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: Furious 7 (2015)

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As some of you might remember, I reviewed every single “Fast & Furious” movie back in May of this year because of the at that point recent release of this damn movie. And from that it’s taken me more than 6 months to get around to it. But at long last, we are here. So let’s stop with this shit and get with it.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Furious 7”.

Ready for some more stupidity? *Smack* Ouch, okay I’ll do it right! The story of this movie is that Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham), the brother of the the last movie’s villain, is coming after the gang to get revenge for his brother. So it’s up to Dom (Vin Diesel), Brian (Paul Walker, R.I.P) and all the other guys we know and love to try and stop him. Now that is the main plot we are supposed to care about, but at the same time we get a secondary plot of the gang helping a governmental orgainzation led by Mr. Nobody (Kurt Russell) with finding a device that could locate any person on planet earth. And it is all very convoluted and guys, this is what the problem was with “Fast & Furious 6”. Don’t get me wrong, I think the plot of this movie is more well handled than in the last movie, but it’s still a bit convoluted and that takes away a bit from the enjoyment of the movie. I mean, it’s fine I guess.

The characters are just as enjoyable as last time and their performances have neither imporved nor gotten worse. So let’s discuss some of the newer ones… like Jason Statham as Deckard Shaw. I would say that putting Jason Statham as the main villain of your movie is a damn good idea, it is one I highly approve of. And while Statham’s performance was really good and menacing, I still felt like the character was underutilized and that he was only there to mess things up a little for our heroes. Then we have Kurt Russell as the mysterious Mr. Nobody and he was awesome. Come on, it’s Kurt fuckin’ Russell! Sure, he wasn’t in teh movie too much, but he was still great… He’s Kurt Russell! One thing I feel kind of split about is the character of Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson). Don’t get me wrong, I think he might be the best thing that ever happened to this franchise, but he is used so little in this movie that it’s a bit disappointing. Sure, whenever he is on screen we get some of the best parts of the movie, but they are so few and far between that I almost feel betrayed.

The score for “Furious 7” was composed by Brian Tyler and as you may know, I’m a big fan of that guy. And as per usual, he delivered a great original score for the movie. It is big, bombastic, tense and surprisingly emotional. I would really dare say that this is one of the best scores I have ever heard from Tyler. With that said, does the rest of the soundtrack work for the movie? Yes… yes it does. They managed to fit songs perfectly into the scenes they were used in. And with that said, I feel like i should maybe touch on the song “See you Again” by Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth. The song was created as a tribute to the late Paul Walker and his character Brian who would most likely get retired after this movie. And I have to say that the song worked, it is a fitting send-off for Walker and his character. I can also say that I think it is a good song, maybe even worthy of an Oscar nomination…

This is the first “F&F” movie since “Tokyo Drift” that have had a new director take over. So now instead of Justin Lin directing it, we have James Wan who is more known for horror movies than for action. But I have to say that I think he did a good job directing this movie. Sure, the hand-to-hand combat sequences were not that great because of a higher framerate and for a little bit of shaky-cam in them, so they are not impressive at all. However, when there is over-the-top vehicular mayhem in the movie, Wan really did a fantastic job! It’s silly, stupid, ridiculous, absolutely bonkers and pretty fucking fun. Really, instead of Vengeance Hits Home, the tagline for the movie should’ve been Physics Be Damned. 

This movie has been pretty well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 81% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 67/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,3/10.

While bogged down a bit by a convoluted plot and underutilization of certain characters, “Furious 7” is still one of the best entries in the franchise. With fun characters, a really great soundtrack, really good directing and a fitting send-off for Paul Walker, it’s definitely still a fun movie. Time for my final score. *Cough*. My final score for “Furious 7” is an 8,95/10. It’s definitely worth buying.
Worth buying

My review of “Furious 7” is finally completed.

*Looks out window*. Is that Jeff parachuting a car?

Movie Review: Fast & Furious 6 (2013)

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At last, my friends… we are here. The last part of my series of “Fast & Furious” reviews. Of course I will review “Furious 7” at some point… but that’s not now. No, now we review the 6th one which seemed like it would be the final one (yeah right). So now it is time to wrap up this series of reviews with…

“FAST AND FURIOUS 6”!

In this movie we have Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) asking the gang to help him take out dangerous mercenary Owen Shaw (Luke Evans). So once again Dom (Vin Diesel), Brian (Paul Walker, R.I.P), Roman (Tyrese Gibson), Tej (Ludacris), Han (Sung Kang) and Gisele (Gal Gadot) has to team up and cause some major mayhem! But we also get this really odd and almost out of place sidestory how (Spoilers for “Fast & Furious” (2009) if you have not seen it) Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) actually survived that crash, lost her memory and got recruited by Shaw. Again, it felt really out of place and I don’t get why it exists. It just makes the entire plot really convoluted and kind of over it’s own head. This is something that I felt dragged the movie down a bit for me, a convoluted plot. The plot sin’t bad per se, it’s just (like I said) dragged down by those twisty little parts.

The characters are as great as ever. Vin Diesel growls like always. Paul Walker was really good in the movie too. I feel like he finally managed to give a performance that was above “Good” but below “Great”. Tyrese Gibson was funny and not annoying (unlike in “2 Fast 2 Stupid Title”). Sung Kang was great, I really liked him since he showed up in “Tokyo Drift”. Gal Gadot was also really good. Ludacris was pretty entertaining too. Riddle me this one though, boyh in “Fast Five” and this one his character is a bit of a tech wiz… yet that theme never popped up in “2 Fast 2 Stupid Title”. What the hell happened screenwriters? Fuck it! And of course… Dwayne Johnson as Luke Hobbs… fucking awesome! I mean, it’s Dwayne Johnson… nothing more needs to be said. I also did like Luke Evans as Owen Shaw, he was a pretty good villain. I did overall enjoy all characters.

The score was apparently NOT done by Brian Tyler which is weird because he made the music for the previous three movies and apparently he made the score for “Furious 7”, so why wasn’t he involved with this? Apparently it was done by a bunch of different musicians. And yes, it did fit really well. NEXT!

Remember the laws of physics? Yeah well you can say goodbye to them in this movie. They basically nowhere to be found. With that said, the action in this movie is pretty fucking great. The c-q-c (Close quarters combat) was pretty well done. The driving parts were also pretty spectacular. At this point they have nailed everything they need to nail when it comes to being an action movie about Fast cars and Furious Vin Diesel.

This movie, while pretty well-received, was not as well-received as the previous installment “Fast Five”. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 69% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 61/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,2/10.

“Fast & Furious 6” is a fast-paced, badass action movie with a few good performances, some pretty good music and awesome action. However, it is brought down by a convoluted plot with a bunch of out of place twists. Time for my final score. *Window breaks* What the hell, Jeff!? What happened? You flew out of a car? And you’re alright? Well, shit. Envelope? Thank you, now go away! My final score for “Fast & Furious 6” is an 8,40/10. Even though the plot drags it down a bit, it is still worth a rental.
Rent it

“Fast & Furious 6” reviewed.

Plan B? We need a plan C, D, E. We need more alphabet!

Movie Review: Fast Five (2011)

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Jesus tapdancing Christ, we are already at number 5 in the series. So let’s cut the crap and get straight into the review, shall we?

Dudes and chicks… “Fast Five”.

So once again Dom Toretto (Vin Diesel) and Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker, R.I.P) return to cause more vehicular mayhem. But this time it is to pull the heist of a lifetime so they can buy their freedom. But they can’t do this alone! They hire a team of people who are experts in their respective fields. And this team consists of previous cast members Roman Pearce (Tyrese Gibson, oh fuck no), Tej (Ludacris), Han (Sung Kang), Gisele (Gal Gadot), Leo (Tego Calderon) and Santos (Don Omar). But at the same time they have to worry about taking down a druglord AND staying clear of federal agent Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson). Before giving a verdict… how did we go from ripping off “Point Break” to ripping off “Ocean’s Eleven”? Anyway, the plot in this movie while slightly more layered than what is good for the franchise, I love the plot to the movie. While it has a few layers, it is well done and surprisingly simple. Since this movie doesn’t take itself that seriously and instead embracing the ridiculous aspects of the franchise it really helps. It knows it is stupid and it wears it like a badge… kind of like 1996’s “The Rock”.

The characters in this movie are great. They are all fun and get a good amount of space, while not feeling over/underused. Vin Diesel is still really good (if you can call it that) as Dom Toretto. And in this one Paul Walker has not really improved since the last time, but that’s not a bad thing seeing that he was pretty good in “Fast & Furious”. All other characters are great too. AND TYRESE GIBSON WASN’T ANNOYING IN THIS ONE! And of course… Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, he is as awesome as he is in everything. I swear, you could put that guy in a movie where he is in just one room, reading the dictionary and he’d be great. And to be fair, everyone was really good in the movie.

The hip-hop music is back, fitting perfectly in how it is used. They also added a little latino pop, in lack of a better word for it. And for the third (and so far best) time Brian Tyler. And as per usual the score was great. It was intense, it was action-y and it was overall great.

This is Justin Lin’s third time directing an “F&F” movie and it is definitely the most well-directed of the three. It is smooth, it is visually great and HOLY SHIT, THE ACTION IS AWESOME! It is fast, furious, intense and badass as hell! Not just the driving scenes which are by far the best in the franchise so far, but all other action scenes too. The fights, the shootouts, the chases… they are all great. Especially if you are able to suspend your disbelief. Because this movie is so badass that it chooses to ignore the laws of physics. So you science nerds should probably not watch this movie. Thank god then that I love over-the-top stuff like this!

Looking at all major review sites, this is the most well-received of the movies so far. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 78% positive rating with a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 67/100. Roger Ebert liked this one and gave it 3/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,3/10.

“Fast Five” is big, loud and dumb and it wears it like a badge. With fun characters, a decent story, great music and some awesomely ridiculous action, it is a good movie. Time for my final score. *Vroom vroom* My final score for “Fast Five” is a 9,64/10. It of course gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”
Seal of Approval

“Fast Five” is now reviewed.

Kind of sounds like a high-speed handjob…

Movie Review: 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003)

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Hello and welcome back to my month of “The Fast and the Furious”! You know, the thing I started the other day where I try to get through all the “Fast & Furious” movies before the end of may. So let’s not stand still any longer, let’s dive into the sequel to that 2001 racing movie.

Ladies and gents… “2 Fast 2 Furious”.

Hey look, stupid racing! *Donk* Ouch! Okay, okay, I’ll do it properly! Since I have to talk about the plot I better get it out of the way. So in this movie we see the return of Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker, R.I.P). In this movie he gets teamed up with childhood friend Roman Pierce (Tyrese Gibson) by the FBI to take down a Miami drug exporter in exchange of getting their criminal records cleared. So they tried to add more layers to a plot about silly action movies about fast cars and hot chicks. Oh well. The plot, while not bad, was really fucking stupid. They didn’t need the extra layer and I feel like it brought down the movie as you were reminded sometimes that there was a plot to begin with. They thought they made a great plot when really they didn’t.

What this movie lacks in plot it makes up for in characters. They are all colorful, not very well-acted, but colorful. But hey, at least Paul Walker got slightly better at acting since the first movie. Tyrese Gibson, while not a great actor, was enjoyable in the movie. And the guy who played the villain Carter Verone (Cole Hauser), he was almost cartoonish in how he portrayed him. But by far, best character in the movie has to be Tej (Ludacris), he was fucking awesome. I don’t know, I just enjoyed him.

The soundtrack for the movie is pretty similar to the one from the first movie with the only major difference being that there are no Limp Bizkit styled songs. Only hip-hop/rap this time. And this time I feel like the choice of songs was slightly better than the previous movie. Last time I feel like they just grabbed a couple of songs and threw in there. In this movie however I feel like they actually gave some thought to which songs to use and when to use them. So I am glad they learned how to do it… at least do it better.

The action scenes in this movie are just as fun in this movie if not even more fun. I don’t really know why I like them more, I just do. Somehow they just feel faster and more fun. Also, did anyone else notice that a large chunk of the lines in this movie felt like they could be lyrics to a rap song? Because to be it felt like that… weird.

This movie as not very well-received among critics and a fair amount of people. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 36% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 38/100. Roger Ebert knew the movie was just stupid fun and gave it 3/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 5,8/10.

“2 Fast 2 Furious” is 2 stupid 2 hate (Sorry about that). The addition of a slightly thicker plot brings it down while still having enjoyable action scenes, colorful characters and a slightly better performance from Paul Walker. Time for my final score. Wow, you got here fast, Jeff. You said you are… 2 Fast 2 Furious? Just give me the fucking envelope! Now go away! My final score for “2 Fast 2 Furious” is a 7,44/10. I think it’s worth renting.
Rent it

Review of “2 Fast 2 Furious” is done.

Such a stupid title…