Tough guys are such bores, aren’t they? In real life, they manifest themselves as creeps like Jeremy Clarkson, who punches underlings in the face if his lunch isn’t ready.
Onscreen they are personified by the ridiculous Vin Diesel, an actor who never ceases to amaze when he exhibits the ability to actually talk (script editors, not daring to push the envelope too far, rarely give him lines of more than half-a-dozen words).
Dom (Diesel) and his crew of gun-toting revheads are back to wreak worldwide joyous mayhem.
This time, while on the hunt for a hi-tech gizmo that has fallen into a villain’s possession, they are also being pursued by Shaw (Jason Statham, of the Sequoia school of acting), a hard man seeking vengeance for his brother.
If there are subtleties to the plot and characterisations they passed me by – but then again, I did develop a splitting headache in the first scene, which was taken up by drag racing and girls’ bums bursting out of skimpy skirts.
I note with disbelief and despair that this grievously vacuous movie has been lauded in many quarters and I can only imagine that the bouquets rained on it have been for its sfx, for they are spectacular. But so they should be, for a g’zillion bucks have been lavished on them.
As for execution, James Wan has made an exceptional action flick, but if, like me, you respond to endless car chases and explosions and shootings and fistfights in the same way that an anaphylactic reacts to a peanut, then you will struggle to see this one through to the end.
For mine, it is imbecilic and infantile fantasy, high camp, testosterone-addled dross aimed at a depressingly dumbed down audience, the product of a zombie culture.
Tyrese Gibson and Ludacris offer some halfway decent jive humour, the dedication to Paul Walker at the close is maudlin even by Hollywood’s tawdry standards, and who would have thunk that all the women in grotesque Abu Dhabi get about in tiny bikinis?
~ John Campbell