For their seventh adventure, the Fast & Furious cast and crew continue to outdo themselves with mind-boggling stunt driving and outrageous action mayhem, this time infusing everything with emotion as a way of honouring late actor Paul Walker. The rip-roaring pace and more internalised drama combine effectively to create a riotous thrill ride that might actually bring a lump to the throat. Even if it's all utterly preposterous, it's solidly entertaining.
Things pick up right where Part 6 left off, with former black-ops killer Deckerd Shaw (Jason Statham, who else?) determined to avenge his fallen brother. As he tracks them down, Dominic and Brian (Vin Diesel and Paul Walker) have reassembled their team (Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson and Chris 'Ludacris' Bridges) to take a job with shady government agent Mr Nobody (Kurt Russell). Their target is the even shadier villain Jakanda (Djimon Hounsou), who has kidnapped a genius hacker (Nathalie Emmanuel) to get his hands on her all-seeing gadget. But Shaw is on their trail as they track Jakanda to the mountains of Azerbaijan, and he interrupts their mission there as well as in the deserts of Abu Dhabi and the streets of downtown Los Angeles.
The double-edged premise offers all kinds of opportunity for plot twists, but of course the main point of these movies is to create increasingly insane set-pieces. This time, the film opens with Brian explaining to his young son that cars can't fly, after which director James Wan proves otherwise, flinging our heroes' hot rods into the sky from airplanes, tower blocks and cliff tops. Amazingly, they seem able to steer even in mid-air! But never mind, it looks so painfully cool that there's little do do but sit back and enjoy the chaos, knowing that even though a flashy vehicle is destroyed every minute, there's a newer, more awesome car coming in the next scene.
Continue reading: Furious 7 Review
The most impressive thing about the sixth entry into this noisy franchise is that it's both more preposterous and more self-important than ever before. Which is no mean feat. The cast and crew clearly went for something bigger and more explosive, but by removing their tongues from their cheeks they leave us laughing at them rather than with them. Even so, some of the crazed action scenes are breathtaking.
The story picks up right where the last one ended: Dominic and Brian (Diesel and Walker) have taken the fortune they grabbed in Rio and started an idyllic life in the Canary Islands. Brian and Dom's sister Mia (Brewster) have even produced an adorable baby. Then US Agent Hobbs (Johnson) appears asking for their help in capturing the villainous Shaw (Evans), who is collecting military technological gadgets for some nefarious purpose. And they agree to go along because Dom's presumed-dead girlfriend Letty (Rodriguez) is working with him. So they reassemble the team (Pataky, Gibson, Bridges, Kang, Gadot and Carano) and get started in London.
Yes, this chapter takes place in Europe, which gives the filmmakers new landmarks to race past in their elaborately orchestrated chase sequences, throwing cars like toys at every plate-glass window in sight. The first night-time set-piece in London is fairly incoherent (and nonsensical), but things get better from there, with a whizzy bit of competitive driving for Dom and Letty and a few other showdowns before the action moves to Spain for a couple of massive, gob-smacking action sequences that would boggle the mind if we thought for a second that they were even marginally possible.
Continue reading: Fast & Furious 6 Review
As the countdown to 2012 begins, an executive (Swank) is frazzled about a technical glitch in the iconic Time's Square ball-drop. Meanwhile, a courier (Efron) is trying to help a frumpy secretary (Pfeiffer) achieve her dreams. A chef (Heigl) is catering a glittering event while trying to avoid her rock star ex (Bon Jovi), whose back-up singer (Michele) is stuck in a lift with a lovelorn slacker (Kutcher). A mother (Parker) is worried about her teen daughter (Breslin). And a tuxedoed millionaire (Duhamel) is trying to get to an important event in the city.
Continue reading: New Year's Eve Review
After ex-cop Brian (Walker) and his girlfriend Mia (Brewster) break Dom (Diesel) out of prison, they head to Rio to hide out with Dom's old pal Vince (Schulze). Naturally, Vince has an elaborate heist planned, of course involving superfast cars. And it goes so spectacularly wrong that doggedly determined Federal agent Hobbs (Johnson) heads to Brazil to track them down. But there's one last job to do, which involves getting even with Rio's ruthless crime boss (de Almeida), so they call their old team (including Gibson, Bridges, Gadot and Kang) into action.
Continue reading: Fast Five Review
Adam (Kutcher) and Emma (Portman) have spent 15 years flirting at the random points where their lives have crossed. Now living in Los Angeles, they meet again and decide what they really need is sex without a relationship. Adam's pals (Bridges and Johnson) are jealous, while Emma's colleague (Lawson) believes he's the right man for her instead. But things start getting complicated when Adam's ex (Lovibond) moves in with his star-writer dad (Kline), and Emma starts thinking about relationships as her sister (Thirlby) gets married.
Continue reading: No Strings Attached Review
Unfortunately, the film is a cacophonous mess without a single interesting character.
In the nearish future, roleplay game-maker Ken Castle (Hall) has made his fortune with two games that let people live vicariously through others: the sex-and-party Society and the war-and-destruction Slayers. The twist is that the gamers are controlling actual people due to nano technology implanted in the performers' brains. In Slayers, they're all death row inmates firing real bullets, and the global megastar performer is Kable (Butler), controlled by rich geek Simon (Lerman). But Kable longs to escape and find his wife (Valletta), and a renegade hacker (Bridges) sets his escape in motion.
Continue reading: Gamer Review
RocknRolla is sexy, fast, loose, smart, and extremely funny. It's crammed with colorful criminals, which Ritchie and cinematographer David Higgs backlight to great effect. It chokes on delightfully screwy schemes, which the director and his editor James Herbert slice, tape, and test drive at breakneck speeds. And that's the key. It keeps moving, hardly caring if you are keeping up.
Continue reading: RocknRolla Review