The Fate of the Furious [Review by Haus]
(1) My former girlfriend’s terrier once ate a giant marzipan bar of mine, nearly her same damn size. We came back from the ski hill and this little dog was slouching around with a rock-hard belly, packed thick with almond paste. A man of science, I was truly shocked she fit it all in. Another friend’s dog got into a massive birthday cake and ate the entire thing in minutes.
(2) I love Luxardo cherries. They’re the best. If a bartender puts one in a drink, I’ll petition for more and more. One time, a particularly hospitable barkeep thought she’d catch me crying wolf, and put about thirty in my drink. I ate every single one, feeling justifiably like Homer in the Ironic Punishment Division.
Why do I say these things? Well, some folks prefer balance. They like a little taste of something sweet after a wholesome meal. They don’t want an entire marzipan bar the size of their whole body and nothing else. They don’t want to eat just cake. They don’t want thirty liquor-steeped cherries in a Collins glass.
They won’t like this movie.
This movie is a sugar rush. It’s like someone sucked the marrow and substance out of every good action movie, then distilled whatever was left into a sticky sweet syrup of hero cars and CGI and nuclear threats and explosions and punchlines. It’s a thick quilt of shiny bits swaddling the most infantile and preposterous scaffold of story. There’s nothing to it but flash.
I liked it.
Sure, any old joe could sit down in my special Haus chair and moan at you that The Fate of the Furious is just some glossy mindless vanity project, a juvenile sideshow, a super-size maple milkshake with a whole tub of frosting and a big heap of sugar and not one good calorie; they’d go on to complain that this candy-apple clearcoat metal-flake show-queen is in fact merely some tragic cloudy discharge from the ugly end of our juvenile, Snap-drunk, materialistic nation of excess and boors and gridlock, and isn’t it a shame that the polar caps are melting and we’re all such terrible disappointments.
That’s probably true. Bah humbug!
As far as the Fast and the Furious franchise goes, this has a shot at being best of the series. There’s just more of everything. The cast keeps getting bigger, like some giant tumbleweed rolling through Universal’s backlot, glomming up the talent. Helen Mirren stuck to it. Helen Mirren!
Prior installments sometimes took themselves too seriously. Not this one. This is at once in on the joke, yet totally dedicated to entertaining everyone in the audience — right down to the protozoan on your shoe that can only sense general flashes of light. Every creature — single celled on up — will leave having been Entertained.
This is all very meta of me. I’m doing a review without doing a review, much like this movie tells a story without much actual story.
I will now recommend this movie to you.
If you’re a fan of the franchise, you certainly know what you’re in for. If not, heck, you’ll find something to enjoy in here — like, Charlize Theron is quite good — or at the very least marvel at just how much shiny stuff the legitimately talented F. Gary Gray can stuff into one movie.
Go on. You can watch Citizen Kane tomorrow in penance. But it’s the weekend — have your cherries tonight.
Haus Verdict: My name is Haus and I have reviewed this movie.
The Fate of the Furious opens Friday, April 14.
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