The show Bates Motel has a relatively special significance to me. I identified a lot with the main character, Norman Bates. Aside from bearing a strong physical resemblance to Norman and being almost the same age as the actor who played him, I found myself not only wholly understanding the rationale behind the many murders that Norman committed, but I found myself championing his actions with alarming remorselessness. Not only that, but like Norman, I too deal with mental illness and the timeline of the show coincided with my own struggle and conquest of mental illness.
Furthermore, I wistfully associate this show with nostalgic memories. I remember when the show began in 2013, I met my then girlfriend in person for the first time. We first met in an eighth floor Holiday Inn hotel room that had dark wallpaper. The hotel room was divided into two sections: a large bedroom with a king sized bed and a separate living room with a couch and a TV. We watched TV in between bouts of energetic sexual play. She would curl up next to me on the couch as we watched, discussed and deconstructed not only Bates Motel but other shows as well.
Anyway, the fantastic writing on this show had me glued to the TV. As someone championing Norman along, you could say I was quite disappointed with the ending wherein he was killed. My ideal ending would have been seeing Norman in a cushioned cell in a straight jacket in a mental hospital at least alive and knowing that he would be forever blissfully content in the stupor induced by the medications the hospital staff would force him to take. After Norman killed Sheriff Romero and after imaginary Norma abandoned Norman, I was half hoping in that moment to see Norman entirely overcome his mental illness that plagued him for so long. I was half hoping he would run away and live out as a fugitive somewhere else in the United States, an ending which is not inconceivable given that pretty much all other loose ends on the show had been tied up. It was an opportunity for him to start over but when he drove Norma’s dead body back to his house in his car, I became distressed at the thought of the foreboding outcome. To be honest, my stomach filled with dread every time Norman killed someone or attacked someone knowing the likely horrible consequences for him. However, each time I was pleasantly surprised to find out that the universe had given him another chance afterward. I don’t think it was beyond the ability of the show’s writers to craft such an ending but alas, that was not the case. Nonetheless, I am appreciative that the show did at least culminate and end.
To conclude: as far as TV shows go, I must say that the bar is set unbelievably high. This was my favourite show on television.
So overall, this film was great! Seriously. Unfortunately however, because I’m writing a movie review, I’m obliged to say a bit more than that. Thus, this brings me to talk about the things in the movie that I didn’t like. I know. I know. The negative things in a film, or the negative things in anything in general shouldn’t get more attention then the positive things. I hate being a cynic and bringing up the negative side. I totally understand that but I felt the following topics were the things in the film that stood out the most. Caution: the parts I’m about to describe contain spoilers.
I’ll start by saying that the acting in this film was satisfactory and convincing, with the exception of Chris “Ludacris” bridges.
I felt the story itself was rather trite. The female villain in the film, Cipher, seemed more preoccupied with destroying the protagonist, Dom than achieving her main goal of international terrorism. Dom caught up with one of the Cipher’s henchman in an alley in a city. The henchman was pointing a gun directly at Dom’s wife. Dom then pointed his gun at the henchman’s head at which point the henchman lowered his gun and walked away. Dom followed, leaving his wife behind, and the two men finished their heist by escaping with a briefcase containing nuclear codes. Later, on Cipher’s airplane headquarters, Cipher decided to punish Dom for defending his wife by having her henchman shoot his Dom’ son’s mother in the head (a different woman), an act which is although predictable for a stereotypical villain in a movie, made no practical sense. It did not seem to bring Cipher any closer to achieving her ultimate goal.
Her ultimate goal, by the way, was rather vague. Cipher wanted nuclear codes, but she didn’t explain exactly why she wanted them other than for the reason that she wanted to “hold governments accountable” assumingly by devastating national capitals with retaliatory nuclear strikes, a line of logic that is neither immediately clear nor relatable to the audience. It was your quintessential movie plot where the villain just wants to take over the world for reasons not really imparted to the audience other than she’s evil. This part of the movie surprisingly stood out because in recent years, Hollywood actually has done a very convincing job of conveying the rational of the motives of the antagonist, not only the motives of the protagonist.
I have to admit also: the special effects in this movie are sublime with one small exception which probably only I could notice. I could plainly tell that the high speed car chase scenes in this movie were shot while the cars were going relatively slowly. It stole a sense of reality from the film.
Finally, Fate of the Furious is a totally entertaining film which I give a “yes.” Definitely worth the price of admission. The escape factor in this movie is huge.