TATM: Talkin’ About The Movies #261: The Fate Of The Furious & Smurfs: The Lost Village

THE FATE OF THE FURIOUS

**

File:The Fate of The Furious Theatrical Poster.jpg

Synopsis:

Now that Dom and Letty are on their honeymoon and Brian and Mia have retired from the game-and the rest of the crew has been exonerated-the globetrotting team has found a semblance of a normal life. But when a mysterious woman seduces Dom into the world of crime he can’t seem to escape and a betrayal of those closest to him, they will face trials that will test them as never before. From the shores of Cuba and the streets of New York City to the icy plains off the arctic Barents Sea, the elite force will crisscross the globe to stop an anarchist from unleashing chaos on the world’s stage… and to bring home the man who made them a family.

Review:

Now, look, at this point, it’s not even worth criticizing the ridiculousness of some of the shit these movies pull off in terms of being over the top because the movies make it pretty clear that they are fully aware of how stupid these movies are when it comes to the insane stunts they pull off so, okay, I can’t criticize them for the absurdity these films have become…..but that doesn’t mean I can’t criticize the rest of this movie because let me tell you folks something, I know I’m gonna get smack for this review but I’m sorry, this movie is pretty bad, this is probably the worst Fast & Furious movie I’ve seen since Tokyo Drift.

Before I talk about all my negativity towards the film, let me get some positives out of the way because there are things I did really like about this movie.

First off, F. Gary Gray’s direction was really good and once again, like he did with The Italian Job 14 years ago, he shows that he can direct these amazing action sequences and a lot of the action sequences in this movie are very well done, they are very inventive, very creative, and very fun to watch.

Also fun to watch, Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham, when these two appear on screen together, this is where a lot of the fun in this movie is and it really makes you wonder, why has nobody put these two together before? I want to see a spinoff with just these two in it, which they are now doing, they were that awesome.

Unfortunately, that’s all I can say about this movie that’s good because the problems with this movie are abound.

First off, that title, The Fate Of The Furious? What exactly about this movie has to do with the word fate? Nothing. Wait a minute, Fate Of The Furious….F-A-T-E…this is the 8th Fast & Furious movie…F8…oh my god, it’s a pun in the title of a movie, oh you are so clever, Fast & Furious movies…actually, that may be the only clever thing about this movie and even then, that’s not clever. Because when you put Fate in the title, that would mean that this would probably be the end of the franchise but no, there’s still two movies and a spinoff movie coming. So, not only is that a stupid title but it’s a title that’s a bunch of bullshit because it’s not the last movie in the series.

Second, the cast has no charisma anymore. I swear to god, when Paul Walker died, the franchise lost a key component that it never knew it had, Walker’s Brian was more of the straight man character over all these cartoonishly over the top characters and once Walker’s out of the picture, the movie really loses its’ focus because my god, the cast in this is unbearable. Michelle Rodriguez is somebody who I am slowly but surely starting to hate, she’s entering Milla Jovovich levels of annoyance in trying to be this badass action heroine when she is not at all. Tyrese Gibson and Ludacris have no purpose here except to be the comic relief, Nathalie Emmanuel has really nothing to do except to be the damsel-in-distress, and Elsa Pataky is there to just bookend her storyline with Dom.

And speaking of Dom, this is where I know I’m going to get the most criticism for this but….fuck Vin Diesel in these movies. Seriously, the more these movies come out, the more I can’t stand Vin Diesel trying to be this badass action star when honestly, can you name one good Vin Diesel action movie he’s done in the last few years outside of these Fast & Furious movies? Besides Guardians Of The Galaxy or The Iron Giant, those’ll always be his two best roles. Riddick? Okay, I’ll give him that, Pitch Black was a good one, Chronicles Of Riddick was shit but the most recent Riddick movie was good too. So, there’s that. But what else has there been? Knockaround Guys, xXx, Babylon A.D., The Last Witch Hunter, The Pacifier. Now, don’t get me wrong Vin Diesel is a decent actor, I’ve seen him in good stuff, I liked him in Find Me Guilty, I liked him in A Man Apart, I liked him in Boiler Room, Saving Private Ryan and again, Iron Giant and Guardians. I don’t hate Vin Diesel as an actor, I just hate that he keeps attaching himself to these movies where he feels obligated to play the cool action hero.

Plus, with this movie, you start to get the sense that Vin Diesel is not even trying anymore. There are lines in this movie where Diesel isn’t even trying and play a drinking game for how many times he says family in this movie, you will more than likely be dead by the time the credits at the end.

Even the more seasoned actors in this are wasted, Kurt Russell is the only one who manages to stick with the material given to him but Charlize Theron in this, my god, I can not believe how bad she was in this and she’s been on a roll recently with Mad Max: Fury Road, Kubo & The Two Strings and even Atomic Blonde coming up looks badass but in this, she just looks lifeless especially in these scenes with Diesel, it’s like they only told Theron to just say villainous lines and that’s it. Add her to the list of actresses who can’t play villains with Salma Hayek in Savages and Marion Cotillard in Inception and Dark Knight Rises. Even Helen Mirren is wasted in this movie, she only has a cameo playing the mother to Statham and Luke Evans’ Shaw brothers, yep, Luke Evans is back in this too and guess what he’s wasted too.

But let’s get into my biggest problem with this movie and that’s the fact that this movie is nothing but Fast & Furious 6 all over again. Substitute Letty going rogue for Dom going rogue, substitiue Dwayne Johnson the antagonist from the last movie working with the good guys for Jason Statham the antagonist from the last movie working with the good guys, and substitute the final over the top airplane action climax from the sixth movie for the final over the top nuclear submarine action climax in this movie. It’s nothing but a retread of Fast & Furious 6, easily the worst of the more recent Fast & Furious movies…at least until this one came out.

And I know, I know that there are people who got what they wanted from this movie and you know what, more power to you but Fate Of The Furious, to me, was a massive disappointment. The only things I really liked here were the direction by F. Gary Gray, the action sequences, the ridiculous over the top nature of the movie and Dwayne Johnson & Jason Statham working off each other but other than that, this movie was just a bad mess.

Does this ruin the Fast & Furious movies to me? No, I look at this movie like I did with Spectre for James Bond, it’s a terrible movie but not one that’s going to take me away from this franchise. If you make something redeemable next time around, I’ll give it its’ fair share but here, I’m sorry, I just did not like this movie at all.

SMURFS: THE LOST VILLAGE

*

Smurfs The Lost Village poster.jpg

Synopsis:

In this fully animated, all-new take on the Smurfs, a mysterious map sets Smurfette and her best friends Brainy, Clumsy and Hefty on an exciting and thrilling race through the Forbidden Forest filled with magical creatures to find a mysterious lost village before the evil wizard Gargamel does. Embarking on a roller-coaster journey full of action and danger, the Smurfs are on a course that leads to the discovery of the biggest secret in Smurf history!

Review:

The Smurfs was one of those animated series that I used to watch a lot whenever Cartoon Network and USA would play them in the 90s and since then, Sony has just been taking these characters and just doing everything in their power to destroy whatever goodwill this franchise had.

Culminating with the two godawful live-action movies that are so bad, they make the Scooby Doo movies of the 2000s look like Citizen Kane by comparison. Ironic since all four were directed by Raja I-make-movies-with-zero-effort-because-idiots-see-whatever-shit-I-put-out Gosnell. Seriously, this is the same jackass who directed Home Alone 3, Yours, Mine, & Ours, and Beverly Hills Chihuahua.

But you know what, Sony Pictures finally got the hint, they axed the third live-action Smurfs movie because The Smurfs 2 was such a financial and critical disaster and finally somebody at Sony Pictures Animation said, “hey, you know what? Let’s make this franchise successful with an all CG animated movie so people can shut up about those live-action films.” And so, finally, we have a fully animated Smurfs movie…spectacular….you’ve completed step one in making an actually good Smurfs movie.

Unfortunately, somebody didn’t read the rest of the steps because my god, this movie was bad. I mean, they didn’t even try to do something different here, they basically took the script for that third live-action film, removed all the humans except for Gargamel, took out the city aspect and set it in Smurf village, and kept in all the things we hated about those two Smurfs movies to begin with.

You still have the scenes of nothing but Smurfs screaming at the top of their lungs because apparently, that’s entertainment for kids according to Sony, you still have those stupid modern day references, you still have those preconceived notions of what Sony thinks kids like and putting that in there, you have loud noises and obnoxiously written characters and situations, it’s all still in here and it’s like they just didn’t give a shit.

Right down to The Lost Village itself….remember that line in the synopsis: “The Smurfs are on a course that leads to the discovery of the biggest secret in Smurf history!” Yeah, you know what the big secret is, The Lost Village is nothing but female Smurfs. You know why I know that? Not because of the movie because the FUCKING MARKETING SPOILED IT FOR YOU!!!! No, seriously, this was in the trailers and the commercials before the movie even came out. Why are you spoiling the secrets of your damn movie in the trailers? Why is this becoming a trend? Why do we keep spoiling the biggest twists and turns of the movies in the advertisement? You literally take away the whole movie’s purpose by spoiling the twists. I mean, my god, I’m making more sense than a friggin’ studio that’s been around for nearly 100 years….and I’ve only been writing reviews for the last 12 years.

Not to mention, that twist only exists because of a fluke in the original storyline where I’m pretty sure they didn’t even bother to make other female Smurfs so they said, “hey, we’ve got a movie here.”

With all of that said, is there anything about this movie that is good at all? Well….the animation looks nice…..some of the voice work is okay….it looks like the original Smurfs cartoon from the 80s in a CG format but other than that…that’s about it.

Smurfs: The Lost Village is what happens when you have no real intent on making a good Smurfs film and just want to make something so you can keep the licensing rights, that’s all this movie was, just to keep whatever licensing and merchandising rights you can get by making a bad movie in the process. You want to know why Sony Pictures has been on such a downward spiral over the last few years, it’s because of moves like this, it’s because they don’t take any time or effort to actually make quality movies anymore and just make whatever they think makes money, this is why Tom Rothman should not have a job in Hollywood because he did the exact same thing with Fox and now he’s doing it with Sony.

In a summer where you have Spider-Man finally looking promising with the help of Marvel Studios and a long awaited adaptation of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower, what’s the movie that makes or breaks Sony as a studio….The Emoji Movie….The Emoji Movie, not Spider-Man, not Dark Tower, The Emoji Movie….and by the way, that’s not a joke, they literally said that the future of the entire studio is riding on this. That’s how fucking bad Sony is right now, they are mere months away from selling off their film and TV line altogether is The Emoji Movie doesn’t make a profit.

And you know what, good, I hope Emoji Movie fails, I hope it fails because this studio needs a gigantic wake up call and it needs to stop destroying its’ brand with terrible movies like Smurfs: The Lost Village that only exist to keep your license by making a bad movie by making a movie based on a fluke in the original Smurfs continuity.

Finally getting back to the topic at hand, Smurfs: The Lost Village is a bad CG animated movie, it doesn’t quite hit Norm Of The North of Sharktale levels of shit but it’s high up with The Lorax for one of the worst major studio computer animated movies ever made. That’s how bad this movie is, this movie makes The Boss Baby look like Citizen Kane by comparison….by the way, second Citizen Kane reference today….Smurfs: The Lost Village is just a bad movie, plain and simple.

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Posted in TATM: Talkin' About The Movies

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