Well, they did it. They made a ‘Fast & Furious‘ movie which I can actually say I kind of enjoyed. It only took them six previous attempts but they finally did it. That being said, it still isn’t great. The action is ramped up even further, as are the stakes, and it seems to fully embrace the stupidity. And it works fairly well.
After his brother somehow survived falling out of a plane despite one of the ‘family’ being killed by a lesser fall, Jason Statham wants revenge on Vin Diesel and his family-who-aren’t-really-a-family (still). There is a great opening scene in which Statham leaves a hospital after having destroyed it and killed lots of people which looks amazing and sets him up as a pretty badass villain. He is pretty good throughout the film, despite somehow knowing what everyone is doing at all times with no explanation other than “he knows what you’re doing”. I can get past that though.
Character-wise, it’s same old same old. Vin Diesel is the same growling egg he usually is, taking being sleeveless to new heights of “why doesn’t that shirt have sleeves?”. He’s basically superhuman now, managing to dent a car with his fist and survive literally everything. Michelle Rodriguez still can’t act emotional all that well and Tyreese is still very annoying. I swear he’s just there to spout exposition and makes terrible jokes. Paul Walker is still probably the best actor of the bunch, mostly by being the most human. Kurt Russell turns up this time as some government guy who clearly enjoys himself and gets one cool action beat, as well as constantly talking about ale. The Rock is better in this one and is pretty fun when he’s on screen. Once again, the rest of the cast are just there in the background, doing their thing.
The stunts are once again very mental but also quite fun. Look, I know none of it is realistic, and I can get past that, but why doesn’t anyone wear a seatbelt?! They would all die on impact! Clunk click every trip people! There’s parachuting cars, crazy skyscraper jumps and lots of explosions. There’s lots of people riding on top of cars and not falling off despite having nothing to hold onto and car races strangely named ‘race wars’. Iggy Azaela has a terrible cameo that thankfully only lasts a few seconds as she’s the worst and Ronda Rousey still isn’t that great an actor but does have a decent fight scene with Michelle Rodriguez. There’s a chase scene through a graveyard which I think is quite questionable ethics-wise but there’s also a great fight scene between Statham and the Rock.
Credit to director Justin Lin who’s camerawork is on top form here. He’s finally created a pretty decent ‘Fast & Furious‘ film. Special credit should also go to the handling of Brian after Paul Walker’s death. The CGI face isn’t really noticeable in any parts and his character gets a very nice, touching sendoff. Look, overall, this movie isn’t great. But it’s bigger and dumber than the previous ones and it embraces it. I don’t love it, but I think I may like it. However I still don’t want to see a million more of these movies. Oh and also, they’re still NOT a family!
JACK’S SCORE: 3/5