Yesterday I took the boy to see Fast & Furious 7 at Cineworld in Huntingdon, and having watched the trailer I had low expectations.
Personally I thoroughly enjoyed the first five movies (although the fourth was a bit substandard), but the sixth installment was where I decided that it had all become very silly indeed and I'd had enough.
However, given that 17 year old lads are pretty much slap-bang in the middle of the target audience, the boy was keen to see it so off we went, taking care to avoid being ripped off by extortionately priced cinema snacks.
Once we'd waded through the standard half hour of attempted brainwashing by adverts and trailers, we were propelled through a whirlwind of outrageous action sequences so over-the-top that they even made the crappy Pierce Brosnan Bond films seem understated. But in amongst the physics-defying car stunts and repeated fight sequences featuring a pair of testoterone fuelled nutters (including the women) beating the shit out of each other for an eternity without showing any signs of pain or tiredness, there was however the underlying issue of how to deal with the whole Paul Walker thing.
In this aspect, the film makers did him proud. I don't know the details of how they managed to complete the film without him, but without wanting to spoil things for anyone who is still waiting to see it, let's just say that Brian's departure was handled in the best possible way.
Fast and Furious 7 continues the franchises regular themes of hot cars, hot women, crazy action and a certain amount of witty banter between the crew members, and even though the whole thing has really been done to death now, this latest effort is at least entertaining in a very bloke-ish way as long as you're prepared to leave your brain at the door when you go in.
After number six having such stupid bits in as the whole 'tank' sequence and the Antonov transport plane at the end where the runway had to be about 26 miles long for the laughable finale to take place, I expected 7 to be utter rubbish. Leaving aside a couple of bits that took fantasy to a whole new level, it wasn't all that bad - at least I didn't walk out of the cinema contemplating what a waste of well over two hours of my life it had been.
Besides, there was still the obligatory blow-out on Kentucky Fried Chicken to round things off nicely, proving that I can still get the occasional bit of quality time with my son even though we do have to use a large crow bar to get him away from the Playstation these days.
With a bit of luck we'll do it again soon - when The Minions Movie comes out.....