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I WANT A FANDOM TO PLAY IN. I mean, if I had a fandom it would probably somehow be at least 80% slash, because fandom creates the same number of ships:characters ratio regardless of how imbalanced the genders are, but at least there would be more gifsets. In lieu of that, I will have to create my own playground to revisit later.



While nothing can top my love of movie #5, this is either tied with the first movie or edging it out for second place.

Overall Plot

  • Clever use of a music montage to recap the entire series to date, just in case their trailers managed to hook any new fans who aren't caught up on the previous plot details.

  • Two million levesl of ridiculous. The level of property destruction and unrealistic stunts somehow topped the last film. But Hobbs/Dwayne Johnson was back, so what else matters! Also, I did not expect his Fancy New Sidekick Lady to be a double agent, wow. I guess after his previous successful hand-pick, he forgot to make sure this one couldn't be bought.

  • If there were any two people I was glad to see cut from the crew, it was the Bumbling Duo of Comic Relief. I much prefer Ludacris and Roman's complementary razzing of one another. (Ludacris has a character name, but I'll be damned if I ever learn it)

  • I liked their Amnesia Ahoy reasoning for getting Letty back. Killing her off in the first place was lame, but between that and the promise of full pardons for everyone if they took down James Bond's Evil Twin*, it made for a pretty good plot backbone. (*a weird amount of the Tumblr tag users are devoted to salivating over this guy's face. To which I say: ...really?)

  • I keep forgetting Brian skipped back to the U.S. overnight to have a prison conversation (courtesy of Agent Broken-Nose, whom I'm assuming had to be bribed with a 6-figure sum to persuade him away from taking revenge) with Bad Guy From Movie #4. It was kind of fun, especially the fact that he didn't actually calculate for the possibility of corrupt prison staff and being left defenseless against 4 goons/only punch-stabbing his way out by the skin of his teeth.

  • But it also felt pretty...out of place, disconnecting him from the main plot for no real reason (do you not know any guys in the prison system who could get this info?). It also felt like a super stupid risk to take for someone who has had no fewer than two scenes worrying about his ability to be a good/non-absent dad.

  • I did like his apology to Letty for getting her into this mess. I can't recall ever actually seeing them have a conversation before this, but that dynamic is a gold mine of untapped potential.

  • The final family (blood & otherwise) scene around the picnic table gave my heart so, so many fuzzy feelings. THAT is why I love these movies.

  • Even if I am still pretty "........." about why one would trade in a beautiful Spanish villa for a cramped house with a chain link fence in a pretty rough area of L.A., I can at least respect the base idea that no matter how pretty some other countries are to visit, living there will never feel quite right, not like home. #F yeah America!


Shipping: Brian/Mia
Brian, this movie starts with you being a retired multi-millionaire in a country with no extradition, and there has been no indication that the Rio Mafia decided it was worth tracking you down. What the hell kept you so occupied that you barely made it there in time for your son's birth?

But that said I very much enjoyed the angelic white lighting and nigh-mythical setting of whatever healing center she was giving birth in, complete with nuns in habits -- I need all of the fic about how she ended up there -- and the super pretty kiss and the zero percent time spent on an actual birth scene or image of a newborn baby.
By the time we meet said baby he is fat and happy and quiet and oh my god what is happening in my brain right now that I want a baby to play with just like this. Nooooooo! I will not succumb to the inevitable cliche, I am only 30! Fortunately I recognize I would revert to wanting to slap the baby the moment it made a noise or a smell. But just, in this one little scene, Brian may not have been the cutest person in the frame. (although having him hold the cutest thing and wave his hand at Uncle Dom like that certainly broke several data-measuring machines)
(x)(x)

Mia being kidnapped/held hostage: yes thank you that works. I'm kind of surprised neither he nor Dom considered her vulnerability before now, but these movies are not known for their realism, so I think it was worth it just to see the rug jerked out from under Brian. To quote my transcript, "Poor Brian. He's just like, why would you fight that way? He just Can Not Believe that someone would play so dirty. Doesn't everyone know you leave the women out of it unless they're shooting at you??" That was a very satisfying face punch he got in.

On the verge of rescue: This brief and wonderful moment in which Mia grabs him & hauls him out of the way of a tire iron: sufficient Heroine in Heroics antics for today.
(x)
(side note: you can barely see it in this gif, but she is wearing a FABULOUS jean jacket and I cannot stop staring at how good her outfit looks)

Am I moderately annoyed that my post-rescue Thank God You're OK reunion hug was delayed by the need to escape a plane crashing and burning in slow motion and then further diluted by worry over whether Dom had survived? A little, by which I mean do you not understand how hostage rescue situations work in fiction? There is no point having them if you don't pay off with spectacular ship fireworks; COME ON. One wrecked expression and a satisfying I KEEL YOU BITCHES punch is the appetizer course, not the main event. I mean, I eventually got my hug out of it, but even that got shortchanged to go comfort Han. Which, again, that's nice on its own, very nice. Now  give me what I came for.

But as for the aforementioned hug: once Brian stops grinning at the sight of Dom and returns her embrace/buries his face in her hair, I am a happy shipper.

Super cute new-family ending scene is, indeed, super cute.
(x)
"Here you've got your own garage, so you can build a car with Daddy."

Now I just need someone to find me the fic patch about where Elena ran and how they reunited with their kid after all the action. If that fic could include something related to Brian and Mia finally taking a breath at the end of the day and coming to terms with how many times they almost lost each other this week, I would be even more appreciative.

Shipping: Dom & Co.
OK, I almost accept how they wrote Elena out of the romance picture -- because of course she was going to say "if that were my husband, I'd go," and of course she's able to accept the hurt for the greater good, and "you don't have to go" / "that's your family, this [law enforcement] is mine" is fitting -- but right now I'm still in the hurty place. SHE COULD HAVE BEEN SO GOOD. She and Mia seemed to make instant friends, and I really loved the fact that if I had to lose Mia to motherhood on this particular high-octane adventure, at least the two of them were chillaxing in comfort together. Bonus, Elena is a built-in bodyguard/nanny.

I also really loved her ending conversation with Letty. As hard as it must be to lose your boyfriend to someone who doesn't even inherently want him, I feel like that's slightly better than alternatives like being cheated on or just generally dumped for an ex. Also, remind me to bring this plot point up whenever people get on their "women are always prizes to be won between two guys" rant about TV.

Dom & Letty definitely took the romantic spotlight away from my preferred pair, but I've decided to be OK with it. I think it would suck to be a hardcore fan since her memory is apparently gone for good, but that story about the scars (in particular) appealed to me on multiple levels. One, scars. Two, I am a sucker for one person remembering enough for two, particularly in such a way that it convinces the amnesiac that they want to hear the rest of the story, and rejoin it on faith alone. Three, their physical chemistry really is that intense.

They end in a pretty good place; I'm satisfied/interested in what comes next.

Surprise Shipping: Han/Giselle
First of all, I just learned that his full name is Han Seoul-Oh. AHAHAHAHA. Second of all, take my previous appreciation of his face and blow it up into a mural-sized wall hanging because out of the blue, he spends this entire movie with (and occasionally being teased for) little birdies chirping around his head and hearts in his eyes.

I never expected this to be anything, but I LOVED their dynamic. I loved that she likes their life the way it is and clearly wants to keep the globe-trotting adventure going for a good long while, maybe forever, without explicitly shooting down his "what if we settled down?" comment, and I loved that despite having broached that hope, he's willing to put it aside as long as he can be with her. That is some Grade A Devotion right there.
(x)
(this will have to do because I am too tired to look for any more gifs)

After about half a day, I realized it kinda reminds me of Park's demeanor in Eleanor & Park, and OH SNAP time for a reread -- my biggest qualm with that book, which I otherwise would have given 5 stars, was that it was hard to picture Park at all, much less as as someone attractive. This...is very helpful.

Of course, thanks to stupid Tokyo Drift they had to find a way to ruin this somehow. Again, that's about the best way they could have done it -- I even got not one but two bonus hugs out of it*, and it's certainly better than not having gone there with Giselle at all -- but still. ALL OF THE HURT.

*I loved Mia being first on the scene, because I can always use more of her hugging people, but Brian following suit was a treat because I feel like those two are the only men in the group who are even capable of crying, and there is absolutely no one else who could lend that level of emotional support-hugging. (gif source here)

Ultimate Conclusions

  • I think what really impresses me with this franchise is how deftly it weaves the different movies together, recalling little details from earlier and seamlessly turning them into plot points later on. I don't know if they always have a master plan from the beginning or if they really are that deft at reviewing their canon for links and then expanding them after the fact, but either way, I am impressed. They're a lot better at this task than Glee ever was.

  • The other thing I really like is that even though each one has started to sneak in a cliffhanger, they are also each designed to conclusively end, so you can really choose where you want the story to stop. I like that in a series. It's as rare as it is beautiful.



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