Charlize Theron

The Fate of the Furious – Review #72

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The_Fate_of_The_Furious_Theatrical_Poster.jpgThe Fate of the Furious, directed by F. Gary Gray, is the newest film in the now legendary Fast and Furious franchise. With Dom and Letty married, Brian and Mia retired and the rest of the crew exonerated, the globe-trotting team has found some semblance of a normal life. They soon face an unexpected challenge when a mysterious woman named Cipher forces Dom to betray them all. Now, they must unite to bring home the man who made them a family and stop Cipher from unleashing chaos.

I’ll admit this out front. Unlike Power Rangers or Smurfs: The Lost Village, I absolutely love the Fast and Furious franchise. I grew up with the series. I have all the movies on DVD. I have fond childhood memories of watching all of them except Fast Five, and that was because we had a crappy copy of it. Hell, I even liked Tokyo Drift!

Me trying to be objective here is just nigh impossible. I grew up with Dominic Toretto, with Brian O’ Connor, with Letty, Mia, Roman Pierce, Tej, all those guys. There’s an emotional connection here. I just thought I should preface this review with that, because yeah, I like this movie.

This movie is fucking stupid. I love it.

That about sums my feelings for the movie. It’s over-the-top, it knows it’s over the top, and it embraces it with the bulging biceps of Dwayne Johnson. This is the blockbuster at its most purest form.

Fate of the Furious is of course continuing where the last one left off, and I’m sure we all remember that the last one was the last time Paul Walker would be in the series. The emotional goodbye at the end of Furious 7 was just about as heart-breakingly sweet as it could’ve been. They do reference Brian in this movie, and the ending is also pretty bittersweet-I heard a few “awws” in the theater-but it’s not as powerful as the last one. But it didn’t had to be, and I appreciate that. Seeing Brian not being a part of this new story is somewhat weird and sad since it involves his closest friend, but Brian’s-and subsequently Paul’s-departure from this movie was done well enough.

The central cast has not changed at all, and they’re as charismatic as ever. Vin Diesel is actually given a bit more leeway to act, because betraying family and all that. He works fine, and the serious parts work well. It all serves to make us hate the villain, and in that sense I’d say it works.

Speaking of the villain, Charlize Theron as Cipher was sadly forgettable. I hate her in the movie, yes, but she’s not as memorable as say, Jason Statham. Then again, they did make me want to see Dominic beat the absolute fuck out of her in the sequel, so I guess they did their job.

There’s really not much else to say about this movie, other than be amazed at how 7 movies on, this series is stronger than ever. The kid inside me is so happy for that.

If this is your first Fast and Furious movie…why? It’s not just that they bring back characters from 3 movies ago that even took me a while to remember, why now? Go watch the whole series through first, damn it.

But besides that, yeah. In conclusion, Fate of the Furious is cheesy fun, but what the hell else did you expect?


Mad Max: Fury Road – Review #1

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What a lovely movie. Oh, and why in the world has Mattel not partnered with George Miller to make Mad Max Hot Wheels? They would sell like…well, mad.

mad-max-fury-road-poster2Mad Max: Fury Road, directed by George Miller, is the fourth installment of the Mad Max series of films. It also acts as a reboot, with Tom Hardy replacing Mel Gibson as the title character in this 30-year old franchise. The story takes place in the post-apocalyptic wasteland, which is totally not Australia, *cough*, and starts with Max being captured by a group of people call the War Boys, whom for some reason have no tan despite being basked in the sun all the time. Max is found to have blood type O-negative, which means that he’s a universal blood bag, a term that Nux, a War Boy, calls him. As he is being used, Furiosa, a driver under the god-like figure Immortan Joe, decides to detract from a normal oil and gun run. The rest of the movie is the intense chase between Immortan Joe with his War Boys, and Furiosa,¬† with Max being dragged along for the ride.

My anticipation for this movie was off the wall. I love vehicular carnage. Call me what you want, but I like to see vehicles being mangled and crushed. I think it’s supposed to release anger or whatever. And so, with the Mad Max series being famous for its destruction of automobiles, I entered the cinema hoping that my hunger would be at least supplied. Mad Max: Fury Road not just provides that love of destruction with no sense of guilt and remorse what-so-ever, it delivered it in unnecessary excess, and I enjoyed every last minute of it.

When Chris Stuckmann said that this is one of the best action movies this decade, he wasn’t kidding. Director George Miller’s visual eye gives us the best it has ever gotten in post-apocalyptic¬† vehicular warfare. The chase scenes are beautifully shot, the colors are striking, the designs of the vehicles are unique and fit perfectly in this wasteland, and the stunts are some of the most jaw-dropping, eye-opening moments I have ever witnessed. I shit you not, my eyes began to hurt when I watched this movie, not because it was too fast-paced or too bright, but because it had me so glued to the screen I forgot the subconscious instinct to blink. It is that good.

Not only that, but the new characters that Miller have drawn up for us are instantly memorable, and are another magnificent piece of this movie’s puzzle. Charlize Theron’s is strong as Furiosa, a female character in an action movie that *gasp* isn’t a damsel in distress! When’s the last time we’ve seen that?-Black Widow doesn’t count. Nicholas Hoult’s Nux gives the perspective of the blind soldiers, who would willingly sacrifice themselves just to stop a truck. If anything, the weakest character in the movie is Max himself, but maybe that’s just me missing Mel Gibson. And of course, my favorite character is the guy playing the fire-blasting electric guitar. You’ll have to see the film yourself to see why.

All in all, Mad Max: Fury Road gives everything that it promised it would give: high-octane gas-guzzling non-accidental automobile wrecking. Just remember that this is a reboot, and don’t let the change in atmospheric color and actor take away your opinion and enjoyment of this wonderful, steroid-eating, engine-blasting, lovely film.

P.S.: You guys should totally check out Chris Stuckmann on Youtube. He’s a pretty cool guy.