Spoilers follow for The Fate of the Furious.
The Fast and Furious franchise has a true cinematic arc to it, going from simple car flick with the Point Break routine to the over-the-top action extravaganza we all get excited for. The last three entries have proven that the franchise isn’t afraid to go for broke — and the latest, #TheFateoftheFurious, even takes its cues from Ocean's Eleven and James Bond himself.
Dom's plan from the moment he get entangled with the villainous Cipher (Charlize Theron) resembles the tactics of Danny Ocean; Dom visiting Helen Mirren’s Magdalene Shaw was like seeing Ocean visiting Albert Finney’s LeMarque in Ocean’s Twelve — where they bargain a master plan to outwit the villain who is smarter than both of them.
As the story unfolds, we see how Dom planned his payback against Cipher, just like Ocean did with his enemies.
The plot to The Fate of the Furious is pure James Bond, mixed in with crime caper aesthetics and ensemble dynamic of Ocean's Eleven on wheels. The combination is wonderful!
Our Heroes Now Feel Like Super Spies
The Fate of the Furious is the Bond flick we’ve all been waiting for as the follow-up to #Skyfall. It feels like a spinoff within the 007 franchise, focusing on a crew of spies rather than one single agent.
This is another entry in the series that changes the tone with Dom’s crew. While they still prove themselves as a heist crew, like in Fast Five, the introduction of the franchise’s greatest villain has transitioned them into super spies. Mr. Nobody (Kurt Russel) and "Little Nobody" (series newcomer Scott Eastwood) guide Dom’s crew from car enthusiasts to secret agents working as a unit under Dwayne Johnson’s Hobbs.
The Fate of the Furious turned the franchise on its head to prove that it still has feet, while keeping its style of humor and (obviously) surrounding its plot around cars. The inevitable sequel can go anywhere, as the crew are capable of shifting gears from genre to genre.
Jason Statham especially feels like he's auditioning to replace James Bond. His action piece on Cipher’s airplane was the highlight of the film. Let’s see a Statham spinoff movie set in this universe!
Charlize Theron Is The Blofeld That Spectre Needed
Charlize Theron’s Cipher is the greatest villain to come out of the Fast and Furious franchise. She is the Blofeld to Dom’s Bond. She is a mystery who proves to be behind villains from the previous movies. Introducing her justifies other characters' motivations. The sudden team-up with Statham and Dom’s crew made sense.
Letting Cipher get away at the end is the greatest choice the movie could've made for the franchise, knowing that they have something special with Theron. Her performance was even more menacing than Christoph Waltz's Blofeld in Spectre.
Her ability to manipulate someone like Dom without showing any physical prowess, only through psychology, is a sight to see. It is really like seeing Bond interact with Blofeld in the classics.
This is why the Fast and Furious franchise keeps speeding along without any signs of slowing down. It's because the over-the-top action has mass appeal, and the genre of each sequel keeps shifting in tone.
As an Ocean's Eleven-inspired flick, The Fate of the Furious proves that the crime caper formula works in an high-octane action movie. As a Bond-inspired flick, The Fate of the Furious works in other exciting new ways. Is a crossover out of the question?
The Fate of the Furious is in theaters now.