The Fast and the Furious 7 ups the ante and delivers big on action, thrills and eye candy with a heart-felt farewell reserved at the end. Unfortunately, it doesn’t offer much else.
Warning: Minor Spoilers follow
The latest installment in the beloved franchise iterates rather than innovates this time and for the most part it works well. Considering the series dealt with the tragic loss of one of their brightest stars in Paul Walker midway through the shoot and the series of delays brought about by the loss, Director James Wan and the cast manage to piece together a pretty solid film.
Wan takes over from former helmer, Justin Lin and is quick to deliver on what the fans have come to expect from the series. Spectacular car chases, over the top fight choreography and of course, massive balls-to
-the-wall stunts combine to create an amazing visual thrill ride like we’ve never seen before. Wan certainly took it to the next level, raising the bar for further installments in the series.
Unfortunately however, I feel that the film skimps on the emotional anchors which justify why the team goes through what they go through. Without those anchors, the stunts and dire situations the cast is put in feels rather hollow at times. The loss of Han which should presumably be their motivation feels like it was easily shrugged off by the team. Whether it was toned down to pay respects to Walker or it was written that way, the lack of emotional weight negatively affects the movie.
The ensuing perilous situations feel more like bouts of thrill seeking rather than dire means undergone to avenge a fallen friend. Also because of this, the logic leaps the film takes seem much more noticeable and action at times gets close to “Bayhem” levels of senseless ridiculousness (I think thats a word)
Now don’t get me wrong, I know better than to look for logic in a Fast and the Furious movie but I just want to feel that all the jaw-dropping action is somewhat grounded by the motivations of the characters and is done to the benefit of the story.
The characters themselves don’t offer much in terms of development as many of them seem to hit notes they’ve sang before i.e. Jordana Brewster’s Mia is sent to some faroff location while the gang is off on a mission AGAIN. And is pregnant AGAIN. Elsa Pataky’s Elena shows up in a cameo AGAIN for some more of her spoken word poetry/acting.
Dwayne Johnson’s Agent Hobbs is relegated to the sidelines this time out and only shows up in the beginning and near the end of the film. Tyrese’s Roman and Ludacris’ Tej are bright spots in the film providing some much appreciated comic relief.
As for the villain, Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) doesn’t really do much but hound the crew where ever they go. One doesn’t get a sense of him being a villain but rather as a minor nuisance throwing a wrench in the works in every “heist” that the crew pulls. Statham’s acting not pushed to any sort of walls here as he basically plays Himself as an Indestructible Terminator like character.
Vin Diesel’s Dominic Toretto becomes the focus of the movie considering the limited involvement of Paul Walker’s Brian O’Connor due to the unfortunate circumstances. Brian does have a highlight scene in the movie and is present albeit in a limited capacity until his heart-felt send off at the very end of the movie (more on that later)
The majority of the plot and character progression falls upon the Dom’s broad shoulders as he helps Letty (played by the Michelle Rodriguez) regain her lost memory. For the most part, the duo does well front and center. They’re involved in the movie’s most poignant moments as well as its most heart-stopping stunts and pulse-pounding fight scenes.
Finally, the tribute. What I feel is the most evocative and well-executed part in the whole movie. The cast and crew has crafted a well-thought of and heartfelt send off to their beloved friend. It’s a heart-melting scene that fans of the series will surely remember. It definitely should be experienced first hand.
Conclusion: If you’re looking for massive stunts, insane fight scenes and over-the-top action, to let your brains have a backseat while your eyes feast, look no further than the Fast and the Furious 7 thrill ride. Just don’t over think it.
4 “Sky Diving Cars” out of 5
Raffy Leynes is a geek of all trades (master of fun). He loves videogames, comicbooks, movies, cartoons, science and art. Lately, he’s been liking his geekery with a dash of “Indie”. He doesn’t know what the f*ck musings are but he is told he does them on his Instagram,Facebook and Twitter.