The Fast and The Furious series has really found its footing, and Justin Lin delivers another fun thrill ride that takes Dom (Vin Diesel) and his family international as the join forces with Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) to bring down an international criminal with big plans, Shaw (Luke Evans), and the team is motivated by the fact that it appears Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) is back from the dead, and working for him.
Brian (Paul Walker) leaves Mia (Jordana Brewster) and his newborn son behind to join Dom, Han (Sung Kang), Roman (Tyrese Gibson), Gisele (Gal Gadot) and Tej (Ludacris) as they head to England to track down Shaw and his organisation before the villain gets his hands on the films macguffin.
Lin continues to balance the action and the heart of the series, which is important, because if the action really goes over the top, you really need to be able to buy into the characters, and the series, and the characters are at that point. The film is filled with well-crafted action sequences; Lin is really good at giving you the geography of an action sequence so you are never lost.
I loved this one, everything from three on in this series has been solid entertainment. I just have one real issue with this one, and that is the amnesia (though it’s not called that) which Letty is suffering from following her near death at the beginning of Fast & Furious. It’s a little too much of a trope at this point, it’s too easy, and a little too soap opera. I’m delighted that Rodriguez is back, though sad that it means Elena (Elsa Pataky) may not get as much screen time, but it could have given her character real depth, or layers, to have her be aware of what she is doing, and be aware that Dom is out there looking for her.
Anyway, moot point as it’s done now.
And, of course, as we raced into the climax of this film, we knew things were going to get serious, and someone would have to pay for it this time. And it’s done right, and well, and that mid-end credits sequence leads us right into the events of the third film Tokyo Drift, which in case you’re missing it, means that Han exits the series here. Dammit.
The action sequences, the closer the film gets to its final act, become increasingly over the top, and so much fun, tanks, planes, and automobiles. It’s something to see. And such a fun ride!
The next entry sees Lin giving up the director’s chair to James Wan, of Saw and Insidious fame. I wonder what he’ll do with it, but I’ll make sure to buckle up!