Taking its audience for a joyride, the latest installment in the ‘Fast and Furious’ series doesn’t hold back on explosive action and insane thrills. It’s loud and utterly unbelievable, the script stinks but it’s a riotous escape and it’s high octane entertainment.
Now able to live in the United States again, Dom Toretto (Vin Diesel) and his crew are hunted by Owen Shaw’s mean big brother, Deckard (Jason Statham). As he globe-trots around looking for vengeance, Dom is tasked by Mr Nobody (Kurt Russell) to seek and obtain God’s Eye, a device that can utilise tech and cameras the world over to find people of interest. They must get it before it falls into the wrong hands and the Furious family unite once more to step into action and beat the bad guys.
Only the second film to not be directed by Justin Lin, usual horror director James Wan steps in to the ballsy action flick and handles it well. The jet setting journey is hot and bright, the typical screaming colours and sexy lines of each car doing their part for the target audience. Each crazy sequence ramps up more and more, always seeming to result in explosions or soaring body counts, the one time motley gang of racers now knowing how to undertake espionage missions and off big time criminals. Cinderella story or what!?
Chris Morgan’s screenplay is dripping with cheese. Just hearing some of the lines that come out of these character’s mouths is hilarious. It’s as if the script was rushed purely to get done and shooting, cliched dialogue never seemed so cliche. It falls more on the shoulders of I am Vin, who murmurs through a dull attempt at a serious B-plot with amnesiac Letty played by Michelle Rodriguez. Some of the one liners, to be fair, are so bad that they’re good and you have to smirk at the silliness of this bombardment of cinema.
The sounds of the film shake you to the core, you know when even the IMAX countdown has been pumped up with Nos, screeching tyres and roaring engines that you’re in for a booming watch. Shattering glass, blown up buildings and the usual screams of car racing melds into a blistering concoction of a loud and proud vehicular soundtrack. ‘Get Low’ by DJ Snake & Dillon Francis returns from pride of place in the trailer and suits the sun dripped glamour of Abu Dahbi to perfection.
It looks great, it has to be said. Shooting to a new scale of spectacle and Corona product placement, this movie is scorching with worldwide locations, sexy rides and sexier women, it is packed with gritty combat and explosive nonsense, the sky-falling cars and subsequent pursuit through the mountains of Azerbaijan is awesome. The yellow tinged sunset of UAE’s wealthy city serves great purpose as a super car bursts through buildings. The film may be over the top but it does look fantastic at times.
Paul Walker’s untimely passing is dealt with in a delicate manner and for a franchise known for dumb, OTT plots, the way this story slows down to consult the way Brian will be written out is rather touching. Probably the smartest thing they’ve ever put to paper as Brian and Dom move from beach to roads symbolising a happy but ultimately sad goodbye. You’d never guess he wasn’t alive for the entire film as he’s in it much more than I expected. CGI and his brothers, Cody and Caleb standing in for shots aid the story being told and it’s seamless to tell the truth.
Vin Diesel grunts through the picture, his bulking presence of team leader doing enough to carry the crew. Dwayne Johnson isn’t in that much, but he does get a damn cool fight scene with the Stath. Jason Statham is as he always is but does convince matched up against much larger opposition of the Iron Giant and The Rock. The violent Brit taking the title of a cat with nine lives to silly levels. Tyrese Gibson breaks down some of the action with his comedy routine. Michelle Rodriguez suffers with an annoying narrative but powers up in a duel against Ronda Rousey. Nathalie Emmanuel transitions from small to big screen in a capable smart and stunning role as helpful addition to the team.
Go for the next level craziness of car-ography, stay for the adrenaline fuelled overblown ride, just remember to switch your brain off, turn down expectations and forgive the long running time of ludicrous over production and the bad story that sticks like a broken gear shaft.