A franchise that long ago stopped being about street racing and became a multi-ethnic challenger to James Bond for over-the-top international espionage has reached its late-period Roger Moore moment. With the late Paul Walker gone, the focus is squarely on Vin Diesel’s Dom Torreto, who is blackmailed for mysterious reasons—hint: family—to go rogue on his team and assist a dangerous hacker (Charlize Theron). Director F. Gary Gray finds a few lively moments, from the opening Havana-set race, to Dwayne Johnson’s Hobbs going Jailhouse Rock in a prison fight, to Jason Statham creatively protecting a baby carrier from gunfire. But the extend of any given viewer’s amusement depends on how much bickering banter they want from these characters, how much they care about infants in jeopardy as a plot device, and how much lunacy they can tolerate in set pieces that employ zombie cars or nuclear submarines. No matter how much you care about (or make into a drinking game) all the “family” stuff, there comes a point where these spectacles grow exhausting. Even Roger Moore would raise an incredulous eyebrow.
Director: F. Gary Gray
Producer: Neal H. Moritz, Vin Diesel, Michael Fottrell, Chris Morgan, Amanda Lewis and Samantha Vincent
Cast: Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Charlize Theron, Jason Statham, Michelle Rodriguez, Kurt Russell, Helen Mirren, Scott Eastwood, Tyrese Gibson, Chris "Ludacris" Bridges, Nathalie Emmanuel, Elsa Pataky, Lucas Black and Kristofer Hivju