The Fate of the Furious Blu-ray Review: The Franchise Gets a Much-Needed Jump Start

The Fate opens with the series returning to its roots. Dom (Vin Diesel) gets involved in a race on the streets of Havana standing up for his cousin Fernando.  The audience’s senses become engaged with bright colors, loud sounds, and beautiful bodies, as the cars race through the streets of Cuba in an intense action sequence that gets wilder by the minute.  While walking the streets alone, Dom plays the Good Samaritan to a woman with car trouble, only she turns out to be the notorious cyber-terrorist Cipher (Charlize Theron), who mysteriously gets Dom to work for her and turn against his family.

Mr. Nobody (Kurt Russell) recruits the Furious gang to go after Dom and Cipher along with Deckard Shaw, the villain from Furious 7, who has a connection to her.  Cipher sends Dom on mission and the team attempts to stop them.  The first time occurs on the streets of New York to steal a nuclear football.  Cipher assists Dom when her team hacks into a number of cars and puts them at her disposal.  Dom is later sent to Russia where the team has to stop him and Cipher from starting a nuclear war.

The Fate delivers on the spectacle that FF fans love and expect.  There are more vehicles, more fights, and bigger stunts than the franchise has already executed.  The thrills overcome the script flaws, such as having a boring villain like Cipher, which is too bad because Deckard’s mum (Helen Mirren) makes a brief appearance and she leaves you wanting more.  Another issue is Deckard being so easily being accepted into the group even though he killed Han, although it might be hard for fans to stay mad at Deckard after his hysterical fight sequence on Cipher’s plane, which again shows what great comedic skills Statham has.  And the script does offer a believable explanation, albeit one that comes straight out of a soap opera, about how Cipher controls Dom.         

The video has been given a 1080p/MPEG-4 AVC displayed at an aspect ratio of 2.39:1. The movie is filled with vibrant hues and rich blacks.  The contrast is strong, the focus is sharp focus, and fine object details are on display.  The audio is available in DTS:X.  The effects immerse the listener throughout the surrounds.  Cars roar across channels as do other items.  The  rumbling bass punches with slight distortion.  There is good ambiance.  The soundtrack is robust and the dialogue is clear.

There are quite a few extras, although the Extended Director’s Cut is only available as a digital copy.   New to the production family Director F. Gary Gray provides the commentary track.  All the other bonus features are presented in HD.  “The Cuban Spirit” (8 min) is a look behind-the-scenes at shooting the prologue in Havana.  “In the Family” offers four clips exploring characters and the changes in relationships brought forth by the story. “Betraying the Family: Cipher and Dom” (7 min), “Leaderless: A Family Lost” (5 min), “Shaw Family Values” (4 min), and “Meet the Nobodys” (6 min).  Under “Car Culture” are three clips that look at “The Hero Cars of Fast” (10 min), executing the “Zombie Cars” (6 min), and the military vehicle known as “The Ripshaw” (5 min).  All About the Stunts showcases “Malecon Street Race” (6 min), “Iceland Stunt Diaries” (7 min), and “The Streets of New York” (5 min).  Lastly, the Extended Fight Scenes, which has a Play-All option, are extended versions of the “Prison Fight” (3 min) and the “Plane Fight” (2 min).

Fate looks good for the F&F family and for fans as the franchise has an entertaining, action-packed new chapter.  The Blu-ray delivers the goods on both the audio and video aspects, so for those who enjoy what the series is known for, act fast and check it out.    

Gordon S. Miller

Publisher/Editor-in-Chief of this site.

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