Photo: Universal Pictures
Starring: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Michelle Rodriguez, Kurt Russell, Tyrese Gibson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Jordana Brewster, Dwayne Johnson, Djimon Hounsou, Nathalie Emmanuel, Sung Kang (archive footage)
Release Date: April 3, 2015
Directed by: James Wan
Rated PG-13 for violence and strong action throughout, some language and suggestive content
The Fast and Furious crew is back and this time around, they’ve got two baddies on their tails. The first is Deckard Shaw, out for revenge since Dominic Toretto (Diesel) and Co. put his brother Owen in a coma. The second is Somalian terrorist Jakande, who goes after them after they rescue hacker extraordinaire Ramsey (Emmanuel) from his clutches in Azerbaijan. You see, Ramsey is responsible for creating a computer program known as God’s Eye which can hack into any device on any network. As such, it can locate anyone, anywhere, anytime. Called back from their quiet lives by “Mr.Nobody” (Russell), who promises to help them stop Shaw if they keep Jakande from getting his hands on God’s eye, the Furious crew sets out once again for another ride.
Don’t worry too much about the plot. Ten minutes into the film it doesn’t really matter anymore. New director James Wan ( Saw, The Conjuring) goes for broke with the action, giving fans of the franchise exactly what they came for: death-defying (and improbable, if not impossible) stunts, expensive and powerful soupe-up cars,and gratuitous scantily clad women. The action begins quickly and doesn’t let up until the very end, making the film’s long runtime (two hours, seventeen minutes) fly by. The film does not cover any new ground either. Batman Begins featured a similar program to “God’s Eye” and “Live Free or Die Hard” featured similar action sequences. Non-fans and/or Furious virgins will most likely be left cold by this film, but Paul Walker fanboys/girls will definitely appreciate the film’s touching tribute to the late actor at the end.
Since Walker’s untimely death began during filming, his brothers Cody and Caleb were brought in to be body doubles and do voice work for him. I was impressed by how seamlessly this worked. Overall, this film does what it meant to do, no more, no less. Three additional follow-up films are in the works, which leaves me feeling uncertain. The stunts in this film teetered on the line between extremely impressive and ridiculous; I think that in order to keep the franchise going, they will have to keep trying to top themselves and they will cross over into “ridiculous” territory quickly. We will have to wait until 2017 for the final word on this.
VERDICT: See, if you’re already a fan. You will not be disappointed.