Charlize Theron is an Oscar winning actress who has also established a reputation as able to handle action films with her appearances in Mad Max: Fury Road, Hancock, Aeon Flux, and The Italian Job. She does both drama and action well. In this she is a throw-away villain with no meat on the character. All she gets to do is look icy and utter terrible lines. No depth what so ever. And she is awful! Even her hairstyle choice is atrocious! Dreads on a white person is never the way to go.
Another Oscar winner, Helen Mirren, actually lobbied to be in this film as she is a huge car fan. They rewarded her (and us!) by only giving her two scenes! Unbelievable. A travesty as she is loads of fun in her two scenes.
As disappointing as that was the same can be said of the entire film. I know that this is a Fast and Furious film and I should not expect anything but cheesy lines, explosions, cool cars, and action sequences. I still go in holding out hope. Knowing it is possible to an action film that has a satisfying story and precious little stilted dialogue.
The family has gone their own ways. With Mia and Brian retired from the game and Letty (Michelle Rodriguez – Avatar, The Fast and the Furious) and Dom (Vin Diesel – xXx: Return of Xander Cage, Guardians of the Galaxy) on their honeymoon in Cuba, the team seems to be defunct. They are all leading normal lives.
That is until a mysterious woman (Charlize Theron – Monster, Mad Max: Fury Road) insinuates herself into Dom’s life drawing him back in. Only this time he is not on the right side. This new gig involves him betraying all those closest to him.
Mr. Nobody (Kurt Russell – The Hateful Eight, Stargate) is back with a new guy, dubbed Little Nobody (Scott Eastwood – Suicide Squad, Gran Torino), and he is determined to get the entire team of Letty, Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson – Moana, Fast & Furious 7), Roman (Tyrese Gibson – Transformers, Ride Along 2), Tej (Ludacris – No Strings Attached, Hustle & Flow), and Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel – from television’s Game of Thrones) along with wildcard, Deckard (Jason Statham – The Transporter, Snatch). They are going to try and take down Cipher and clear Dom.
With each Fast and Furious film that comes out you know their primary goal is to one up the previous film. They always attempt to make each one faster and furiouser. The latest director on board the franchise is F. Gary Gray (Straight Outta Compton, Law Abiding Citizen). He is used to action films having been behind the camera for films like Set It Off and The Negotiator as well as car films with the remake of The Italian Job. He ups the ante by using different camera angles and slow mo in order to make you feel like you are along for the ride and to get your heart racing. He has racing of cool cars like a Bentley, Corvettes, Mercedes, and a Lamborghini and this time there is even a tank and a nuclear submarine. Yep, a sub.
All this action is fine and dandy, but you do need some substance as well. Not tons. A little. Something that will get you through once all the exhilaration has worn off. I know there will probably be another as this one will make plenty of money. Though it must be admitted that this film series is running on fumes.