This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Dan Holford’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
“As long as obey the laws of physics, we’ll be fine.”
I think by now, we all know what to expect from these movies. If you go into this for the over the top, physics defying action set pieces with a nice sprinkling of comedy on top, then you’ll enjoy the ride. You have to be on board by this point, thankfully I am, so by the time they shoot a car rocket into space, I was having a blast.
The movie does struggle somewhat with its plotting, feeling a little bloated and trying to do too much at once. Of course, it’s our fast family, having to stop another villain from getting their hands on a world ending device. Introducing us to Jacob Toretto, a never mentioned before brother of our lead, is a dumb idea but mostly works. It’s just a shame the film decides to layer so much backstory into flashbacks. That while cast well, really don’t add anything to what we already know or get told. Any moment the flashback drags you out of the action, it feels like the sense of pace and momentum is halted in its tracks. It’s a shame that there’s three villains juggled at once here. It unfortunately means none of them get the chance to shine, leaving newcomer Cena and returning Theron, rather underused, but hopefully they’ll be back.
Lin once again delivers on bombastic set pieces that always deliver plenty of adrenaline fuelled entertainment. I actually thought all three of the main set pieces worked well here, normally there’s a lull in the final act, but the big ending actually felt tighter and faster paced than previous films. Sure, all sense of logic has gone out of the window, with cars basically flying, people falling from heights before landing on the front of a car and being fine, but that’s part of the charm of these movies.
Maybe the reason these films work so well for me is that every character is at least likeable. I’ve been harsh on Diesel and Rodriquez in the past instalments but i thought both actually worked rather well here together. It’s still hard to take Diesel serious as the ‘emotional lead’ though. The rest of the cast are as fun as always. Roman, who is now the main comedic edge to these films is as good as always, and it was nice to see Han back, alongside some of the other Tokyo Drift stars. Natalie Emmanuel as Ramsey was a highlight for me too, allowing her character to finally get in on some of the action at last.
It has its issues, especially plotting wise, but the latest entry in this franchise remains as much ridiculous fun as I wanted. If you like any of the films after 5, then you’ll like this one, I’m sure.