Jul/2017

Blu-ray Review: The Fate of the Furious!

by Gumbercules9000 on Jul 13th, 2017

Hi everyone, Bryan here…

THE FILM

We’re eight movies into this franchise, which would have you assume that these films would have lost steam, been remade, or have a completely new cast. That’s not the case at all with ‘Fate of the Furious‘ or the 8th installment of the ‘Fast and Furious‘ franchise, because there are no signs of this franchise slowing down, being remade, or losing any of its fun cast.

The film picks up right after ‘Furious 7‘ with Dom and Letty (Vin Diesel and Michelle Rodriguez) in Cuba on their honeymoon. After a fun race through the beautiful street of Cuba, a mysterious woman named Cipher (Charlize Theron), runs into Dom and forces him to ditch his family and friends from the previous films and work for her and her sinister ways. How could such a beautiful, skinny woman with long blonde hair get the rough, tough, mean Dom to betray his friends and family?

You’ll find out for sure as the movie goes on, which leads you on a $250 million action packed thrill ride with submarines, tanks, planes, hundreds of high end cars, and giant explosions about every ten minutes. Is the movie silly, over-the-top, and ridiculous? Yes, of course, but you should know that by now. It’s only from the past few films of the franchise where the filmmakers decided to have fun with the films and not take themselves so seriously. This has significantly made the films better, even to the point as wholly enjoyable and worth watching on multiple viewings.

There are moments in ‘Fate of the Furious‘ where they just nailed the mix of violence, action, and comedy, particularly a scene where Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) is taking out a ton of bad guys in an airplane, while holding some very precious and fragile cargo. It had me grinning from ear to ear and laughing out loud. It’s those moments that make these films excel. Everyone shows back up here and all have their moments to shine, whether it be some funny moments with Tyrese or having Dwayne Johnson beating up anyone in his way, as he was the actual Incredible HulkKurt Russell shows up again from time to time along with a couple of newcomers with Scott Eastwood and Helen MirrenVin Diesel of course is the worst actor and every time he says a line of dialogue, you just want to roll your eyes and laugh out loud at the same time.

Luckily, he’s not the main event of the film, as these movies have centered on the ensemble cast more than just Diesel here. The film takes a bit to get going, but once it does, it doesn’t slow up at all. The action scenes are shot with excellent gusto and will have you excited to see just how your favorite team will escape their latest peril. That’s one of the bittersweet aspects with these movies now, is that you know none of these characters will be killed off really. You don’t want them to of course, but there’s no real danger for them or suspense that they will be killed off.

F. Gary Gray (‘Friday‘, ‘Straight Outta Compton‘) directed this installment and it looks fantastic on every level. It’s not raw and gritty as maybe it should be, but then again, this has $250 million at it, so it look shiny and glossy. You’re not coming to the ‘Fast and Furious‘ franchise to see award winning screenplays or great acting, but one thing is for sure, the action, thrills, comedy, and absurdness is top notch, and is so much fun to watch. You’re gonna enjoy this one.

THE VIDEO/AUDIO

The Video: The Fate of the Furious comes with a glorious 1080p HD transfer and is presented in 2.40:1 aspect ratio. Of course, this video presentation looks phenomenal, as most of the recent Fast and Furious movies from Universal have looks incredible. This one is no different. The color gorgeously pop throughout the film, but perhaps the best example is when everyone is set in Cuba. The rich, bright primary and pastel colors on the buildings, cars, and clothing look exquisite in all lighting conditions. The pinks, reds, greens, and blues are amazing in each scene here. Another color that leaps right out at you is orange, when The Rock and Jason Statham are in the prison jump-suits, which looks stunning in front of the grayish prison walls.

The final act is in snowy terrain, but the different shades of white and blue are always excellent. The detail is sharp and vivid too, even in the heavier CGI scenes. Closeups reveal scars, facial pores, individual hairs, wounds, and makeup blemishes on the actors’s faces nicely, whereas every speck of dirt, scratch, and ding on the vehicles can bee seen easily. Wider shots never go soft either. When explosions happen, every piece of debris or ice chunk looks crystal clear. The black levels are deep and inky and the flesh tones are natural, leaving this video presentation with great marks.

The Audio: This release comes with an impressive DTS:X MA mix and will just rock your bones and house to the core. I mean, what do you expect from a movie that features a ton of guns, crashing vehicles, and planes exploding. The sound effects are robust and lively right from the start with car engines revving as high as the y can go with a throaty roar that brings in an excellent low end of bass. The directionality is also fantastic here too as we can hear the cars zooming past on one side of the room and flying by to the other part of the room. It’s that good.

Gunshots pack a powerful punch as do the planes and multiple car crashes, which is always a delight to hear. There were a couple of scenes where the dynamics sounded a little soft though, given there were multiple explosions, but it’s not a major complaint. I just expected more here, particularly in the scene where the vehicles fall from the tall garages. The score and music always adds to the entertainment value of the scene along with it’s suspense. Dialogue is clear and easy to follow and is never drowned out by any other sound aspect. Ambient noises are excellent too without any pops, cracks, hiss, or shrills, leaving this audio mix with great marks.

THE EXTRAS

Audio Commentary – Director F. Gary Gray delivers an informative commentary track as he discusses shooting in Cuba, choreographing the insane stunts and chase scenes, character development, and more. It’s worth a listen for sure. 

The Cuban Spirit (HD, 8 Mins.) – Being the first major studio movie to shoot in Cuba, this takes a look at the cast and crew and their experiences filming in beautiful Cuba.

In the Family (HD, 22 Mins.) – This is a four part bonus feature that focuses on the characters in the film, including Dom, Cipher, Shaw, the government, and the rest of the characters have evolved.

Car Culture (HD, 22 Mins.) – Here is a three part bonus feature that covers all of the vehicles in the movie and how they play a big part in the franchise.

All About Stunts (HD, 18 Mins.) – Another three part bonus feature that is all about the stunt work in the film in the different locations. It’s fascinating how they did this movie.

Extended Fight Scenes (HD, 5 Mins.) – These are two extended scenes of fighting, being in the prison and plane.

THE ULTIMATE WORD

The Fate of the Furious is a fun-as-hell, over-the-top, silly film that just keeps getting better with each installment. They finally know how to mix the comedy and action well here and every character is just brilliant in a very humorous way, minus Vin Diesel. He’s just bland. Then again, he always is. The video and audio presentations are both loud, eye popping-ly beautiful, and the extras are all worth watching. Would it kill you to show some bloopers with this fun cast? Still, this comes Highly Recommended!

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

-Bryan Kluger

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