So this is the one with the parachuting cars and the cars that fly from one building to another. Abu Dhabi, Tokyo and Colorado serving as a stand in for the Caucasus Mountains are the setting, until the conclusion where Los Angeles gets the treatment that London got in the previous film. This is one that I actually saw when it was released in 2015.
In addition to the convoluted spy plot, the pyrotechnics and the physics defying car stunts, we get evil Jason Statham, as a mass killing machine who is as implacable as the Terminator, and slippery Kurt Russell, as a government agent so secretive, we don’t even know his name. The team of Torretto and company have gone full blown spycraft now, and the macguffin technology and secondary villain are almost forgotten in light of all the crazy stunts, chases, and unfortunately, the cinematic illusion of making Paul Walker look like he was there for the whole time. This is the one they were filming when he died in a mysterious high speed crash in Santa Clarita.
The main difference in this film is that there is only one car race that is planned as a race rather than a chase. Usually, the team would have to strap up their cars to go out and obtain cars for the heist they are planning. Here the joke is that they have enough money of their own, and the resources of the U.S. government, to get all the tech they need without having to steal it or win it. There is a time glitch in the story also, this film seems to take place right after “Tokyo Drift”, so that film chronologically must come after Fast 5 and Furious 6.
There is an early showdown with Statham’s Deckard Shaw, which end up taking Dwayne Johnson’s Hobbs out of the plot for 80 % of the movie. That first fight is all hand to hand combat and the two have an amazing choregraphed fight scene, that if it were real, would leave any of us mere mortals dead. Of course these two are not mere mortals, and they are in a movie, and there will be another showdown. The second massive fight sequence gives Statham a chance to rough up Vin Diesel before having a concrete garage dumped on him. Of course he will survive for the next film, and the sp[in-off that is coming. Michelle Rodriguez gets to face another woman MMA champion, Rhonda Rousey, in a cool fight in a luxury building in Abu Dhabi. That one is also full of punishing hits that would wipe most human out of furter action, at least for the duration of the film.
Djimon Hounsou is a secondary bad guy named Mose Jakande: A Nigerian-born mercenary and terrorist who leads a private military company that allies with Shaw, He does not get much to do except scream from a helicopter and shout orders. Maybe it’s in his contact that he doesn’t have to go fisticuffs with a behemoth twice his size.
The parachuting cars come early in the movie, and once that scene happens, nothing else can be taken seriously. People complain about the 007 film “Die Another Day”, but they can accept this silly element. That’s probably because the “Fast and Furious” films have never felt particularly real, and we began accepting the more outlandish elements way too soon in the story line. Just pass the popcorn, and let’s not ptretend these are great movies, they are just great entertainment.