There’s really no getting around the fact that this movie is basically Ocean’s Eleven set in Brazil, with cars. That’s not a bad thing, since it means a token nod at trying to put together a coherent plot, although in doing so the writers have sacrificed car scenes for heist scenes. There’s still plenty of hot rods and hot bods for the young male target audience.
Playing antagonist in this one is Dwayne Johnson in nasty mode, and as far as I know this is the first time he’s playing a serious role and he’s genuinely scary. Vin Diesel is not a small man by any reckoning, but mein gott, compared to The Rock he looks puny. It may sound odd, but I think his physical bulk is what gives the otherwise terrible script some much needed momentum (moreso considering the reduced vehicular action).
I’m kinda ambivalent about this one. Everything was merely interesting, not exciting. That includes the cars, the girls, the set pieces and the story. For a franchise that sells itself on being “fast” it wasn’t able to get my heart pumping. Maybe they need to bring back “the furious” for the next one (yes, there will be a next one – there’s a sequel-tastic scene early in the credits, as if they couldn’t trust the audience to wait until the end of the credits for the stinger).