In the Eighth chapter of the Furious franchise, Dom breaks his code on family and decides to go rouge! Find out why in this adrenaline-pumping action film that’s filled with more high-octane vehicles than ever before.
I’ve been a fan of The Fast and The Furious franchise since the first film. It was a monumental step for the tuner-car generation that laid out the asphalt [groundwork] for countless sequels spanning nearly two-decades. The film was about family, duty, loyalty and crazy fast cars. It consisted of a stellar cast, including: Paul Walker, Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Rick Yune and many others. In a lot of ways, the first Fast and Furious film was like Point Break, but with tuner-cars. And just like in Point Break, the bromances in the Furious film went to 11! Nevertheless, The Fast and The Furious sparked a following that’s bigger than the film itself. Teens and twenty-somethings have been tuning cars since cars have been around, yet this film put foreign tunable cars more into the mainstream. They were already around, but after the first film came out, everyone wanted a souped-up Honda, Mitsubishi, or Toyota. In my hometown, the premier of The Fast and The Furious was huge. The parking lot was filled with tuned-out Hondas and other wild rides. After the movie, the entire group cruised to a nearby overpass to race down a mile-long straightaway, two at a time. The stretch of road was lined with the cars. It was a surreal moment I’ll always remember. Since then, there have been several Furious films that take place all over the world. It’s no wonder that the franchise is a world-wide phenomenon.
With eight notches in the Furious belt, there have been quite a few changes over the years. The death of Paul Walker was a big one, and he’s very much missed by the cast, crew, and fans alike. The tribute to Paul in the previous film was a tear-jerker for just about everyone, and his send-off was very well done. Some believed Furious 7 would be the final film. If it was, it would have been a solid ending to the franchise. But this is Hollywood, and money-making franchises like The Fast and The Furious don’t just fade away. Instead, they find new ways to keep the train moving. How can they do this you ask? They turn everything we know about one of the key characters upside down.
Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) has been a very important part of the Furious films. His presence is DOMinating, and leadership is unparalleled by other character in the series. He’s the driving force of the franchise, so finding opponents has proven to be difficult. Nevertheless, actors like The Rock (Dwayne Johnson) and Jason Statham have stepped up to the challenge. By the eighth film, all three flex their muscles constantly, and try to steal the spotlight every time they’re in frame. This leads to some serious hilarity, making the story a little more light-hearted at times. The first time Hobbs and Deckard (Jason Statham) see each other, they’re expressing how much stronger one is than the other. It’s incredibly silly. Even though there are light-hearted moments, this is still a very serious story. Dom and Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) are trying to start a new life in Cuba. You’d think they were safe from the outside world and American authorities, but it seems they were still on the radar. A mysterious woman named Cipher (Charlize Theron) has something on Dom, and she uses it against him in the worst way. Dom is all about family. He always has been, and most of us believe he always will be. Yet, Cipher has something on him we don’t understand. Whatever it is, it’s big enough to force him to not only turn on his family and crew, but hurt them extremely in the process. During a job to recover an EMP, Dom goes crazy-ass rouge when it’s just him and Hobbs. No one suspects it, but Letty knew something was up with him. Unfortunately, but the time the gig is up, Dom has already fled the scene with the EMP. From this moment forward, he’s a mindless robot that does whatever Cipher tells him to do. It’s only a matter of time until we all find out why. Luckily, there another mysterious man Mr. Nobody (Kurt Russell) who’s also got his eye on Dom and his old crew.
Think Dom’s crew can find a way to function without him, defeat Cipher, and pull the family back together after he went rouge? You’ll have to tune in to find out!
Enough about that…Let’s see what all this 4K UltraHD Blu-ray has to offer!
The menu consists of several fast-moving clips from the film. The menu options are listed along the top-left of the screen, and include: Play, Chapters, Audio, Subtitles, and Bonus. The ‘Chapters’ option displays four chapters at a time. Each one is numbered and includes a snapshot from the scene. The ‘Audio’ option lets viewers choose between: English dts-X, English dts-X Headphone, Spanish 5.1 dts Digital Surround, French dts Digital Surround, and Feature Commentary with Director F. Gary Gray. The ‘Subtitles’ option includes the same languages.
Now let’s check out the bonus features included with this 4K release!
– The Cuban Spirit (8:04 HD): Shooting a film in Cuba is a big deal. The Producers and Actors went through a lot of red tape to gain access to the country and it was a fantastic experience for all. They said it was like going 50 years back in time. There were no billboards, ads, or other Western influence. It was a classic work of art all on its own.
– Betraying the Family: Cipher and Don (6:35 HD): Dom has a code: family. This is the exact aspect of him that Cipher exploits. It’s his greatest strength and turns out to be his biggest weakness. She uses his love for family and honor to force him to betray those closest to him. This feature takes a closer look at how she accomplishes this.
– Leaderless: A Family Lost (5:00 HD): This feature takes a look at the ‘family’ and how they functioned without their fearless leader, Dom. No one wanted to believe he went rouge. Thus, the rest of the team do everything they can to prove there’s more to his betrayal than what is on the surface. As the viewer, we know Cipher has something on him, we just don’t know what!
– Shaw Family Values (3:56 HD): This feature gets up close and personal with the Shaw family. Shaw was an honorable guy, who’s highly motivated by family. He’s a great counter-personality to Hobs. Momma Shaw was also a great asset to the family. She plays an interesting character that has quite a bit of pull among the rest of the characters.
– Meet the Nobody’s (5:45 HD): Kirk Russell is Mr. Nobody. No one knows who he is, or how he knows everything about everyone. We don’t know his real name, or who his connections are. He’s a mystery man who’s somehow involved in this grand story. All we know is that he’s got an agenda, and he’ll do whatever it takes to achieve it. This feature takes a closer look at the Nobody’s and how they fit into this chapter of the Furious franchise.
– The Hero Cars of Fast (10:24 HD): All of the Furious films consists of completely sick rides for the main characters. The cars are over the top, beautiful, rare, and crazy fast. This feature takes a closer look at the new cars for our most beloved characters. If you like the rides in the film, you have to check out this feature.
– Zombie Cars (5:35 HD): The idea that cars can be remotely controlled into speeding death-traps is a bit unsettling. This feature takes a closer look at what went into the Zombie car sequence. Even though there’s plenty of CGI used, they actually crash a ton of real cars for the scene. It’s completely chaotic and awesome. They had 65 cars piled up in one shot, folks!
– The Ripsaw (5:22 HD): The Ripsaw is a modern one-man tank. It’s also capable of being controlled remotely. It’s a drone tank! The cast and crew discuss why they wanted this vehicle in a franchise that’s dominated by fast and flashy cars. In short, they needed something functional for the ice/snow covered scenes. I’d say they found what they were looking for in the Ripsaw!
– Malecon Street Race (6:15 HD): The opening scene in Cuba is an iconic one. It was beautiful, ancient, and full of high-octane action. It’s this combination that makes it one of the most memorable scenes in a Furious film. This feature takes a look at the research and setup to create this amazing race scene.
– Iceland Stunt Diaries (6:45 HD): The scenes that were shot in Iceland were some of the biggest stunts in the franchise’s history. I personally prefer practical effects over CGI, so this is an awesome feature in my book. The cast and crew actually took the cars from the film to these frozen sets to see how they’d perform in these conditions. If you like to see how the REAL magic was made, make sure to check out this feature.
– The Streets of New York (5:27 HD): Shooting in the streets of New York was tricky. The cast and crew had to build up trust with the city officials in order to do what they needed to do. They had to painstakingly prepare all of the shots, and the city needed to know all the camera placements, times-of-day, and actions that were scheduled ahead of time. Their max-speed was only 35mph too, which added some minor difficulty to a typical car chase. Nevertheless, all involved said the city was great in letting the team bend the rules a little. It folks in the streets were another story though. As soon as they noticed regular traffic was clear, they’d flood the streets! In the big chase scenes, viewers may notice how hundreds of people had their cell phones out recording as well.
Now let’s take a look at the technical side of this release.
The 2160p UltraHD image comes with an aspect ratio of 2.39:1, so there are black bars along the top and bottom of your stunning 4K UltraHD TV. No need to worry though as the incredible clarity of this 4K image is top notch! The bright and vivid colors of Havana are just the beginning of this excellent transfer. Cuba is filled with beautiful shades of yellow, blue, red and more. Even the aged buildings look fantastic and are filled with detail. Having the opening race scene in the streets of Havana in the middle of the day was a great idea too. It’s a good contrast to the various other race scenes in the Furious films, and it reflects the race in the first film with Paul Walker. It’s intense, crazy, and awesome no matter how unreal it may be. The fun doesn’t stop there…this film is filled with over the top stunts that look spectacular in 4K. The addition of High Dynamic Range (HDR) also gives the film and the environments a much more realistic and color-accurate visual. I was in constant awe while watching this film. The only time the image suffers is during the dimly-lit scenes with Charlize (Cipher) and Vin (Dom), seen later in the story. There’s some muddiness and a few digital artifacts that are steadily present during those scenes. Other than that, the image look great!
It wouldn’t be a Fast and Furious film without a banging soundtrack, and this one doesn’t disappoint! The dts-X audio track slams into action during the first race in Havana. All channels of your home theater will be thumping with bass and raging engine effects. The blast from Dom’s engine when it catches on fire is crazy, and when the windshield shatters it sounds like the glass is coming right at the viewer. Its nuts. This film will keep viewers engaged from beginning to end with its soundtrack too. It’s almost a constant barrage of music, sound effects, and intense dialog. There are no complaints, as it makes this film that much more entertaining. The prison break scene is a great one to show friends and family how awesome a great soundtrack can be on your new 4K – home theater setup. Bravo folks!
Overall, Fate of the Furious is a new twist on the beloved Furious franchise. It’s over-the-top, ridiculous, intense, and a helleva lot fun from beginning to end. The idea of forcing Dom to betray his beloved family was a bold choice. It’s something most fans of the franchise wouldn’t expect. We learn why eventually, but it’s almost too hard to believe. Nevertheless, this film continues the Furious theme with fast cars/vehicles, massive stunts, and killer chase scenes that take place all over the world. Seeing this film in 4K with HDR is the only way to do it. The film was shot in Cuba, Iceland, and New York, and they all look incredible in crisp 4K UltraHD. If you’re looking for an entertaining film that’ll look and sound amazing on your 4K Home Theater, don’t hesitate to pick this one up on 4K Blu-ray today!