Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5. USA/Japan, 2015. Universal Pictures, Media Rights Capital, China Film Co., Original Film, One Race Films, Dentsu, Fuji Television Network, Québec Production Services Tax Credit, Colorado Office of Film Television & Media, Abu Dhabi Film Commission. Screenplay by Chris Morgan, based on characters created by Gary Scott Thompson. Cinematography by Marc Spicer, Stephen F. Windon. Produced by Vin Diesel, Michael Fottrell, Neal H. Moritz. Music by Brian Tyler. Production Design by Bill Brzeski. Costume Design by Sanja Milkovic Hays. Film Editing by Leigh Folsom Boyd, Dylan Highsmith, Kirk M. Morri, Christian Wagner. Golden Globe Awards 2015.
Yet another powerful gadget acts as the silly excuse for the old gang to get together again, a few years older but just as fun as they were the last time around. This time it’s a “God’s eye” device created by an expert hacker (Nathalie Emmanuel) that enables the user to observe anyone, anywhere through any electronic device. Vin Diesel and Paul Walker assemble their crew to get the device because a shady government operative (Kurt Russell) has offered them help with getting a bad guy off their backs, a dangerous criminal (Jason Statham) who is also the vengeful brother of the guy they squared off with last time (Luke Evans, who has a cameo here). The story is just as silly and the stunts are even more ridiculous this time around, with the main drawback being that James Wan has much less finesse cobbling together the action sequences than his predecessor Justin Lin did. It doesn’t move at all smoothly but the game cast are tons of fun to observe, with a central sequence in Abu Dhabi the delightful highlight of the whole thing. This is the last film to feature Walker, his tragic death in a car accident occurring before he could complete filming; computer graphics (that for the most part don’t backfire) take care of a newly written conclusion that is a sweet and fitting tribute to his legacy in the series.