by Tony Rutherford , HNN Entertainment Editor
FIRST LOOK REVIEW: He and She Thumbs Up "Fate of Furious" for Different Reasons

Flying tires, souped up fuel injectors, narrow vehicle crash misses and crack ups all represent the best of the "Fast and Furious" franchise coupled with the cast chemistry.

"Furious 7" had periodic fright and flight insertions. You can not help but remember the gang trapped in a skyscraper with a sportscar which led to daring leaps through the air to two nearby adjoining high rise structures. The crashes flowed periodically.

FIRST LOOK REVIEW: He and She Thumbs Up "Fate of Furious" for Different Reasons

"Fate of the Furious" has more suspense, comedy, romance and staggering chases. You have to keep short attention spans in check with this installment otherwise impatience may set in. On the other hand, our "she said" applauded the pacing that goes atomic during the final third of a complex story arc. This non-"Furious" regular found her attention riveted and funny bone fulfilled by one-liners, adding that there's not a foul word throughout. "I can take my grand kids to see this," she said.

The newest Vin Diesel and  Dwayne Johnson joy ride has globe trotting terrorism implications --- a  cross between James Bond's adventures  and "Ice Station Zebra" --- rather than street racing (still shown in Cuba and in  Big Apple where a  cool scene about "rain" and driverless vehicles occurs) and ordinary crime capers. Charlize Theron has the role of a woman dueling for world nuclear domination . The "five" (now minus Paul Walker) add Diesel's wife Letty (Michelle Rodriguez), longtime running buddies Roman (Tyrese Gibson) and Tej (Chris “Ludacris” Bridges), and newish addition Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel).

FIRST LOOK REVIEW: He and She Thumbs Up "Fate of Furious" for Different Reasons

Called hot wheels on steroids , Theron strategically blackmails Diesel into assisting in her conquest to acquire a nuclear suitcase. That will pit him against his own "family" (i.e. team). It's a word used often where brotherhood or sisterhood might be appropriate since none of them are related by D.N.A.  Acceptance (and physical and mental skills qualify) comes no matter gender, race, nationality , geek or nerd. The latter do not have stereotypical loner bios, instead, their brains enhance networking and social skills.

Director Gary Gray (Straight Outta Compton, Negotiator, Italian Job, Be Cool, Man Apart) has not done a "tent pole" styled actioneer but he's previously been there, done that by directing Diesel, Theron, and Johnson. Everyone has a suitable rapport and straight faces --- remember, this serious reinvents physics for incredible stunts.

Again, my 'she said' and I disagree on the first 50%. She's overwhelmingly absorbed; I'm teetering impatiently wondering if the mucho wise cracks, macho exchanges  and (for this series) moderate stunts will come together. Spoiled by "7", I'm anticipating endless start to finish flares, flying engines , and rollovers. Admittedly , a variation of 'we're getting nowhere with nobody' made my top of the head notes.

FIRST LOOK REVIEW: He and She Thumbs Up "Fate of Furious" for Different Reasons

After Havana, NYC and the prison, the parts scramble and solidify into a story arc that allows  mindful expository segments that --- like a cliffhanger --- build to a super explosive end game, which once the arctic blast rushes the pounding adrenaline forges new tracks as the finish line nears overcoming (and justifying) the carefully crafted early portions.

"Hell ya, let's roar," wrote one known critic. Sure, it's a fun, exciting and relatively sterile (except for some barely covered  ladies at the beach scenes) family suitable blast, just coast into superhero (heroine) bandage extinct mode. Emotional wounds receive more acknowledgement (unless on the road or in the air) than the physical which technically do not occur for the good team, even with a toddler in a basket effortlessly set aside for bad dude wasting duty.