Spoilerdome: THE FATE OF THE FURIOUS

Where it's not just the cars that have spoilers.

Well, it’s here. The moment you’ve all been waiting for. The Fate of the Furious is out, being all explodey on screens across the globe. What are your thoughts? Does F. Gary Gray’s contribution to the franchise live up to your expectations? Or down to them, depending on how you feel about these movies? Spit it out. See the comment thread below this post? Use it.

Note: this is a spoiler-friendly zone. If you haven’t seen the movie and you care about spoilers, come back later. If you have seen the movie, feel free to talk about all the crazy stuff in it, like Peter Dinklage’s uncredited role as a talking Pontiac Aztek. And the military-trained velociraptors. Talk about them for sure.

  • dianec

    OH MY GOD.

    A few favorite things:

    Submarine!
    Elaborate, semi-mythological ways for criminals to travel (not quite as good as the Wickverse but still very cool)
    Luke Evans!
    Helen Mirren and Jason Statham have hilarious and wonderful chemistry. Shaw family again, please!
    This was Vinny Diesels being a damn good actor. He sold all those angry, anguished man scenes.

    A few questions:

    Tej or Roman?
    Did you even remember their last names?
    Did you call the baby’s name like I did as soon as Elena said he didn’t have a first name?

    • Yeah, I went “Brian” as soon as she said it. Actually, there was a guy behind me in my screening who said, “I knew it!” when the name was “revealed.” I think everyone who knows the franchise knew it was going to be Brian.

      • dianec

        I don’t think they would have gone with Paul (too meta) but I would have burst into tears if they had.

        • Allen

          Paolo would have been a heart wrenching compromise. Brian fits better though.

          • dianec

            Yeah, it’s a nice way to bring significance to the name.

        • Ed

          Paul was what my brain thought of when the baby was revealed, but Brian works better, honors Paul Walker without breaking the illusion

    • Andrew Clark

      I suspected it would be “Brian” after she revealed the son wasn’t named after her own deceased husband (though was his name Marcus and that was his middle name? I’m afraid I forget…he’s only mentioned by name once or twice in 5).

      I remember Roman’s last name because he loves saying it “I’m Roman PEARCE!” At first I thought Ramsay as just fucking with them by pointing out that they’ve never made an effort to actually get to know her, but I guess it will be a bit going forward. Ramsay only got one moment to shine in this movie, unfortunately, and that was in the little bit she had with Letty and then Roman in the garage. “Oh you just gonna email her, then?”

      It was so much fun to see Luke Evans again as Owen Shaw, even though that guy is a pretty big jerk. I guess almost dying and being in a coma can chill you out. I remember Evans teasing that Owen wouldn’t be in a coma forever but I was genuinely surprised to see him again so soon.

      • dianec

        I think the Shaw Bros are going to be in 9. I mean, they’d have to. This series is all about fambly! You can’t NOT have actual fambly members.

        • Andrew Clark

          I hope so. This was definitely set up as more of a ‘laying the land for more adventures’ than even 5 or 6 were. The bad guy got away! There’s a new fambly unit! The Shaws are now on speed-dial!

          And hopefully they’ll follow through on more Helen Mirren. She’s clearly a big deal with lots of connections, but is she a master criminal or a super spy? Who knows! She loves her sons and respects Dom. And I want to see her admonish Deckard some more.

          • dianec

            Act 3 worked really well with the team split up like that. I really liked the balance between fighting Cipher’s goons on the plane and the separatist group on the ice. It gives everyone a chance to shine and it gives everyone a big action sequence. I like that they paired Letty and Ramsey. It passes the bechdel test! The only one who didn’t get much opportunity to shine was Scott Eastwood, who committed to the fambly by smashing a box of keys when he probably had the key to unlock the box somewhere. I did like his rapport with Roman though. He doesn’t need to be Brian but Roman is best when people are making fun of him a little.

          • Andrew Clark

            I did love Kurt Russell as proud dad in that moment. I also love how casually he plays Nobody. He’s clearly invested in the family but he’s also kind of like “Hey, cool, man, lets get this done” about the proceedings.

          • Allen

            Owen and Deckard earned Fambly membership by saving baby Brian

          • Andrew Clark

            I was just imagining how Letty would feel if Owen walked into the room. It seemed like he treated her pretty well (and trained her into a lean, mean, fighting machine) all things considered, I guess. She was with that team for years!

          • dianec

            Was their relationship purely professional or were they an item?

          • Allen

            I think he wanted to sleep with her but she didn’t seem to feel anything for him.

          • dianec

            That might be a feature of the series though. With the exception of Dom and Letty in F8 it’s hard to believe any of the characters having convincing romantic feelings for other characters. I didn’t even think Brian and Mia were that convincing.

          • Allen

            Umm, excuse me, you are forgetting Han and Giselle!

          • dianec

            Oh snap, I did!

          • Allen

            Go beg the Speed Lords for forgiveness

          • dianec

            I will now sacrifice a pint of premium gasoline.

      • Allen

        Marcos is the middle name

        • Andrew Clark

          I know! I mean I don’t remember if that was her husbands name.

          • Allen

            Ah got ya. I will say there were about 10 seconds where the kid would end up being named Paolo and I would have lost it. As was I still nearly did.

          • dianec

            My heart might have skipped a beat when Roman said “Brian would know what to do.” I wasn’t sure if they were going to mention Brian and Mia.

  • Although I have my problems with the film’s handling of Deckard Shaw, I adored Jason Statham’s sequence with Lilttle Brian Toretto.

    Conscious riff on the ending of Hard Boiled?

  • Andrew Clark

    I guess I’ll just start with all the stuff I absolutely loved:

    – The first (necessary) fifteen minutes establishing Dom and Letty as an actual couple with real chemistry.

    This feels like them knowing they need to really beef up the relationship before the betrayal since Dom and Letty haven’t really had time to ever come across as truly together as Brian and Mia did, or Dom and Brian. And it actually works for me. Letty and Dom smirking at one another when they know they’re going to beat the pants off some egotistically loan shark was really sweet. And Michelle Rodriguez is great, folks. She doesn’t get enough credit. And I love when she smiles. It’s so sweet and vulnerable.

    – The Rock teaching his daughter’s soccer team that Samoan battle dance. Go Red Dragons!

    – The team deciding after Roman didn’t follow through on the airplane drop that they are just going to leave him out of plans and hope for the best.

    – Dwayne Johnson throwing Scott Eastwood around like an actual toy.

    – The entire prison sequence, from The Rock bicep curling a cement bench to the prison break, which is probably the best fight sequence in the movie. Twyla Tharp has a quote from when she worked with Baryshnikov, about how when you have a stallion, you let it RUN. When you have Jason Statham, you let him jump around and kick ass. And he tears this scene apart with how badass he is. The Rock, too.

    – The banter between Johnson and Statham throughout. So many good bits.

    – “You all made INTERPOL’s Top 10 Most Wanted List”.

    “Well alright!”

    “Actually…not you.”

    – Scott Eastwood’s doofy incompetence being a perfect foil for Roman’s doofy incompetence. Scott Eastwood in general was hit or miss for me, and I wish he had a moment to shine or prove his worth in the climax.

    – Vin Diesel’s meeting with Dame Helen Mirren.

    Dame Mirren in general was a ton of fun. I wish we had gotten a scene of all the Shaws together. I will say that my entire theater cheered, yes CHEERED, for Luke Evans when he took off his mask on the plane. And man, how fucking cool were those pursuit one-man vehicles they were using? I wish we had gotten a whole scene with those things.

    – Zombie Cars.

    I wish the team had gone up against the zombie cars. It was less interesting to watch some Russian goons get beat around by it, but it was still an inspired sequence. I also got a thrill out of being in New York while watching a scene in New York. If you weren’t aware, there are obviously no car dealerships in the middle of Manhattan, though :-P.

    – Baby. Plane. Fight.

    Another example of just letting Statham go to town, but with the added humor and element of taking care of a baby while murdering the shit out of a bunch of people. This sequence was really fantastic.

    – The insanity of the ice climax.

    It was nice to see Roman get to be pretty cool, even if he had the ridiculous idea to take a fucking sports car to Russia and NO ONE TOLD HIM THIS WAS A BAD IDEA UNTIL THEY WERE ALREADY THERE.

    Something about the way the teams cars all surround Dom at the end to protect him from the fire felt like this series in a nutshell. People and cars and fambly protecting one another.

    I’m sure I’ll come up with more stuff, but those are some initial thoughts. Obviously I’m over the moon for this movie.

    I already posted my Deckard/Han thoughts in the review thread, of course!

    • dianec

      I about burst into cheers when the cars formed a car shield to keep Dom safe. That really is the entire movie’s ethos in a nutshell!!

      I like that the fambly basically knocked out the entire top 11 list.

      • Ed

        The car shield is peak fast and furious. Something utterly dumb that completely works

    • Allen

      You forgot one thing: BABY BRIAN

      • dianec

        Baby Brian was adorable. They found a very suitable ethnically ambiguous baby.

      • Andrew Clark

        Baby Brian was really great. Jason Statham Lone Wolf and Cubbed the shit out of that baby.

  • SPOIL ME, FUCKERS

    • dianec

      Dom punches a military grade velociraptor in the junk.

    • Andrew Clark

      Movie ends with Sam Jackson walking into the barbecue and saying “I have someone I want to introduce you to…his name is Xander Cage.”

      And CREDITS.

      • this isn’t the crossover we want, but it is the crossover we need

        what am I on about, of course we want it

        • Andrew Clark

          I would lose my mind. Basically DOUBLE DRAGON in a combined XXX/F&F universe? I would be in fucking heaven.

          Imagine Ruby Rose trading barbs with Letty. Or Donnie Yen and Jason Statham squaring off and becoming best friends.

          • Dom and Xander discover they were separated at birth – I mean that’s not such a tall order for either of these franchises

    • In the end Roman becomes the New Flesh and blows his brains out with a gun that is fused with his hand.

  • Allen

    The Shaw brothers wrecking shop was a series highlight. I caught myself audibly saying “WHAT” when they revealed Owen.

    • dianec

      I was so surprised and happy. I noticed that neither he nor Helen Mirren were in the beginning credits.

      • Earlier today he still wasn’t on the Wikipedia page. He is now, which is kind of a bummer.

  • dianec

    At first I didn’t like that there was a secret baby but I ended up really liking it a few more scenes later because I realized that there wasn’t any real reason for Dom to go so far unless it was someone other than Elena. We didn’t get enough of their relationship on screen to invest in it but there’s no way anyone is going to leave a baby to die so that makes more sense.

    • Andrew Clark

      Yeah. I remember lots of speculation about how they could possibly make Dom turn against family, and the answer turned out to be blindingly obvious: more family.

  • dianec

    I’ve got a hockey game streaming and every other commercial during the break is for F8. I’ve watched the promo 10 times now. I cheer at the TV every time.

  • Here’s hoping this franchise keeps going long enough for Brian Toretto to join the family on their adventures.

  • Andrew Clark

    I just remembered one of my favorite parts, which is Hobbs’ “DO YOU WANT TO SAVE THE WORLD?” speech to Eastwood.

    Also the whole Rock-coaching scene was adorable.

    “There seem to be more moms than kids.”

    “It’s a big soccer town.”

  • Andrew Clark

    OKAY so I just figured something out. I had been trying to figure why Dom had a tracking device in his crucifix, but now I realize that that is what he is soldering when Hobbs calls him in Cuba! He was already planning his out all the way back then.

    That is some serious Sherlock shit.

  • Fifi Wong

    I’m still kind of pissed that Shaw was accepted by the Fambly so easily.

    MOTHERFUCKER KILLED HAN!

    I don’t care if he had the best action scene in the movie, he still killed my favourite character.

    Hell, since Paul Walker, the heart of the team has sadly passed on, bring back Sung Kang because he could easily become the heart of the team.

    He’s the only other actor in this franchise who has any sort of charisma.

    • jeves23

      I think the film kind of heads off a lot of that criticism by (iirc) not having Shaw really interact with anyone besides Hobbs (outside of when he first arrives at Nowhere), who has less reason to hate him.
      By the time he shows up at the end he has rescued little Brian Torretto which is enough to at least somewhat redeem him (in Dom’s eyes at least – and as has been pointed elsewhere, Dom is big on forgiveness).

      It’s not perfect, and obviously audiences may react differently, but for me it worked largely because of Statham’s performance, and baby rescue scene (which was awesome). Though admittedly Nobody’s reason for bringing him in in the first place was the usual thin movie logic.

      • Allen

        Eh I mean, he did prove himself to be preternaturally gifted at showing up wherever he needed to be in 7. Tracking is kinda his superpower just like driving is Owen’s and Dom’s.

        • Andrew Clark

          Mr. Nobody says it; Hobbs and Deckard are the only two men who have been able to track Dom down in the past.

          I think in this case the meta-reasons for bringing in Statham are more valid than the in-story reasons, but they still do the work to justify it (or at least as much work as this series has ever done to justify any of the crazy decisions being made, anyway).

        • jeves23

          I forgot about that. Good point.
          I’m glad they brought him in – more than worth it for the baby rescue stuff.

      • Fifi Wong

        I’m really only down on the Statham turn because the movie pretty much forgets about Han, and as one of the few Asian characters on film, I’m a little more invested in how that character turns out.

        Had they actually acknowledged Han in this movie, I wouldn’t be so down on Shaw.

        • Allen

          Yeah there’s a bit missing where they acknowledge his death. I don’t know if it’s in Shaw’s character to apologize but a simple “He killed Han!” would have went a long way. It’s my only real quibble with the film though.

        • Allen

          Another idea, switch the brothers. Have Owen be the guy they bring in and the back room deal be to spring Deckard. That way Owen only shows up at the end to save the baby and you can more easily have people react roughly to him at first.

          • Fifi Wong

            I am legit angry that OWEN gets to come back and not Han and Giselle.

          • Allen

            Well Owen was never dead.

          • Fifi Wong

            I was pretty sure he died in Fast 6.

          • Allen

            Nope he was in a coma at the beginning of 7.

          • Fifi Wong

            Oh goddammit, the one movie that I didn’t see.

            Still, in Fast 6 his car exploded and it was implied he died.

            Then he came back in Fast 7.

            So he still technically came back.

          • Allen

            Now if they in 9 reveal that Han didn’t die and his body was swapped out with a burnt corpse by Nobody and his gang, that I would be cool with.

          • Fifi Wong

            STOP PLAYING WITH MY FEELINGS!

            I CAN’T HANDLE IT AFTER F8!

          • Allen

            They’ve implied this could happen.

          • dianec

            Well, Han could come back somehow. Not sure Gal Gadot has time now.

          • Andrew Clark

            I feel like this works a lot less because 6 so firmly establishes Owen as a real Bad Guy. Deckard was an antagonist, sure, but he never went around wantonly killing people the way Owen did. After the government tried to sanction him, he basically retired for 6 years. He wasn’t reported to be doing mercenary work. He even turned down Cipher, as we learned!

          • dianec

            Yeah, Deckard only does what he does because of Owen’a criminal shenanigans.

          • dianec

            They could have both shown up. I do like how the movie was so economical with having Dom steal the God’s Eye then using it to find Owen. Now the government has it back again because Deckard and Owen got it back.

          • Andrew Clark

            I actually think Dom ascertained where Owen was being imprisoned when they busted into Nowhere and he glanced at the screen showing Owen’s file. Then he relayed that info to Mamma Shaw. Though I still don’t know how he found Mamma Shaw or got in touch with her!

        • jeves23

          Fair point. It did seem odd that no one confronted him about killing Han, though I understand from the filmmakers point of view – they want to redeem the Shaw brothers so they can use them, thus they have to do what they can to soften the Shaws for the audience.
          It is less satisfying though, especially considering it was Han. If Deckard had killed Vince, I think it would be easier to let go.

          • dianec

            Yeah, no one liked Vince. Most of them didn’t even know Vince.

    • Allen

      I mean the only one who really accepts him prior to the saving of baby Brian is Hobbs who didn’t really have a relationship with Han. His only interactions with the core family prior to the baby save is them refusing to accept him. And after he saved baby Brian, for Dom at least that has to at least even the scales.

      • Fifi Wong

        They could have at least shown Letty or someone spitting at Shaw’s feet or something to indicate that while Hobbes may be warming up to him, the Fambly still hates his guts for taking one of their own.

        And the fact that Shaw was able to enter the rooftop party at the end so easily, without at least one member of the Fambly reaching for their gun, only to back down because he did a personal favour for Dom, rubs me the wrong way.

        It’s like everyone forgot about Han.

        • Allen

          You’re not going to shoot him while he’s holding the baby. Now why he still had the baby at that point is less clear.

          • Fifi Wong

            Yeah, that’s why they back down, because they see that Shaw has Dom’s baby. So they leave him be, but make it clear that some members of the Fambly are not ready to forgive like Dom is.

          • Allen

            That’s a fair point.

          • dianec

            They had to land the plane (while still using the ghost routes) and then he had to fly the baby and Dom probably had a hundred hours of talking about Cipher.

        • Yep. As I said in my review, Han isn’t even mentioned. I think his death would have had to have been addressed in some way for Shaw’s redemption arc to work.

        • Andrew Clark

          I don’t think they’ve forgotten about Han. If anything, that Chris Morgan has been so eager to talk about how he could still intersect with the story means he definitely has not forgotten.

          I also think a big tenant for a lot of these characters was expressed by none other than Han back in TOKYO DRIFT:

          “Life’s simple, you make choices and you don’t look back.”

        • dianec

          I don’t think this is established for sure but I don’t think any of them are armed. These are people who don’t walk around carrying guns all the time, unless you mean arm muscles. There are arm muscles in abundance.

    • Andrew Clark

      I’ll just repost this here rather than repeating my thoughts:

      “Here’s my pitch about Deckard, Family, and how forgiveness is a big part of the series. Some spoiler-ish talk to follow:

      While the film goes pretty far in GUESS WHO’S COMING TO DINNER-ing us with Shaw’s past (added to his previous list of military credentials is a medal for valor in saving hostages at risk to his own life) to make him more palatable as a hero, it’s also sets up both the idea of Dom understanding an idea of “fairness” in the world as well as that he is willing to forgive a man who crossed him. When Dom engages with the loan shark in the beginning, he at first is willing to let the man take his cousin’s car, since it was on his cousin’s head that he lost it. Then the guy insults Letty, so Dom challenges him to a street race. Then the guy tries to hurt or even kill him! But Dom lets this go.

      It seems crazy, but it’s definitely Chris Morgan and Co. setting up the idea that Dom would forgive Deckard for his past transgressions, both in terms of understanding that his attack on Dom’s family came from a place of defending his own, as well as Dom becoming a big enough person to let that go. This isn’t even out of left field for the series, since forgiveness of sins has been a part of the series since the beginning, with Brian looking past Dom’s criminal history to see the good man that he loves and letting him go, to Roman forgiving Brian (and himself) for being in jail as a teen, and later of course Dom forgiving Brian for his duplicity (and getting Letty killed!).

      We’ll see where the series continues with the character and the family (I thought the Shaw family stuff was quite cute). Roman, Tej, and Letty were all pretty vocal about their disquiet with Shaw being present when he first walked in the room. But Hobbs never really knew Han, so his ease in settling in to being chummy with Shaw makes sense to me. They’re both tigers of similar stripes, and since Dom was on the lamb this film, it made sense that they needed another muscle guy for Johnson to have sweaty chemistry with.

      So ultimately what I’m saying is, the text of the movie supports the transition, as well as the path of the characters themselves. I totally understand that people’s mileage on that is going to vary, but I do think it was a very purposeful decision on the creators part and not made by just ignoring Han or the consequences of Deckard’s actions. If anything, the dramatic beats in this movie are made stronger by Dom and Hobbs’ ability to move past their animosity. It’s always easy to kill off the character who has let down or betrayed the team (like Vince!) because it saves writers the difficult work of engaging with the concept of how to forgive someone for something unforgivable. I think its actually pretty big of the series to allow that to happen and to engage with that kind of material (this is getting very long and I should probably just turn this into a piece next week or something).”

    • dianec

      Han’/ gonna be back I thrink. But even if not I love Statham and Evans as the Shaws and I got over it really quickly. I think part of the problem is that if they had drawn out the interpersonal conflict anymore it would have stalled the movie.

  • Fifi Wong

    Seriously, if Letty can come back, if Owen Shaw can come back, WHY THE FUCK CAN’T HAN AND GISELLE COME BACK?

    • I just rewatched FURIOUS 6 and noticed that Giselle’s fall was WAY more survivable than Shaw’s.

  • DECKARD SHAW BEING A SWEETHEART MAMA’S BOY AND BEING NICE TO A BABY WHILE GUNNING DOWN MOTHERFUCKERS.

    I… honestly think they basically kind of earned that ending.

    • If it weren’t for the non-handling of Han’s death I would have loved the living shit out of the whole Shaw family element. LOVED it. The scene with the baby? So, so good.