SAVED BY THE BELLES

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - LOOKLOCALWA.COM.AU -

I LOVE that we live in a world where ac­claimed ac­tresses Char­l­ize Theron and He­len Mir­ren join a souped up, testos­terone-fu­elled ac­tion fran­chise in its eighth in­stal­ment.

Poised sep­tu­a­ge­nar­ian Mir­ren and some­time ac­tion hero­ine Theron (Han­cock, Mad Max) are an un­likely com­bi­na­tion so late in this game but it is just one ex­am­ple of the crazy and un­pre­dictable di­rec­tions this se­ries goes in.

With the loss of Paul Walker, the lead­ing ladies bal­ance out the chro­mo­some count and, thank­fully, get an op­por­tu­nity to shine amidst the in­ces­sant en­gine revs.

While on his hon­ey­moon with Letty (Michelle Ro­driguez) in Cuba, Dom Tor­reto (Vin Diesel) is ap­proached by mys­te­ri­ous, dread­locked beauty and world renowned cy­ber ter­ror­ist, Ci­pher (Char­l­ize Theron).

With com­pelling lever­age up her sleeve, Ci­pher se­duces Dom to help her in her plan to take con­trol of nu­clear weapons and wreak havoc, which re­quires him to turn his back on his fam­ily and friends. Those who usu­ally fight be­side him, in­clud­ing Ro­man (Tyrese Gib­son) and Tej Parker (Lu­dacris), and for­mer en­e­mies Hobbs (Dwayne John­son) and Deckard (Jason Statham) now must band to­gether to stop him.

The fate of this fran­chise is that it has to run out of steam at some point and while it has not hit the skids yet, there are early signs that some steam has es­caped.

The rap­port be­tween Ro­man and Tej still sparkles and the ban­ter be­tween Hobbs and Deckard of­fers even more laughs, but it is the ad­di­tion of ice-cold Theron and hi­lar­i­ous Mir­ren that gives this en­try its juice.

Vin Diesel takes eva­sive ac­tion in a fiery scene.

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