With each new Furious movie, Vin Diesel’s CGI car flies four miles higher through the CGI sky. And each time I become increasingly bored, agitated even. Walter Hill said once, during promotion of Bullet to the Head (great movie!), that if the audience can’t emphasize with the action on screen, it’s not going to be effective. What am I looking at here, am I supposed to marvel at stupidity for stupidity’s sake? I can tell you that this movie left me bored and keeping an eye on the time on my iPhone.
Vin Diesel returns with his band of cameo faces to save the planet, this time from super villain Charlize Theron. And this time, the ‘angle’ and gimmick is that Toretto has gone rogue, challenging us to inwardly debate if Dom could really turn his back on ‘family’. I wonder if anyone but Vin Diesel inwardly found this anything but tiresome and predictable. Along the way, Kurt Russell shows up in a pair of sunglasses for about six minutes of screen time to recruit street racers to take down both Theron and Diesel, who are using cyber terrorism on major cities and must be stopped.
This is dumb shit and there basically is no plot, rather a crude stitch work to draw about 20 cameos together in between CGI chaos, but Furious fanboys will remind you that you need to turn your brain off and appreciate that it’s just ‘dumb fun’. They’ll also tell you by the way that it’s superior to The Expendables, despite having the same if not worse problems. I suppose one turd is better than the next if it has a larger budget and more popular promotional pull. Okay, so if there’s no story, at least don’t stray beyond the two hour mark. So we must rely on the action then. Well, the action sucks too. First of all, there’s ‘dumb fun’ action that winks at its audience and pushes the boundaries, then there’s dumb shit action that just makes you want to quit. Cars that fly through the sky, men who duck under the stratosphere in jet packs… and all of it looking like a PS4 game.
The CGI and green screen is so heavy I wondered if the actors even had to show up for work for many of the scenes. Fake cars, fake skies, fake fire, maybe they just sat in a swivel chair and 60% of the movie was created on a powerful IBM mutant computer, built around their motion captured likenesses. Much of this movie is just computer generated chaos — noisy and exhausting. I naively hoped for better from new director F. Gary Gray, who did a fine job in my opinion with The Italian Job remake. Compare the heists and action in that movie with this trash, aimed at 10 year olds.
I’ll give the movie a few things though. For a start, the first race in the movie (in Cuba, with some old cars) was remarkably restrained by the standards of previous Furious movies. Minimal CGI, basic but exciting street racing. Of course, it went down hill from there. There’s also a few other cool things in the movie. For instance, The Rock appears more this time than last, or maybe that’s just my impression. A big highlight in the movie is that Jason Statham battles his way through about 20 men to save a baby’s life, that was fun… Statham is an protagonist in this movie by the way, and in it for a decent amount of time.
But I’ll tell you what this movie is. It’s a rip off of Tom Cruise’s Mission: Impossible series. Typically in those movies you’ll get a big heist with a borderline silly but nonetheless moderately entertaining story. They are slick, funny and cool. This movie tries the same thing, but has a shitty story, crappy action and only a few funny one liners here and there, usually from The Rock. It has wasted talent (…Scott Eastwood) and there’s too much Vin Diesel plays it straight as a rod. Cruise enjoys himself
It’s boring crap with one nuked fridge after the other. The worst yet, worse even than the derided 2 Fast, at least that movie mostly relied on Paul Walker’s charismatic presence (sorely missed here) and vehicles that stayed on the ground.