ACTION; 2hr 17min
STARRING: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Jason Statham, Michelle Rodriguez, Dwayne Johnson
End of the road: Walker
The F&F crew pack more torrid dramas than a century of reality TV on their seventh lap, with a nemesis-possessed arch-villain turning up the heat to scorching. As the slickest speed freaks on the planet, Dom (Diesel), Brian (Walker), Letty (Rodriguez), Tej (Ludacris) and Co have never met a menace they couldn’t coolly outrun, but British special forces killer Deckard Shaw (Statham) is something else. Shaw has a dead brother to avenge (long backstory — what else is new?) and no qualms about blowing wherever he happens to be to smithereens. Going up against him takes rat cunning (thank you, crew) and trailblazing hardware (howdy-do, Kurt Russell!). Or to put it another way, “This time,” Dom rumbles with his customarily pithy knack, “it ain’t just about bein’ fast.”
No, brother, it ain’t. It’s also about staying pumped through the staggering pyrotechnics of rolling stunts. It’s about James Wan’s burnished, sexy direction. It’s about megalomania running riot. It’s about Johnson shirtless. And most importantly, it’s about the familial ties that bind through punch-ups, blowouts, meltdowns and, finally, through the tragically real death of Paul Walker. His poignantly expressed closing tribute could move the hardest men to tears.