him get a little extra character development for a change. And I must say, this is the best I’ve seen Diesel in this franchise, the dude shows that he can do more than just his signature mumblegrumble. Charlize Theron as newcomer villain Cipher is really good in that role, playing her with a generally quiet menace right out of a 90s movie (which I love). Next we have Dwayne Johnson and Jason Stathamas Hobbs and Shaw, both returning characters, mortal enemies forced to work together to stop Cipher. Their banter here is amazing, their chemistry is amazing, they are amazing. Michelle Rodriguez, Ludacris, Tyrese Gibson, Nathalie Emmanuel, and Kurt Russell all return in their roles, and they are all very good in their roles. And in a few other supporting roles we have Scott Eastwood, Patrick St. Esprit, Kristofer Hivju, and Celestino Cornielle. So overall it’s quite a well rounded cast.

The score for the movie was composed by franchise mainstay (bar the sixth one) Brian Tyler. And it’s another good score. Big bold brass and the occasional soft string and piano. It’s not exactly the most original or unpredictable score, but it serves the movie just fine. There’s also a handful of licensed songs used throughout, all hip hop, all fitting really well in their scenes. So yeah, the movie has good music.

“The Fate of the Furious” was directed by F. Gary Gray, and I think he did a good job with that. He shows with his direction that he knows how to make actions feel like they have weight. So when things happen, they feel like they happen and really hurt, even when it’s clearly done mainly in a computer. Which brings us to the action scenes, which are the dumbest, silliest, most insane set pieces this franchise has seen so far… and I love all of them. I love heavy dramas, I love being intellectually challenged… but sometimes I just need something ridiculously stupid to put a big smile on my face. And the action in this movie did just that. The action in this is an absolute blast to watch.

This movie has been decently well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 67% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 56/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6.7/10.

“The Fate of the Furious” is an absolutely bonkers action movie with a lot of heart, and while that might not be everyone’s cup of tea, I absolutely loved it. It has a really good story, really good characters, great performances, good music, and great directing/action. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “The Fate of the Furious” is a 9,56/10. So it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “The Fate of the Furious” is now completed.

Sometimes you just need something stupid.

Movie Review: Straight Outta Compton (2015)

Straight-Outta-Compton-Oshea-Jackson-Jr-Corey-Hawkins-Jason-Mitchell-Neil-Brown-Jr-WallpapersByte-com-1366x768

Straight outta Compton, crazy motherfucker named Ice Cube
From the gang called
I’m not black enough to say this word With Attitudes.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Straight Outta Compton”.

Disclaimer: I know this thing is based on a true story, but I will not base my review on how perfectly accurate to the real situation it may or may not be, but I will instead judge it as a movie… which it is. Disclaimer over.

So this is a movie about gangsta rap group N.W.A that emerged in the late 80’s. The group consisted of Ice Cube (O’Shea Jackson Jr), Dr. Dre (Corey Hawkins), Eazy-E (Jaosn Mitchell), DJ Yella (Neil Brown Jr) and MC Ren (Aldis Hodge). And this movie is basically how they started out easily in Compton, California and then after having met producer Jerry Heller (Paul Giamatti) how they rose to superstardom. And then it follows what happened when some complications rose among the group. And I have to say that I found the development of the story extremely interesting. The basics of it is a “rags-to-riches” story, but it adds a lot of good drama and even a bit of tension to it all to make it surprisingly unique in it’s execution. I was heavily invested the entire time and I never felt like it dragged at any point which feels weird since the movie is two and a half hours long.

The people you see in this movie are all a bunch of interesting individuals. What I didn’t mention earlier is that while the movie is about NWA, it more or less follows Ice Cube, Eazy-E and Dr. Dre more than the other two. And I guess that might come from the fact that Cube and Dre are producers on this film together with Eazy-E’s widow. Anywho… the acting in this movie was good. You know what’s kind of weird in that sense? Ice Cube is played by Ice Cube’s son. Doing a movie like that would feel like a dumb idea A.K.A. tooting your own horn, but here it really worked. O’Shea Jackson Jr. was great as his dad… that just feels so weird to say. Every other actor was great as well in their roles. I don’t wanna say that every individual because then we’d be here all fuckin’ week… yeah.

I think it goes without saying that if you absolutely hate hip hop/rap, you will not be too happy with the soundtrack for this movie. But would once expect a different kind of soundtrack for a movie like this? Not really. However I have to say that I was a little surprised to find out that there was an original score in this movie as well. And I also have to say that it was really good. It was tense, dramatic and just great. Good job with the score, Joseph Trapanese!

This movie was directed by F. Gary Gray and I am impressed, this is a very well directed movie with lots of great shots and little touches to it. And I think that really helps with the pacing of the movie that I mentioned earlier. Ya know, the part where I mentioned that this movie moves at a pretty quick pace for it’s long(ish) runtime. I also wanna mention that if you hate cursing, nudity, violence, drug use and other not too decent things then maybe you wanna keep away from this movie.

This movie has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 88% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 72/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,0/10. The movie was also nominated for 1 Oscar (Fuckin’ really?) in the category of Best Original Screenplay. 

“Straight Outta Compton” is an interesting movie about the lifetime of a legendary hip hop group. It has a great story, great acting, a great soundtrack and great directing. Time for my final score. Yo. My final score for “Straight Outta Compton” is a 9,87/10. IT most definitely gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
Seal of Approval

My review of “Straight Outta Compton” is now completed.

Damn, that shit was dope!