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Non-Review Review: The Fast & The Furious 8 (aka The Fate of the Furious)

Seven cars crowd out an otherwise empty New York street.

In the midst of the carnage, all law-abiding citizens have taken cover. Only the outlaws remain, the powerhouses that rule the street. One black muscle car sits at the centre of this chaos. It stars menacingly at the five cars blocking its path. Behind that black car lurks the vanguard. Inside, a scruffy stubbled Englishman cracks his neck impatiently, waiting for action. The target car revs its engine. The drivers all kick into gear, and it becomes a game of reflexes.

Present and corrected.

There is an endearing charm to The Fast and the Furious as a blockbuster movie franchise. In many ways, it has become Universal’s own home-grown superhero franchise, albeit one that swaps out the capes for cars. A wry observer might suggest that the series is Diesel-powered, but that is not entirely true. The franchise runs on sheer main-lined ridiculousness, on the blurry line that falls somewhere between awesome and absurd. “High noon, but with cars…” is far from the most audacious scene in The Fast and the Furious 8, but it might be the most indicative.

Like a driver wrestling with a powerhouse engine, the series works best when it actively turns into the spin. Fast Five revived the franchise by removing the throttle and setting in motion a sense of escalation that threatens to send the characters into space before the conclusion of the series. In the meantime, The Fast and the Furious 8 settles for a neon orange Lamborghini being chased over ice by a nuclear submarine. There are points at which the whole thing threatens to fall apart like that surface ice, but the film moves just quick enough to stay above water.

Dominating Dom.

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Clyde’s Shelton’s Final Repose: Law Abiding Citizen & Deconstructing The Dark Knight…

I had a chance to watch Law Abiding Citizen over the weekend, and I kinda liked it. I found some problems with the way that it handled its philosophical points about the balance between the justice system and the chaos that it attempts to regulate, but it was an enjoyable little thriller. However, while watching the film, I couldn’t help but feel that the movie had more than a passing similarity to the other thriller that explored how the criminal justice system could withstand a sustained assault on its basic foundations from a lone and psychotic terrorist. In short, it reminded me of The Dark Knight, but with an interesting twist or two. In particular, F. Gary Gray’s movie feels a bit like what might have developed had somebody removed the character of Batman from Christopher Nolan’s blockbuster in pre-production.

"I'm gonna pull the whole thing down. I'm gonna bring the whole f&%@in' diseased, corrupt temple down on your head. It's gonna be biblical."

Note: This article includes spoilers for both films.

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Non-Review Review: Law Abiding Citizen

Law Abiding Citizen is an interesting movie. It’s a well-made thriller that seems to have some underlining arguments about the justice system and civil liberties, even if it tends to get a bit muddled towards the end. However, director F. Gary Gray knows how to handle tension, and has two very strong leading actors, which helps carrying an intriguing premise through some of the difficulties it has with its own moral philosophy.

Naked guns?

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