Look, I know these aren’t good movies. They never have been. The first one was a Point Break rip-off that worked out too well. Two sequels followed that were barely tangentially connected to the first. Then the fourth movie retroactively made them all work together. The fifth, sixth, and seventh while still being genuine fluff, managed be thoroughly entertaining action popcorn movies, that had gasp-worthy stunts and legitimate thrills, while soaking in its increasingly eye-rollingly bad dialogue. And then comes Charlize Theron in braids.
The fifth, sixth, and seventh movies aren’t paragons of filmdom, don’t misunderstand. They are still bad movies, but you can at least see why the franchise is beloved. The thematic thread that runs through all of them – your friends are your family, and family is above all else- is endearing. The cast is diverse without it feeling like a mandate. And there are tanks, and crashing cars, and bikini-clad booties. Fate has all of those things, well substitute a sub for the tank, but none of the heart, wit or reckless abandon that made the prior three so engaging. I was never going to love this movie, it’s not for me, really, but I was surprised that none of the stunt pieces-the race in Cuba, the ice chase, the team on team action in New York- matched the thrill of the parachuting mountain car chase in the last one, or the highway tank scene in 6, the entire heist operation in 5.
Everyone is walking through their lines. Theron is twirling her mustache as fiercely as possible. Helen Mirren has a quick cameo that is worth a chuckle. Only Jason Statham (and his anti-bromance with The Rock) is trying to be fun, and even his major fight scene, probably the only decent part of the movie, is still full of cringe.
My Grade – D