Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel; xXx) and the gang have returned; only, this time, they seem to be on opposite sides. Dom and Letty (Michelle Rodriguez; Resident Evil) are on their honeymoon in Cuba when Cipher (Charlize Theron; Mad Max: Fury Road) shows up and interrupts their glorious vacation. Suddenly. Dom "goes rogue" and double crosses his team leaving them hurt, angry and wondering what is going on. It also leaves the audience wondering what exactly Cipher is holding over Dom. My first guess was that Cipher had killed Brian and was holding Dom's sister hostage (which would have made for a neat and clean explanation of what happened to Brian) but it turns out it is something more interesting and far-fetched.
The team must now try to stop Dom as he works with Cipher to steal an EMP, nuclear codes, and a Russian submarine. In the end, of course, Dom beats Cipher and destroys her plans for world domination via nuclear bombs. Oh, and the thing Cipher holds over his head to bend to her will (spoiler alert) is the threat of killing the son Dom had with Elena (Elsa Pataky: Snakes on a Plane) when they dated after he thought Letty was dead. Yes, that's right… Dom has a son, which is interesting since at the beginning of the film he and Letty talk about having children (or at least allude to it).
The cast is full of those we know and love from previous Fast and Furious films and they really do mesh like a well-oiled machine for the most part. I never really felt the chemistry between Dom and Letty, so their relationship makes no sense to me, but I guess fans of the films like them together, so now they are married. Dwayne Johnson (San Andreas), Tyrese Gibson (Transformers), Chris ‘Ludacris' Bridges (No Strings Attached), and Jason Statham (The Transporter) all return and are part of what makes these films so enjoyable. Nathalie Emmanuel (Game of Thrones) joined them in movie number seven and she seems to be the newest, permanent member of the team. New to this film are Scott Eastwood (The Longest Ride) and Theron, the former being kind of annoying while the latter being part of what makes this film work so well. She plays the villain well and her turn as Cipher is no exception. A cameo by Helen Mirren (Eye in the Sky) is also a welcomed addition.
The Fast and The Furious movies are always about the cars but in The Fate of the Furious, it's REALLY all about the cars, especially with a literal tidal wave of vehicles engulfing the Russian Ambassador's limousine in the middle of Manhattan. It also plays into conspiracy theorists fears that computers are taking over the world, as all these cars are being controlled by Cipher who makes them "dance" in a chaotic ballet of machinery. There are more souped-up cars and the best of the best in terms of sports cars. Heck, they even have a tank.
Many of the actors in this series aren't the best but they hold their own for the most part and fans have grown to love these characters. Adding to that, some of the stunts are too over the top and unbelievable like when the team "shields" Dom from a submarine explosion and fire. However, they got some great action sequences and the plot is pretty good. The script is ok (if not cheesy at times) and there manages to be some good laughs thrown into the mix, which lightens the mood, especially during some of the intense car chase scenes.
The series has a loyal fan base and if the crowds for the previous screenings are any indications this movie will do very well at the box office. With movies nine and ten already announced, it looks like we will be seeing a lot more of Dom and company in the future. Let's hope the production team does as good of a job with the next two as they did with number 8.