Movie Reviews: The Fate of the Furious and Love & Taxes

The Fate of the Furious

Cary, NC – The Fast & Furious franchise has defied expectation at almost every level at this point. Now on its eighth installment, no one could have guessed it would still be going at this point, or continue to be as fun as it is. Granted, at this point you’re either with these films or you’re not. Myself, I love them, and this latest entry only solidifies that enjoyment.

Old Franchise Still A Blast

This time out, the crew are forced to deal with a rogue Dom, played by Vin Diesel, who has seemingly turned his back on family. It sounds cheesy enough, but the entirety of this franchise has hinged on friendship and family bonds and it’s a surprisingly effective move.

It also helps that the chemistry between the cast is so good and genuine at this point that they are able to sell even the loosest of story lines. Honestly, half the fun of these films is watching this cast goof around together anyway.

Paul Walker Is Missed

This is the first film to not feature Paul Walker’s character following his tragic death during production of Furious 7, and it’s a presence thats definitely missed. Walker brought a lot of great interaction with his cast mates, again showing off their real friendships. Fate handles his absence respectfully, but it’s likely to be a hole that will never be filled.

The Rock And Statham Steal The Show

Thankfully, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Jason Statham (The Transporter series, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels) do an excellent job together, emerging as my new favorite duo of the franchise. The two have a hilarious back and forth throughout the film and I’m hoping they’re given even more screen time together in the future.

The action in The Fate of the Furious is also top notch, as has become expected. None of it is particularly realistic but it’s all fun. From Fast Five on, these films have gotten bigger and bigger, and while I’m not sure how much bigger they can really go, Fate goes for broke and I can honestly say I had a blast.

Worth A Trip

These movies are right in my wheel house. Big, loud and fun. Even better though is that Fate of the Furious doesn’t try to be anything other than what it is either. Everyone is in on the fun. As I said earlier, eight films in, and you’re either with these movies or you’re not. If you are, then The Fate of the Furious will not disappoint. Definitely worth a trip to the theater.

Love & Taxes

Playing this weekend at the Cary Theater, Love & Taxes is a blending of styles, with classic storytelling shot like a modern film about a very postmodern subject.

For Lovers of Stories

I love modern technology and art forms but I can admit some things was better in the past. One of those is storytelling, with the greats such as Spaulding Gray not existing anymore.

But into that vacuum steps Josh Kornbluth, an expert storyteller and actor in Love & Taxes. This film mostly takes the form of a monologue he delivers, directed by his brother Jacob Kornbluth (Inequality For All, The Best Thief in the World). And he feels like an actor from another era. He brims with creative energy, even despite the goofy and nerdy nature of both his persona and the story itself. It is an entertaining story being told to you by an entertaining storyteller.

Spinning a Yarn

So what is the story Kornbluth tells us? As the movie’s title suggests, there is an element of adorable romance and an element of satirical tax comedy. If you love to laugh at either, this is a good movie for you.

But as a strong storyteller, Kornbluth does not just take us through the beat-by-beat of how he avoided taxes then fell in love with a tax accountant who made him pay up big time. He takes us through his life and childhood, taking a very Philip Roth tone and approach. Kornbluth does not portray a particularly likable character: he is self-depricating and is responsible for many of his own failings. There is more than a little George Costanza in him. But that is what makes him such a funny narrator and Kornbluth’s acting carries it all the way.

Go See It

If you are upset with modern comedy films, give Love & Taxes a try. No fluff, no room for gags, just a funny storyteller telling you a funny story. And it holds up 100 percent.

Love & Taxes is playing at the Cary Theater at 2 and 7 PM on Thursday, April 20 and at 7 PM on Friday, April 21, 2017.

Also, Neruda is still playing at the Cary Theater, with a screening at 9:15 PM on Thursday, April 20, 2017. Read our review that highly praises the stylish thriller.

Jordan Hunt reviews movies for CaryCitizen. Read more Movie Reviews. Photos from Facebook (The Fate of the Furious/Love & Taxes). 

Arts coverage on CaryCitizen is sponsored in part by The Cary Theater.

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