Death Wish (2018)

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Adding no fresh or riveting spin on the ‘vengeful justice’ wing of the thriller genre, Eli Roth’s newest addition in the ‘Death Wish’ franchise is led by a capable Willis but has many serious problems.

Surgeon Paul Kersey (Bruce Willis) is celebrating a birthday and his wife and daughters’ individual successes but that’s short-lived, as one night whilst he’s at hospital working, Lucy (Elisabeth Shue) and Jordan (Camila Morrone) are gunned down in a house robbery gone wrong. As Jordan lies in a coma, Paul begins opening his eyes to the world of violence and decides to try and stop it if he can.

I had major issues with this film and it infuriated me the more it kept on going, but I must say that there’s suitable, palpable tension in the book-ended home invasion scenes and tiny moments in the first thirty minutes are entertaining to a point, but this needlessly stitched on sixth addition to the series is loaded with on the nose dialogue stinking of cult movie dreams and less than gritty blood dripped revenge.

Arriving in cinemas at the worst timing possible after the Parkland shootings, severely puts an off taste in the mouth watching this show-boating gun parade, but at any time this would be a film that would wind me up because it seems happy to display Paul Kersey like a necessary angel of death; the slow motion and hip hop backing painting him like a hero because he’s discovered the world of rifles, glocks etc. The film has this whole treatment of gun shops, ammo and hidden weaponry like it’s a joke and not even the poorly acted radio talk show discussions can save the movie. Their chats of Kersey either being good or bad don’t redeem the glorified manner in which he and guns are portrayed.

It just got more irritating as it went on, that I was following someone clearly designed as the hero of the story, yet on multiple occasions he could have notified the police when finding out information. This would have saved his bullet spraying quest and prevented him from becoming a murderer. I lost sympathy in the character and by the end of the film where he ends up facing absolutely no punishment for his crimes I was glad to see the credits finally show up. Just him being horrendously injured, imprisoned or killed would have gifted the film a message that gun wielding vigilantism isn’t a smart choice.

Willis starts in a capacity different to what he’s done of late, showing some emotion to the loss of his wife but he ends up becoming the same ol’ bold bald unsinkable force. The usually fantastic Vincent D’Onofrio is a boring sidelined character here and I have zero clue why he signed on for this release.

This is a baffling movie arriving at a time of major gun violence problems in America and just generally, it suffers massively by trying to get its audience rooting for someone who treads down the same road of using gun violence.

3.5/10

 

 

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Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017)

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The saga returns and the 2nd of the new Star Wars trilogy whams into the cinema with director Rian Johnson ensuring he gives fans a lot to be pleased about whilst gifting the starry sci-fi blockbuster some neat stylish additions of his own.

Continuing on from Rey’s (Daisy Ridley) island meet up with Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), she hopes to learn the ways of the Jedi. Meanwhile Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher) is desperately trying to evacuate the Rebel base as the First Order try and diminish hope from the galaxy and wipe out the chance of Luke’s return. As they keep trying to escape, Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) is at odds with his place in all this, not helped by visions that unwillingly connect him to someone else.

Rian Johnson ensures the Star Wars aficionados can enjoy seeing certain characters, screen wipes and the charm of space opera good versus bad as the ever central theme. Hope and the notion of crushing that ideal is what drives the franchise and this is no exception but gladly the director after J.J. Abrams hands this outing some stylistic moments; ones that almost step out of the comfortable SW bubble, that I thoroughly enjoyed. These choices keep the film fresh and help it look exciting but more brooding than ‘The Force Awakens’. A sequence with endlessly mirroring a character, the salted planet of red surface and crystal critters and an extremely amazing breathtaking snappy edit of a soundless explosion are some examples of the visual splendour Johnson and his huge crew have created, which keep the galaxy alive with big screen wonder.

There are some points, mostly that lay within the story, that can feel utterly safe and predictable. Obviously I’m not wanting to spoil anything in this review so I’ll keep hush on the negatives I had but sufficed to say there are space filled deus ex machinas abounds and little character events that I expected straight away which sort of took me out of the immersive thrill. Also, some writing choices they give the action and/or characters felt cheap or not wholly unnecessary and without spoilers I really felt no need for a kiss that comes at one time.

Luke’s island hideout is rife with creatures and one species is the well advertised and product placed Porgs that clearly strike for the kids and the cute factor. Granted they can be quite fun but the clear merchandise cash in that they are and their constant gaping mouth wide eyed shtick becomes less amusing and ever tiring. Aside from a couple of story gripes and these puffin-esque beasties this movie has a good amount of twists and turns that keep the narrative interesting, a mission on a casino centred Canto Bight is rich with wealth, class differences and a couple of fun cameos. Another positive is John Williams returning with a score that’s safe but swells and simmers with the fan buzz of familiar sounds to satisfy all. I also love that a lot of the creatures you see are handled with animatronics which look much better and charming than the sheen of CGI.

Mark Hamill gets his teeth into much more screen time and it’s nice to see Luke Skywalker back, though he’s getting to play well with the bitter side of things. Hamill delivers enough emotion into his journey of who he is now and why he’s left the Jedi Master qualities behind with a tinge of will he/won’t he be a bad egg. Both Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher lift the film with an explainable grace that probably stems from the nostalgia of their presence amongst the whirlwind of desperate escape tactics. Fisher herself still carries Leia as a beacon of hope and strength, she’s good and efficient and Fisher performs this effortlessly filling the General shoes with ease. Adam Driver gets to slowly break away from his angsty teen fits and dramatics and the conflict in his path is nicely evident in the performance. Daisy Ridley manages to keep up the brave and strong qualities of Rey, a hero through and through but one where Ridley nicely plays with the pressure of balancing her place in the Force and the pull of the dark side. Domhnall Gleeson amps up the villainous panto switch with sneers aplenty. Supreme Leader Snoke gets more screen time and has more depth and a constant creepy shadowy presence thanks to the mo-cap work from Andy Serkis.

It’s definitely a long film and this is a long review to almost reflect that. It’s the longest one yet but luckily it never feels a slog; it may not zip on by but it’s a well handled and well paced space adventure that feels like a grand step up from Episode 7 and one that has humour and stakes around every corner.

8/10

Jason Bourne (2016)

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After rightfully dropping ‘The Bourne Legacy’ from my memory; I was anxious but well up for another Bourne outing once realising that Matt Damon and director Paul Greengrass would be united once again. This film then, is a slight drop in the honed in grittiness of the trilogy, but it’s still a damn well delivered action thriller.

Kicking off after Jason Bourne’s (Matt Damon) swimming away from Ultimatum, we find the troubled man in Greece trying to live off the grid. That is until a face from the past warns him of more secrets leading Bourne to hunt down answers pursued by the tactics of CIA director Robert Dewey (Tommy Lee Jones) and agent Heather Lee (Alicia Vikander).

Admittedly I must say that even my excitement never wavered upon finding out this movie was in production, I did feel that maybe it wasn’t overly needed. I can confirm that now seeing this I still annoyingly feel that it wasn’t truly necessary. There’s an engaging story in there at times amongst the CIA charged drama but having Bourne finding out there’s more to his past feels quite rehashed.

That’s the only negative I majorly have with this movie though, the story is kind of the same and the convenience of having a third act sequence at a tech convention, for Bourne to just scoop some handy tools for tracking felt lazy, but apart from these sour notes I found myself really enjoying this spy feature. It has both action and technical logistics scenes in equal measure that make it more than just explosions and nonsense, the new faces are a treat to the JB world and you can’t hide the smile when the first shrill notes of Moby’s ‘Extreme Ways’ exits the speakers.

Greengrass is great in making these blockbuster movies feel dangerous and real. The grittiness is in effect and the frequent shaky cam gives an unstable edge to the look which works well in parallel to the quivering nature of truth and who to trust in the plot. Greengrass certainly knows how traverse the globe, shooting cities and their subsequent panics to make Bourne a capable hero against all the odds, thrown amongst riots, assassins and shady government figures; he is a man to root for.

Each big moment feels well handled and packs a suitable punch, mostly for being so damn tense. Firstly there’s Greece and a politically charged breakdown between civilians and police, London gets screen-time in a way not as good as the Waterloo station from Ultimatum but still stuffed with suspense as Bourne tries getting to someone. The gloss and glamour of Las Vegas gets to shine…and smash in a huge way for the final act and it may be Fast and Furious style carnage but it’s breakneck, unflinching and full of adrenaline from start to finish.

Matt Damon is back as Bourne and it’s nice to see him back, he is damn good at the part. Fit and silently firm Damon ensures that Jason is someone we keep on side with, but then it’s the other players in the game that add real spice to the proceedings. Julia Stiles returns and is great in a smaller role. Alicia Vikander keeps you guessing as she treads back and forth in your mind to if she’s good or not and she plays it well. Tommy Lee Jones is a fantastic addition as the stern man overseeing the plan to take down Bourne. Vincent Cassel is another welcome new member and gifts the film a strong asset that can rival the power of Jason himself.

Treadstone and 2002 Bourne may be gone but the Greengrass/Damon combo usher in Ironhand and a still resourceful Jason, to cast an iron hand on the franchise with plenty of solid moments.

7.5/10

X-Men: Apocalypse (2016)

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Storming onto the big screen with the X-Men of the 80’s, this film is a Beast of CGI but doesn’t soar like a Phoenix, in fact it feels to me at least, more Rogue than the two movies that came before with the McAvoy/Fassbender line-up.

In Ancient Egypt, the almighty En Sabah Nur or Apocalypse (Oscar Isaac) is re-born but trapped. Shuttling through a time tunnel to the 80’s we have an Xavier school for mutants doing well and Professor X (James McAvoy) wants to expand on this university ideal. However Apocalypse believes he is the one God and wants to rid the world and start anew, so he brings together his Four Horseman, including Magneto (Michael Fassbender) to kill mutants and humans and take over Earth.

Bryan Singer is back as director and the glossy ensemble look of his films is still as true as before. There’s a lot of character back and forth and backgrounds assembling, blowing up or changing. This, his fourth X-Men feature seems to be missing the threat level, I mean people will say that destroying the planet is a threat, but I mean this movie feels sorely lacking of any grit in the tension department. Everything passes through, scene to scene and the stakes don’t feel raised.

So, however explosive the film may look at times and what with the sleek costumes of Apocalypse’s henchpeople and the new gear of the X-Men, we feel thrust into a visually detailed movie but I felt less than thrust into a detailed narrative. Simon Kinberg’s screenplay doesn’t conjure the Days of Future Past thrills or First Class joy, it just sits there throughout the runtime in a meh sort of way, which isn’t great considering the talented cast involved.

It just gets muddled with too much character and action work, Apocalypse; whose name is never mentioned that way is a seriously bland villain which is a huge shame. The Four Horseman pose in the background and don’t do much else. The less than surprising snarly cameo is a blood soaked sequence of little excitement and this theme of standing together never stands well. I honestly found this movie boring, there’s a lot of talking and not many sit-on-the-edge-of-your-seat moments. There’s like 2 main fight scenes and they’re not long or impressive like you’d hope.

The saving graces for this superhero outing are the return of the brilliant and better than Avengers version of Quicksilver, who rockets around in his fantastically sound-tracked adventures of slowing time due to his speed. A forested scene with Magneto and his family is a grey and surprisingly dark point of the film that works. Apart from that I can’t think of any other parts that help the film because the new characters are hurried and so you don’t feel for them, know them or care about their fate, the older characters get dull arcs and the big baddie is a big bad dud. Jean Grey is right when she comments on third movies being the worst.

McAvoy is committed as ever and sells Charles Xavier as the caring good Professor wanting to help his school out. He’s subjected to balding, wheelchair issues and a final act dilemma and the actor plays it well. Fassbender is still tormented by the now boring to and fro of Magneto being good then not, yet he’s stern and unbroken for the darker side of Magneto which is all you can ask for. Jennifer Lawrence turns heads in the Berlin cage-fight scene and becomes her shady shade of blue, slowly meandering on the thoughts of Magneto yet still wanting to help Charles. It’s a very human performance but she has little to do, like Oscar Isaac who is smothered in vocal effects and make-up that his excellence is little felt. That plus the fact that the villain is poorly executed and holds no damning threat. Sophie Turner is a neat addition, the Game of Thrones actress is Jean Grey through and through. Evan Peters is the silver streak of the film, when he turns up backed by The Eurythmics everything feels right in the world.

Slightly entertaining but mostly not, this is an average X-Men release that sadly holds no tension or little fun but looks good, it looks just fine.

5.5/10

 

Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)

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Better late than never, I finally got myself around to seeing this spectacular addition to the Star Wars franchise. The feel of the movie is nostalgic and that classic wonder runs throughout even with the injection of new faces and special effects.

As the scrolling yellow text states, this seventh Star Wars feature sees the First Order risen from the Empire. Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) has disappeared and Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) is on a mission to find the map leading to Skywalker’s location. He doesn’t count on Finn (John Boyega) and Rey (Daisy Ridley) teaming up and discovering both the Resistance and the Force.

Scale wise this movie is immense, from the aerial dog-fights between TIE fighters and X-Wings to the planets visited along the way. All of this really sucks you into a new and exciting world still in that memorable Star Wars galaxy. It’s this glory of old that makes this film so good, the look of the new bases and villains speak out as classic Death Star/Vader imagery, the introduction of the Force by a tiny creature is akin to master Yoda and the humble yet potential filled beginnings of Rey draw up hopeful connections to Luke Skywalker. This film does brilliantly right what all three prequels did wrong, it shoots back to the feel good simplistic story telling of good versus evil and doesn’t rely heavily on CGI. Of course it’s there but it aids the scenes and it boosts the vision of the spectacle.

The special effects are quality, gone are the days of obvious green screen and in come detailed and lush worlds, fantastic immersive motion capture performances and explosions that serve purpose and not a Michael Bay wet dream. The little things like the sound and lights of the lightsaber spark nerd delight as the Luke blue bolt shines up, the new tweaks also excite even if the red hilt of Kylo Ren’s weapon could be self damaging. I guess for me the only CGI that gnawed at my head was the overbearing hologram of Snoke which felt perhaps too overbearing, more like a LOTR character than anything else.

J.J Abrams pulls back on lens flares and crafts a near perfect entertaining blockbuster. The way the characters interact and the stories meld are directed efficently leading us to further buy into the continuing saga. It’s his direction that adds a new quality, an almost shakier dark tone that helps a lot, of course the screen wipes and smooth panning shots over deserts raise a smile but the hand-held camera on Stormtroopers or the pacy back and forth cutting during battles makes everything more dramatic and energetic. He has managed to retrieve the joy of Star Wars and lets hope the new directors for 8 and 9 can continue that feeling.

John Williams rightly gets a nod for Original Score at the Oscars because his control and music making is always reliable for bringing in the hair raising emotion. The moment you hear the classic score you feel right at home. The brooding factor is there also as we meet new villains Kylo Ren and General Hux. Sound design too needs a mention as robotic bleeps from old favourite R2-D2 react with what will be the stand out point for most in rolling dude BB-8.

I didn’t expect the movie to make me laugh as much as it did. Obviously it isn’t a comedy but there a lot of moments that truly make you chuckle out loud. There’s an endearing push towards the lighter moments that work in making this a bold and exciting family film. A lot of the laughs emenate from Boyega’s turn as Finn who is a riverting addition and the writing for his character is believable and comedic. The moment a pair of Stormtroopers turn and walk away from a raging Kylo Ren is also classic Star Wars humour which made a lot of the audience audibly cackle.

Daisy Ridley has been plucked from virtual obscurity and thank goodness because she’s a breath of fresh air as this driven scavenger with a talent for something bigger. She’s powerful, not a damsel in distress, stunning and interesting in seeing what’ll happen next. John Boyega is fantastic, like a lad born out of an evil past he brings the funny as I wrote but also develops into a more frustrated and vulnerable character which is acted well. Adam Driver is fantastically despicable as Kylo Ren and luckily he does get the chance to remove the mask so we see into his fleeting troubled eyes before the true villainy sets in. Oscar Isaac is a great watch as he shuttles into the opening and proves his worth as untampered Resistance fighter. Harrison Ford may do a lot of bad things but coming back as Han Solo is not one of those, it feels as if he never left even if he is older. The wry and arrogant manner is back but there’s fear in the mix too. Carrie Fisher makes her comeback too and does well as a general and leader but a worried mother also. Mark Hamill is the actor I was most looking forward to as he shies away from the limelight now but his late reveal is very much the wait in what can come. It’s a sizzling ensemble cast of actors either live action or in mo-cap they all work together in creating a delightful starry universe.

It’s more than worth a watch because it shows how CGI and 3D can be done right and that the Star Wars saga is nowhere near dead. Disney but more importantly Abrams and his unknown actors have revamped this franchise with the satisfaction of retaining what we all adore about the first three.

8/10

Spectre (2015)

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Bond is back and with bells on as this latest installment in the long running franchise clearly shows off. Blown up buildings, car chases and seducing women all get ticked off as the blonde Bond deals with his own personal mission to connect the dots of his last three outings.

Whilst on a mission in Mexico City, James Bond (Daniel Craig) uncovers some talk of a planned explosion, the Pale King and knows some darker thread is being woven. He journeys from between London, Rome, Austria and Morocco to come face to face with the man behind the deaths and the mystery, one figure of his past named Franz Oberhauser (Christoph Waltz) who threatens Madeleine Swann (Lea Seydoux) and the entire MI6 00 program.

In directing terms, this new adventure for James Bond is a treat, the scenes are dealt with well on the most part. There’s a fluidity in the scenes with conversation and the more upbeat sequences are hand-held and shaky to fit with that expected Bourne trend of late. The more artistic and somewhat beautiful side of Sam Mendes and his directorial stance comes back as it did with ‘Skyfall’, though thankfully this time it seems less pretentious and ‘Dark Knight Rises’. The shadowing helps the spookiness of this spy action flick and the broad scope of each location is perfect patterning for the Bond collective.

It’s like a film of two halves, with the first half setting up a good mood and including brilliantly orchestrated set pieces, yet these well stitched tapestries become frayed as we drift into silly moments for the latter part of this movie. A lot of this comes down to the writing but the negatives also come booming to the screen because of this attempt at darkness being subverted by the quite campy feel of older 007 features. Wit and one liners feel right in the Connery/Moore era but after a while that loses fun when delivered by the clearly grittier take from Craig’s version.

Without spoilers for the people that have been even later than me to see this, the direction of the villain is clear from the title alone and for a nemesis so big and synonymous with the Bond world, it could have been taken on a darker path but the connections created feel so dumb and half arsed that this creation of the man with the plan (and the white cat) loses serious impact. It starts feeling like a scheme of the 60’s/70’s as he attempts to take down the entire organisation and hide out in large bases.

I mean, it took four people to muster up the screenplay, that conflict of ideas/personalities may very well be why the story feels a tad messy at times. Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, John Logan and Jez Butterworth give the movie some great moments, for example the back and forth dialogue between 007 and Q is sublime and well executed, the stuffy yet driven M is necessary and Oberhauser’s set up and initial revelation is interestingly carved out but descends into panto villain land before too long which is a true shame.

Hoyte van Hoytema must be commended for his stunning cinematography work. Each and every location convey the perfect atmosphere, even dreary London has that grand impression of authority which works for the unsettling crumbling of it by the final act. Also, one of the biggest pre title sequences for the Bond collection is brilliant, the look of the Day of the Dead parade and the ensuing carnage that follows is epic and engaging. The car chase through Rome is perhaps uninspiring but still pumped full of adrenaline and these are captured with stunning eyes for action thrills for the paying audience, Bond fans or otherwise.

One of the major travesties of this film is the writing of character, Bond becomes less of a hero than a war machine than normal, but heck that’s expected for this rebel secret agent, the true outrage is Madeleine Swann who quickly becomes one of the worst written characters in my memory. I feel bad for the hugely talented Lea Seydoux of whom I adore. Swann at first is frosty, capable and assured but then turns into a wreck, a desperate damsel in distress that seems to forget all her strength, determination and experience gifted by her father and her years. The train scene as she asks what they do next, cutting to the following antics are just unbelievably painful and that’s where the film starts getting bad in my opinion.

There’s some good ideas throughout, Mr. Hinx as the updated Oddjob is unbreakable and has squeamish plans for his metal tipped thumbs, the many limbed structure of Spectre is believable enough to tie the other villains together and the beginning of the Austrian chase works really well. The whole reasoning behind who Oberhauser is to Bond is awful, the drilling torture scene has no impact really and overall the movie is too long.

Daniel Craig delivers charm and macho confidence as he has done in every other Bond outing, so though it’s not the acting role that dreams are made of, he’s still convincing as the lead spy and the man to go to or fall in love with. Lea Seydoux as mentioned becomes a usual one dimensional Bond girl but demonstrates her emotion and talent before that comes to pass. She at least has more to do than cameo role of Monica Bellucci who could have been played by anyone. Ralph Fiennes steps in as the new M and does what Fiennes does best, as in being in charge but not really and giving that likable grimace to the boss. Christoph Waltz is underused but I’m sure he will be used again and I liked him in this role, it suits him and gave enough chills to the part. Ben Whishaw is fast becoming the best aspect of these latest films and I’m happy with that fact.

24 movies down and Bond is still happily chalking off victims and ladies as if he’s never away. This is a much more entertaining movie than ‘Skyfall’, some may say it’s not better but weirdly I disagree, I still am in the, probably empty camp of not liking that movie much. ‘Spectre’ has awesome visuals, striking vision from Mendes and all out Spectre-cle.

7/10

Furious 7 (2015)

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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.

6/10