- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (3D)
- Promise, The
- Belko Experiment, The
- Finding Fatimah
- Free Fire
- Their Finest
- Hatton Garden Job, The
- Boss Baby, The (3D)
- Autopsy of Jane Doe, The
- Lost City of Z, The
- City of Tiny Lights
- Quiet Passion, A
- Void, The
- Man Down
- Ghost in the Shell (3D)
- Zip & Zap and the Marble Gang
Fast & Furious 8
Stars: Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Charlize Theron, Michelle Rodriguez, Chris 'Ludacris' Bridges, Tyrese Gibson, Scott Eastwood, Kurt Russell, Luke Evans, Kristofer Hivju, Nathalie Emmanuel, Elsa Pataky
Director: F Gary Gray
The 'Fast & Furious' franchise edges ever close to James Bond territory in this eighth episode of motorised mayhem. The opening - not quite a 007-style beginning since it does have relevance to the later stages of the film - finds Dom (Diesel) and Letty (Rodriguez) living la vida loca in Havana with the occasional drag race on the side.
Then along comes Cipher (now that's a name straight out of a Bond film), played by Theron reprising her Wicked Queen from Snow White and the Huntsman. She tells Dom she's about to shatter his 'family' by forcing him to work for her in her plans for, well what else, world domination.
'They'll be up against something they can't handle,' she tells him of his crew. 'You.'
Quite why Dom can't find some way of letting his crew know that Cipher is holding his baby son as hostage is a central weakness in the film's scenario, which depends on everyone, including their boss, Nobody (Russell) believing that Dom has 'gone rogue'.
But no matter, there's action galore here, the film's centrepiece seeing Cipher meddling with the controls of every car in New York in order to nick nuclear launch codes from the Russian foreign minister (what is he doing with them in his car?). Cars move on their own, career crazily along the freeway, and even drop from multi-storey shoproom windows.
And there's a dynamite icebound climax in 'a Russian base taken over by terrorists' that takes the film completely over into Bond's domain.
Former foe Statham is on the side of the good guys in this one, but other Brits fare less well, including a less-than-adequate Emmanuel (late of Hollyoaks) as the team's computer scientist. And there's just time for a career-worst performance from Helen Mirren whose grating cockney is the worst such portrayal since Marlene Dietrich's turn decades ago in Witness for the Prosecution. Even given all its flaws, fans will love it.
USA/Canada 2017. UK Distributor: Universal . Colour by efilm.
135 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.
Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.
Review date: 11 Apr 2017