Fast and Furious 7 Film Review
The Fast and Furious franchise has no place being this good. There you go. We said it. What began six films ago as a Point Break remake with pimped-out rims has since become the most expensive, and brilliant, Wacky Races sketch.
Horror extraordinaire James Wan (Insidious and The Conjuring) stands in for series regular Justin Lin at the helm, and has thankfully embraced with a warm hug the series’ unapologetic silliness with cheap and cheerful one-liners, outrageous action and some very questionable police leniency.
The plotline, not that it needs one particularly, goes as follows: After defeating Owen Shaw (Luke Evans) and his crew in Fast 6, Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel), Brian O’Conner (the late Paul Walker) and the rest of the crew are able to return to the United States and live normal lives again as they had wanted. However, Owen’s older brother, Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham), is after Dom and his crew, seeking revenge for his brother’s death and puts the entire crew in danger once more. After learning of Han’s death at the hands of the merciless Shaw, the crew sets out to find the man who killed one of their own, before he finds them first.
The film’s opening sets the tone. Jason Statham snarls “bollocks” at his dying brother’s bedside. As the screen travels out of the gaff, we see he’s slaughtered twenty-something SWAT members and blown-up half of the hospital just to deliver a ‘get well soon’ card. Skip forward five minutes and Deckard Shaw gets Rock Bottomed through a table by Dwayne Rocky Johnson (a cop called Luke Hobbs who likes to call everyone “woman”). You can see where Wan is going with this. And we want to ride shotgun.
As if by magic, Vin Diesel’s crew have graduated from small-time crooks to the tank-top Avengers that the world must rely on. The Fast crew span across the globe from London to LA, Abu Dhabi and Azerbaijan in search of the mysterious ‘the God’s Eye’ device, which accesses every camera on the planet so they can find Shaw. Only, he turns up to all four locations looking for them anyway… pointless, really. But of course, it just doesn’t matter when you’re watching supercars jumping between the world’s tallest buildings and pulling doughnuts on the edge of cliffs.
Fast and Furious 7’s set-pieces might well be the franchise’s most bonkers yet, which is saying something after 5’s safe-dragging and 6’s carriage tank flight. Vin Diesel propels his ride at a helicopter, Paul Walker runs on top of a bus roof as it slides off a cliff and the entire crew parachute out of a plane while in their cars. Speaking of the cars, there are lots of them. And they’re loud. Take it from us, if you’re a petrol-head and you can make it to an IMAX, don’t even think twice. My word it’s fun.
It obviously doesn’t hold back on the wise-cracks and one-liners either. The Rock continues to deliver note perfect laughs and looks, while Tyrese Gibson cuts some of the tension when Diesel goes sentimental. Vin’s subplot with Michelle Rodriquez’ Letty and her amnesia is particularly annoying.
But Furious 7 does do one bit of sentimentality honourably and touchingly. Paul Walker’s untimely death mid-shoot required a fair amount of changes to the script, and to the credit of everyone involved, you wouldn’t really be able to tell. Caleb and Cody Walker, his real life brothers, stood in for the actor in a few long shots and CGI sorts out the close-ups. The closing moments of the film are unexpected and genuinely moving. Toretto’s usual musings about the ‘family’ have never struck a chord quite like it does here.
Fast and Furious annoys a lot of people. It’s scripted poorly, not acted entirely well and gives us cheap shapes and colours to cover for it. But you know what? We love shapes and colours. And cars. And explosions. Fast and Furious 7 provides those in abundance. You’ve just got to sit-back, relax and soak in the joy-ride.
Our Rating: 4 Stars