The Fate of the Furious Blu-ray Review

Addictive action in this long-running franchise entry 3.5 Stars

The Fast and Furious gang is back for their eighth adventure, this time fighting against one of their own in F. Gary Gray’s The Fate of the Furious.

The Fate of the Furious (2017)
Released: 14 Apr 2017
Rated: PG-13
Runtime: 136 min
Director: F. Gary Gray
Genre: Action, Adventure, Crime
Cast: Vin Diesel, Jason Statham, Dwayne Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez
Writer(s): Chris Morgan, Gary Scott Thompson (based on characters created by)
Plot: When a mysterious woman seduces Dom into the world of terrorism and a betrayal of those closest to him, the crew face trials that will test them as never before.
IMDB rating: 7.0
MetaScore: 56

Disc Information
Studio: Universal
Distributed By: N/A
Video Resolution: 1080P/AVC
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
Audio: DTS:X, Spanish 5.1 DTS, French 5.1 DTS
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
Rating: PG-13
Run Time: 2 Hr. 16 Min.
Package Includes: Blu-ray, DVD, Digital Copy
Case Type: keep case in a slipcover
Disc Type: BD50 (dual layer)
Region: All
Release Date: 07/11/2017
MSRP: $34.98

The Production: 3/5

The Fast and Furious gang is back for their eighth adventure, this time fighting against one of their own in F. Gary Gray’s The Fate of the Furious. Featuring mindless over-the-top action and terrific stunts on a global scale, this franchise now rivals James Bond in the size and scope of its adventures, and even if the characters are one-dimensional ciphers (ironically, the name of one of the film’s antagonists) and the ending is never in doubt, action junkies aren’t likely to complain about this latest effort, especially with the fantastic array of muscle cars and other technology spread over its now international agenda.

Dom (Vin Diesel) and Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) are enjoying their honeymoon in Havana and even talking the possibility of children when a mysterious woman named Cipher (Charlize Theron) seduces Dom back into a world of crime betraying those closest to him by joining forces against the team in their latest mission. Once an EMP weapon is stolen, it’s only the beginning of Cipher’s master plan to become the world’s police chief. To combat her seemingly insurmountable technological advantage, Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) must put aside his vendetta against Deckard (Jason Statham) and work with him and the team’s other members (Tyrese Gibson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges,  Nathalie Emmanuel) guided by shady governmental agent Mr. Nobody (Kurt Russell) and his new trainee the team nicknames “Little Nobody” (Scott Eastwood).

The Chris Morgan screenplay begins in Havana, taking the franchise back to its roots as a street racing saga before the team begins its round-the-world trek to thwart the evil Cipher. In Berlin, there’s a startling bit of automobile destruction by a giant wrecking ball, but the film really switches into high gear with its sojourn to New York City where we’re first amazed when the Nobodys bring the team to the “Toy Shop,” an immense structure housing dozens of vehicles of every description (many of which play a part in the film’s grand finale) but have our eyes popping out of our heads as Cipher unleashes her technological trump cards sending hundreds of self-driven cars chasing after our heroes and a Russian ambassador who has nuclear launch codes in his briefcase being tailed by both heroes and villains. F. Gary Gray and his second unit director Spiro Razatos direct the action-packed chases here and in Vladavin, Russia, (actually filmed in Iceland) with a sure hand keeping tension high with no dips in the intensity of the mayhem. Yes, it would be nice to see more character development (but that would take time away from crashes, chases, and explosions), and character dynamics like the rivalry between Hobbs and Deckard either need some resolution or continuation for future installments. And it’s irritating to have Deckard’s brother Owen (Luke Evans) to be brought in for ten minutes of screen time and then abruptly dropped from the rest of the film. He’s not even invited to the end-of-movie celebration party as the family is reunited. It’s sloppiness like this (along with cars that can withstand bullets, explosions, and fire and people who can jump from vehicles going hundreds of miles an hour with no scratches or broken bones) and some glaring continuity gaffes (the tears in Dom’s eyes in a succession of shots that appear, disappear, and reappear) that aren’t worthy of a franchise entry that cost a couple of hundred million dollars.

Because of the nature of the hold that Cipher has over him, Vin Diesel gets to bring somewhat more emotion to his role of Dom than in previous entries. Chris “Ludacris” Bridges and Tyrese Gibson rival each other for the most wisecracks and putdowns though Gibson gets to engage in some fun early back-and-forth with the uptight Little Nobody of Scott Eastwood that isn’t sustained throughout but should make for some good banter for future installments. Charlize Theron has enormous fun as the film’s villain, mostly coolly going about her aim of world domination with only a few moments where her feathers get ruffled. It’s also fun seeing Helen Mirren pop into the picture for a couple of entertaining sequences with both Vin Diesel and Jason Statham, himself having his most outstanding work near film’s end where he swaps quips with a baby as he wipes out of a nest of bad guys. Dwayne Johnson puts his enormous physique to good use as he takes over the reins of the team once Dom goes rogue, and Michelle Rodriguez is an adequate love interest who never loses faith that Dom has a reason for turning his back on their marriage.

Video: 5/5

3D Rating: NA

The film’s 2.40:1 theatrical aspect ratio is faithfully delivered in a 1080p transfer using the AVC codec. The Cuba sequences are astonishingly colorful and vibrant with saturation levels as rich and deep as possible without blooming. Elsewhere, hues are controlled and believable. Sharpness is also terrific with lots of details to be seen in close-ups. Contrast has been well regulated for a consistently wonderful picture, and black levels are reference quality as well. The movie has been divided into 20 chapters.

Audio: 5/5

The DTS:X sound mix (decoded as DTS-Master Audio 7.1 on my equipment) offers as much bang for the buck as franchise fans would expect for such an all-action film. Along with Brian Tyler’s driving score and the atmospheric effects which are split quite effectively in this wide-ranging soundtrack, the dialogue has been well recorded and has been placed in the center channel.

Special Features: 4/5

Audio Commentary: director F. Gary Gray expresses his profound thanks continuously (amid lots of silent passages) for his hand-working cast and crew but too often describing what we’re seeing before offering anecdotes about the sequences.

The Cuban Spirit (8:04, HD): director Gary Gray is effusive in his praise for the hospitality of Cuba for allowing the film to shoot there. Others offering their appreciation are producer Neal H. Moritz, writer Chris Morgan, and actors Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, and Janmarco Santiago.

In the Family (HD): four featurettes concentrating on four distinct family groups within the movie. Among those speaking in each of the segments are Gary Gray, Neal Moritz, Chris Morgan, and actors Vin Diesel, Kurt Russell, Michelle Rodriguez, Dwayne Johnson, Tyrese Gibson, Charlize Theron, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Scott Eastwood, Helen Mirren, and Luke Evans.

  • Cipher and Dom (6:35)
  • A Family Lost (5:00)
  • Shaw Family Values (3:56)
  • Meet the Nobodys (5:45)

Car Culture (HD): some of the most important stars of the film – the impressive fleet of cars which feature in all of the important action sequences – are discussed by director Gary Gray, production designer Bill Brzeski, producer Neal Moritz, picture car coordinator Dennis McCarthy, second unit director Spiro Razatos, second unit stunt coordinators Jack and Andy Gill, and actors Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Charlize Theron, and Chris “Ludacris” Bridges.

  • The Hero Cars of Fast (10:24)
  • Zombie Cars (5:35)
  • The Ripsaw (5:22)

All About the Stunts (HD): the all important stunt work in the three primary action sequences is discussed by Gary Gray, Jack and Andy Gill, Chris Morgan, Dennis McCarthy, Spiro Razatos, Neal Moritz, and actors Vin Diesel and Tyrese Gibson.

  • Malecon Street race (6:15)
  • Iceland Stunt Diaries (6:45)
  • Streets of New York (5:27)

Extended Fight Scenes (5:03, HD): two action sequences, the one in prison and the one on the plane, may be watched in montage or separately.

Promo Trailers (HD): The Mummy, Dead Again in Tombstone, Collide, Despicable Me 3.

DVD/Digital Copy: disc and code sheet enclosed in the case. The digital copies include separate codes for both the theatrical cut of the film which is on the disc or the extended director’s cut.

Overall: 3.5/5

The Fate of the Furious may not match the best of the series thus far (Furious Five), but it offers plentiful action amid the usual personalities and a few new faces to the franchise that won’t likely disappoint fans.

Published by

Matt Hough

administrator

13 Comments

  1. Disappointing that apparently the only way to get the Extended Version is via streaming. Though I suppose if the only deleted scenes are extended version of the fights, then we're not missing much.

  2. Malcolm R

    Disappointing that apparently the only way to get the Extended Version is via streaming. Though I suppose if the only deleted scenes are extended version of the fights, then we're not missing much.

    I agree with this. As usual, the package includes the free Digital HD coupon, but this is a dangerous precedent. It’s almost as bad as Disney making the directors’ commentary track on “Beauty and the Beast” a VUDU exclusive.

    The only plus side is that the space saved by omitting the extended version may have helped the disc earn its stellar 5/5 Video/Audio rating.

  3. Malcolm R

    Disappointing that apparently the only way to get the Extended Version is via streaming. Though I suppose if the only deleted scenes are extended version of the fights, then we're not missing much.

    I was also disappointed to learn this.

  4. Malcolm R

    Disappointing that apparently the only way to get the Extended Version is via streaming. Though I suppose if the only deleted scenes are extended version of the fights, then we're not missing much.

    I did a comparison to those scenes and there really is only about a minute or two missing combined with both fight scenes. It isn't much so people shouldn't really be upset as those missing seconds aren't really worth it.

    After perusing the other bonus material I really like "The Nobodys".

  5. Robert Crawford

    I did a comparison to those scenes and timed them, there really is only about a 60-80 seconds missing combined with both fight scenes. It isn't much so people shouldn't really be upset as those missing seconds aren't really worth it.

    After perusing the other bonus material I really like "The Nobodys".

    So you're saying the downloadable extended cut just adds a little more fight footage?

  6. Colin Jacobson

    So you're saying the downloadable extended cut just adds a little more fight footage?

    Yup, that's it! Also, the fight scene in the prison is about 40 seconds longer. The fight scene on the plane is about the same, but it's not a continuous scene because it goes back and forth between the plane fight and what is happening in Russia with the sub in the film while on the Bonus Material it shows that scene in its continuity. Again, nothing anybody will miss in my opinion. This isn't a The Big Red One type of omission. ( I retract my previous comments see Update in Post #9)

  7. Robert Crawford

    Yup, that's it! Also, the fight scene in the prison is about 40 seconds longer. The fight scene on the plane is about the same, but it's not a continuous scene because it goes back and forth between the plane fight and what is happening in Russia with the sub in the film while on the Bonus Material it shows that scene in its continuity. Again, nothing anybody will miss in my opinion. This isn't a The Big Red One type of omission.

    Thanks. I ran my review the other day but didn't check out the extended version – if it ain't on the disc, it doesn't exist! 😀

    I did excoriate Uni for the downloadable-only nature of the extended cut, though – as stated in this thread, it's a bad precedent…

  8. Colin Jacobson

    Thanks. I ran my review the other day but didn't check out the extended version – if it ain't on the disc, it doesn't exist! 😀

    I did excoriate Uni for the downloadable-only nature of the extended cut, though – as stated in this thread, it's a bad precedent...

    Okay, I just uploaded my digital codes for those downloads and the timing of those downloads don't match the deleted scenes on the disc.

    The Digital Copy of the Extended Cut is 148 minutes and 14 seconds long.

    The Digital Copy of the Theatrical Cut is 136 minutes and 21 seconds long.

    Something is amiss so I retract my earlier comments as there must be more missing footage than just those two fight scenes which are the only two scenes listed on either disc as deleted scenes.

    So there is a total of 12 minutes of more footage on the Extended Cut of the film. Everybody needs to realize that little nugget. What is the footage beyond those two fight scenes? I don't know, but I have too many new discs to watch so I won't be watching my Digital Copy of the Extended Cut anytime soon. At least, I verified my Digital Copies for both cuts of the film are in UHD. I'm still not happy about that crap from Universal.

  9. Robert Crawford

    Okay, I just uploaded my digital codes for those downloads and the timing of those downloads don't match the deleted scenes on the disc.

    The Digital Copy of the Extended Cut is 148 minutes and 14 seconds long.

    The Digital Copy of the Theatrical Cut is 136 minutes and 21 seconds long.

    Something is amiss so I retract my earlier comments as there must be more missing footage than just those two fight scenes which are the only two scenes listed on either disc as deleted scenes.

    So there is a total of 12 minutes of more footage on the Extended Cut of the film. Everybody needs to realize that little nugget. What is the footage beyond those two fight scenes? I don't know, but I have too many new discs to watch so I won't be watching my Digital Copy of the Extended Cut anytime soon.

    Thanks for the update. The fact the extended does obviously contain substantial new material makes me even more upset at the decision to leave it "download only".

    Granted, it was a bad choice in any event – even if the extended only ran an extra minute, it still should be on the BD.

    But a version that's 12 minutes longer and download only? Bad call, Ripley – bad call! :angry:

  10. Colin Jacobson

    Thanks for the update. The fact the extended does obviously contain substantial new material makes me even more upset at the decision to leave it "download only".

    Granted, it was a bad choice in any event – even if the extended only ran an extra minute, it still should be on the BD.

    But a version that's 12 minutes longer and download only? Bad call, Ripley – bad call! :angry:

    I agree, a bad call on Universal's part! Luckily, I decided to double check the Digital Copies, otherwise, I might have misled others until somebody else discovered those differences in the timing of both versions.

  11. Whatever happened to "seamless branching" that used to exist on discs so that multiple versions of the same movie could occupy the same disc? Is the director's cut so drastically different that they couldn't have used the branching? I gave my codes away so there is no way to check myself.

  12. Matt Hough

    Whatever happened to "seamless branching" that used to exist on discs so that multiple versions of the same movie could occupy the same disc? Is the director's cut so drastically different that they couldn't have used the branching? I gave my codes away so there is no way to check myself.

    Even if the extended cut required an extra disc, so what? It's not like that's a massive cost for the studio…

  13. The director, F. Gary Gray, spoke about the extended cut with EW – and I think there were lots of bits and pieces sprinkled around, with a few longer moments too. Nothing that couldn't have been served by seamless branching, though. Here's his quote:

    If you love action, you’re gonna love the extra action we put in the extended cut. We put extra sequences in the movie. We extended some of your favorite sequences. That’s number one. Number two: I personally love humor, and I can’t help but shove it into any movie that I direct, regardless of genre. And so there’s more humor in the extended version of The Fate of the Furious. And there’s some cool character stuff. I got a chance to let a few moments breathe between Charlize and Vin. I think it’s almost 13 or 14 minutes longer, and that’s an eternity in film. You can do a scene in half a minute.

    And for the record, I had fun watching this movie. They're silly fun and mindlessly entertaining!

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