Rating: PG-13, TIme: 2hr 16min, Director: F. Gary Gray, Cast on IMDb
So what did you think of the film?
The main thing is the concept of racing with deep sense of family and how to handle the fact one of the main leads in the film has died in real life. They kind of side step the death by saying they want to keep him and his family out of it. It is kind of touchy to film a CGI version of Paul Walker or try to use his brother, so they basically toss that out. A lot of the characters still in the film may or may not make sense like Dwayne Johnson, but its all fun and games.
The fun part of the film is that Toretto turns his back on his team and family and we are guessing why for quite awhile, which makes for a good story. So the basis for a decent plot with some great car chases ensue.
What did you think of the lead villain Cipher played by Charlize Theron?
This was unusual in that its this super computer nerd on this crazy mission to remodel the whole world with WMD, which is kind of funny considering how Trump just bombed the hell out of ISIS to deter future enemies and lead us to WWIII in North Korea. So the villain's motive has great potential. It's interesting to see her after playing in Mad Max Fury Road as the heroine. It's pretty color though the bargaining chip she turns to get Toretto. I'm so glad that wasn't in the advertising. It's always great to find the basic twist still hidden when you see a film, you know marketing didn't screw up the movie for the audience. The only challenge is they don't give a great reason for Cipher's hate for Toretto and his team. They mention him taking out her team before, but I kind of wanted a bit more of character development.
How do you think they will end the series?
Yes, it's a good question. I mean after Paul Walker died racing, you wonder should they make another film as a tribute or does it look completely tasteless. I think for the actors it was too hard to not make another great car chase film. On one hand, Paul Walker dieing racing cars kind of solitfied this film series forever as a legacy of racing.
Do you plan on painting this film?
While I love classic cars, racing cars and driving fast, I think it doesn't really come up to the level of my style of art, but you never know.
Do you relate to the racing in the film at all?
Well, back when I lived in Germany I used to own a Fiat Uno that was modified like these cars: lowered, tinted windows, but the engine was still stock. I remember fondly of seeing the unlimited speed sign on the autobahn going 80 MPH, drop into 4th geear and take it up to 90 then back into 5th to get up to 100-110 MPH (top speed of that car). I used to commute between Germany and Belgium for my masters, so I literally drove at these speeds 80-110 for 3 hours at a stretch. Ahh... the glory. Still, you would be going 110 MPH and a Porsche would race up on you at 150-170 MPH and pass you so fast you felt you were standing still at 110 MPH. Pure madness and beautiful of great highways with ideal speed laws.
Were there ways to improve the film?
Special effects were on point. I think the humor and one-liners could have been better thought out. It seemed several scenes could have been funnier with the right humor. Of course, it may have been a challenge to come up with humor after Paul Walker passed.