Esther McCarthy reviews the week's top movie releases...
Fast and Furious 8 (12A) ***
Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham are having a blast - and it’s kind of infectious - in Fast and Furious 8, an enjoyably silly and effective addition to the highly successful movie series.
Charlize Theron relishes being the villain of the piece, but is a tad one-note, in a movie that delivers more than enough to satisfy fans.
Johnson, in particular, adds a self-aware comedy do proceedings, delivering lines like: “I will beat your ass like a Cherokee drum” as only The Rock can.
Theron is Cypher, a nasty piece of work who takes Dom’s (Vin Diesel) family into captivity, forcing him to work for her.
Her plans are not small ones - she’s after world domination, if you don’t mind - and aims to launch a Russian nuclear missile sparking world war three.
With Dom on board to help her achieve these aims, his former friends in the Fast crew are tasked with bringing him down. It’s laced with plot holes and is too long, but remains a good-looking and highly entertaining action/buddy movie. This series is going nowhere.
The Sense Of An Ending (15A) ***
This adaptation of Julian Barnes’s much-loved novel lacks the emotional resonance or depth that’s needed to really make it work. It’s saved by a fine performance by Jim Broadbent, great as the film’s morally ambiguous lead.
Told in two timeframes, he’s Tony Webster, a retired, divorced man who is forced to re-evaluate his life when an incident from his past comes back to haunt him.
But when he’s suddenly bequeathed the diary of an old school friend - and that diary is withheld from him for reasons that are not initially apparent - Tony revisits those days of his youth (played in flashback in the film).
Big reveals follow, but tonally the film has a sense of detachment that made it difficult for me to care. Still, Broadbent never ceases to be mesmerising in the central role.