Fate of the Furious, the eighth entry in the popular Fast and the Furious franchise, releases on Blu-ray today in the form of a combo pack. You can pick it up for $20 on Amazon, and that’ll get you the Blu-ray, DVD, and two Digital HD versions of the film (the theatrical cut and the extended director’s cut that is only available digitally). Those of you with a 4K TV or 4K Blu-ray player can spend an extra $5 and the get the 4K Ultra HD combo pack.
The theatrical version of the film has a run-time of two hours and 16 minutes, while the extended director’s cut will add about 13 minutes to that time. As of this writing, I haven’t had a chance to go back and watch the director’s cut so that version really has no bearing on this review and is merely a bonus.
These Furious movies keep getting more and more over the top and it really has become a big screen action soap opera of sorts. This one breezes right along with some ridiculous, yet very cool, set pieces and action sequences that will keep you entertained from beginning to end.
In Fate of the Furious, the crew have settled down a bit. Dom (Vin Diesel) and Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) have gotten married and are enjoying their honeymoon in Havana, and the rest of the crew are enjoying their life having been exonerated for past crimes. Of course the characters of Brian and Mia are retired and enjoying a peaceful family life somewhere.
This all changes when Dom meets a mysterious woman known as Cipher (Charlize Theron), who has something over Dom that forces him to betray his family and reenter a life of crime. Hobbs (Dewayne Johnson) teams up once again with Dom’s crew, Mr. Nobody (Kurt Russell), and even Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) to hunt down Cipher and bring Dom back into the family (or to justice).
The globetrotting quest to stop Cipher from launching a nuclear weapon will take the action from Cuba to the streets of New York City, and all the way to the arctic Barents Sea.
Fate of the Furious is good fun, a great movie that flies by. Some people can take things too seriously and be put off by some of the over-the-top highly unrealistic action sequences in these Fast and the Furious movies, but if you watch a movie to suspend disbelief and be entertained, I think you’ll enjoy Fate of the Furious a ton. I’m not going to say it’s the best Fast and Furious movie, but it’s certainly up there.
The Blu-ray comes with some decent bonus material as well.
There’s audio commentary from director F. Gary Gray who discusses his thought process for shooting the action scenes, character motivation, and the numerous challenges that arise when shooting a big film like this. These are almost always interesting, and this commentary track is no different.
The Cuban Spirit is an eight minute feature that features cast and crew interviews on being in Cuba, a little tour of Havana, and some behind the scenes stuff.
In the Family is broken up into four parts each discussion character motivations and the plot. There’s one focused on Dom betraying the family that’s seven minutes, a look at the crew without a leader that’s five minutes, one on Shaw’s family values that’s four minutes, and finally one center around the Nobodys that’s six minutes.
Car Culture is a three part featurette that focuses on the cars and their importance to the characters and the story. A 10 minute one for the “Hero Cars of Fast,” a six minute one on “Zombie Cars,” and five minutes dedicated to “The Ripsaw.”
All About The Stunts is yet another three piece one looking at the stunts in the film. Six minutes for the Malecón Street Race, seven minutes for the Iceland Stunt Diaries, and five minutes for The Streets of New York.
Finally, there’s two extended fight scenes that total about five minutes. An extended prison fight, and extended plane fight.
It should go without saying, but nevertheless you should watch the film before watching any of the bonus materials unless you’ve seen the movie in theaters.
I’m not a technical guy, but the picture quality is great and so is the audio. If you’re a fan of these movies, this should be a no-brainer purchase for you.
Fate of the Furious gets a four out of five: GREAT.
* A copy of this Blu-ray was provided by Universal Pictures Home Entertainment for review.