The Fate of the Furious Review
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With 2015ís Furious 7, the Fast and Furious franchise was forced to say good-bye to its lovable star Paul Walker. But despite Walkerís characterís retirement from the crew, the show goes onóand it does so in big, explosive, and wildly entertaining fashion in The Fate of the Furious.

The eighth film in the franchise catches up with Dom and Letty (Vin Diesel and Michelle Rodriguez) on their honeymoon in Havana. But their getaway to the hot sun and fast cars of Cuba is cut short when a mysterious woman (Charlize Theron) tracks Dom down and makes him an offer that he canít refuse. And when Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) calls the crew in to help with a top secret government operation in Berlin, Dom is forced to turn his back on his team as he gets caught up in the world of cyber terrorism.

The Fast and Furious franchise has definitely come a long way since its 2001 debut. What started out as a cool crime thriller about fast cars, loud music, and tough guys in Los Angeles has become a globe-trotting franchise with a growing group of guys (and girls) working with shadowy government agencies to battle international criminals.

With each new installment, everything seems to get a little bigger: the action, the cast, the interwoven storylines. And The Fate of the Furious continues to build on the franchise, adding cast members like a puffed-up Scott Eastwood, a quietly sinister, dreadlocked Charlize Theron, and a fun surprise or two while bringing back a number of familiar characters from previous installments.

Still, despite the additions, the story isnít quite as complex as some of the earlier films in the franchise. In fact, itís all pretty simple and straightforward. Though it can sometimes be a tangle of call-backs to stories and adversaries from older installments, thereís just one mission involving one villain. And not only does that make it easier to follow, but it also allows audiences to sit back and enjoy everything else: the racing, the explosive action, the charactersí camaraderie, and the brainless fun of it allóbecause, despite the growing cast, the explosions, and the international espionage, it never takes itself too seriously.

Once again, the action here is completely over-the-top, with sequences that are so absolutely, laughably outrageous that you canít help but enjoy them. The cast is filled with the same lovable goofballs as before. And Dwayne Johnson continues to mix action and humor in just the right amounts. Is this a solid, believable action movie? Not at all. But itís still a whole lot of fun.

The summer movie season may not really begin until the first weekend in May, but The Fate of the Furious offers an action-packed and entertaining preview of whatís to come. Itís the kind of fast-paced adventure thatís best paired with a jumbo popcorn and your favorite movie candy.

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