‘The Fate of the Furious’ Review Roundup: Cars Crash and Burn, But This Sequel Doesn’t

Early reviews praise the franchise’s continued commitment to spectacle, though some critics chafed at the ridiculousness

If early reviews are any indication, “The Fate of the Furious” will give its die-hard fans their fix of adrenaline-filled, insanely implausible blockbuster spectacle.

With 11 reviews submitted, the eighth installment in Universal’s “Fast & Furious” franchise — and the first filmed entirely without Paul Walker since his death four years ago — currently has a 73 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, just a little below the series-high of 79 percent posted by its 2015 predecessor, “Furious 7.”

The film has received praise for its commitment to providing the most over-the-top action scenes moviegoers could possibly ask for, as well as the fun performances by its long-running cast led by Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham.

But “Fate” has not escaped criticism. TheWrap’s Dan Callahan denounced the film for its disjointed plot and nonsensical twists, comparing it to “the kind of games that 11-year-old boys put together on the playground during recess, with women in peril and so many different parts for everyone to play that you begin to lose track of who everybody is and who they are supposed to be to each other.”

Other critics lambasted the decision to make Statham’s character, Deckard Shaw, an ally of Dominic Toretto’s team after Toretto is blackmailed into turning against his companions by the evil Cipher (Charlize Theron). Considering Shaw was responsible for the death of Han, one of the team’s earliest members, makes that plot point that much more unfathomable.

Check out some more reviews for “The Fate of the Furious” below:

Jim Vejvoda, IGN

“The real standout among the cast is the series’ new adversary. Charlize Theron brings the proper degree of icy cruelty to Cipher, who is essentially a Bond villain. She operates out of a jet, has a seemingly endless supply of henchmen, and harbors plans for global domination. Theron underplays the role, making Cipher’s head games and willingness to kill anyone — and delivering it all with a cobra-like stillness — all the creepier.”

Kimber Myers, The Playlist

“After directing ‘Straight Outta Compton,’ F. Gary Gray returns to action for ‘The Fate Of The Furious,; and it’s a great match between filmmaker and franchise. He and the series’ frequent director of photography Stephen F. Windon make sure that this isn’t just another flatly shot action movie; instead, there’s great care paid to the film’s look and style. With editing from Paul Rubell and Christian Wagner, the fight scenes feel dangerous, as we see punches land and bodies slam. Each time the movie faces the choice to “go big or go home,” it definitely goes for the former. There’s plenty of money on the screen and it’s worth every penny.”

Mike Ryan, UPROXX

“In the next couple of movies the team is going to have to go to space. They are going to run out of earthly ways to top themselves, so they will have to go to space. Only when they go to space, there will be some crazy excuse invented as to why they all will need their cars. Mark my words: Dominic Toretto will be driving a car in space – there will even be a scene in which he flips on his nitrous, turbo thruster device at the last second to save the day.”

David D’Arcy, Screen International

“You don’t watch ‘The Fate Of The Furious’ for the acting, except perhaps for the wisecracks that come from the men in the cast. Yet Helen Mirren, in a brief appearance as Deckard’s mum, gives a delightful turn as a London mother-mobster with the make-up to match and a killer instinct for making her murderous son bleed with guilt. Assuming Mirren was well-paid for a role that couldn’t have taken long to shoot, her scenes are worth every penny and every second.”

David Ehrlich, IndieWire

“Jason Statham’s Deckard Shaw makes for some of the most fun moments in “F8” (the best of which is too good to spoil), but the ease with which Dom’s pals allow the “Furious 7” villain into their club is not only a fatal misread of what fans loved about these films, it’s also a tacit admission that their sentiments are as fake as their stunts. Han is never even mentioned. It’s nice that Paul Walker gets to live on through these movies[…]but the actor’s death has eliminated the last remaining failsafes that were preventing this franchise from forgetting what it’s all about, and “F8” sends the entire enterprise careening towards a full-blown identity crisis.”

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