Paul Walker’s final Fast and the Furious franchise due to his untimely death, who died during production, and caused the creative team to decide whether to work a way around that, or scrap the film entirely. Obviously, they worked around it, and the film itself is a huge action film that also gives Walker’s character, Brian, a fitting and beautiful send-off at the end of the film.
Things get underway pretty quickly, for Brian, Dom (Vin Diesel) and the rest, as the film picks up right after the events of Tokyo Drift, the third film in the franchise, with the reveal that the man who killed Han (Sung Kang) is Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham), who is out for revenge on Dom’s team because of what happened to his brother (Luke Evans) in the previous film.
When government agent, Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) is laid up in the hospital following his encounter with Shaw, he unofficially gives Dom the okay to go after him. While Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) tries to get her life back together, and struggles with her memory loss, Dom and the rest, including Roman (Tyrese Gibson) and Tej (Ludacris) end up connecting with another government agent, who calls himself Nobody (Kurt Russell! Oh yeah baby!) who has a way for them to track Shaw, a computer hack known as God’s Eye, but Dom and the rest have to recover it, and it’s creator, Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel), before they fall into the hands of a terrorist, Jakande (Djimon Hounsou) and his right hand man, Kiet (Tony Jaa!!).
The chase is on, and takes us over the globe before delivering a no-holds barred climax in Los Angeles, and through it all, Shaw is determinedly hunting them down with the intention of killing them all.
The action sequences are huge and completely over the top (dropping planes out of a car to land on a road to hijack a bus tricked out in .50 cal machine guns?!) but we’ve come so far with the characters that we simply buckle up, grab out popcorn, and say, ‘thrill me.’
It’s hard to believe how big the series has gotten from its beginning as a film about street racing, but, I honestly feel, that they are a series of films that just get stronger, and more enjoyable the further you get into the series. From the third film on, they are just so fun.
This entry wasn’t directed by Justin Lin, however, James Wan, of Insidious, and Saw fame took the helm on this one, and there is some interesting use of sound, and visuals throughout, including aerial views of chases which we haven’t really gotten before.
It’s big loud, and because of the adrenaline rush from it, and the bittersweet emotions tied to the fact that going in, viewers know that Paul Walker died during the film’s creation, the ending is one of the best in the series. There’s no mid-credit tease, no nothing. We get a For Paul, a moment of black, and then roll credits.
So Brian, and probably Mia (Jordana Brewster – who didn’t have much to do in this film anyay) and their children exit the series, but the rest of the crew is going to continue onward… in Fate of the Furious!