As the marketing suggests, dark clouds hover over the latest instalment of stars in fast cars.
After Paul Walker’s death behind the wheel, how could anyone involved make light of a speed that self-evidently kills? One quick fix: the adoption of a newly reflective tone that sends these hotrods careening through graveyards and sets Vin Diesel, morphing inexorably into Telly Savalas, to pondering where all roads lead.
This holds until a vengeful Jason Statham initiates a global game of cat-and-mouse. Thereafter, it is business as usual, right down to the camera’s not-unproblematic habit of goosing every pit girl it approaches. Superior set pieces continue to sustain this most dumbly enjoyable of franchises: a terrifying aerial plunge into Azerbaijan precedes a colossal show of event-movie willy-waggling in Abu Dhabi, trouncing Mission: Impossible 4’s rearrangement of the Dubai skyline. Walker’s loss is noted, but barely felt; given the prevailing blokeishness, a certain former BBC motoring presenter could potentially fill in for Furious 8.
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