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Fast & Furious 7 – Review

Fast & Furious 7 Review

Fast & Furious 7 is the seventh film in the Fast & Furious franchise, a direct sequel to Fast & Furious 6 that intersects chronologically with the third Fast & Furious movie, Tokyo Drift. Tokyo Drift wasn’t really a sequel to anything, but rather an unsuccessful attempt at a reboot that was followed by a successful attempt at a reboot, which was really a direct sequel to the original movie. That sequel was followed by arguably the most entertaining fifth entry into any franchise of any kind, and if that sounds like a backhanded compliment – rest assured it isn’t. We didn’t even mention 2 Fast 2 Furious. Although the humble beginnings of the series saw the story follow an LA gang of young street racers stealing DVD players, we’re now at the point where said gang is a pardoned crime family being hunted by a vengeful British ex-military asset whilst on a mission for the US government that involves them rescuing an improbably attractive hacker from an African terrorist in possession of an advanced surveillance system known only as God’s Eye. You think that sounds like some kind of parody of a movie that could star Rainier Wolfcastle? You’re god damn right it does. Kurt Russell (yes, Kurt Russell) puts on night vision sunglasses in one scene. Night vision. Sunglasses. A wise man once said ‘it doesn’t matter if you win by an inch or a mile: winning’s winning’. This movie isn’t interested in winning by an inch, though.

Fast & Furious 7 introduces Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham), brother of the villain defeated in the previous instalment. Statham has been rumoured to be joining the franchise for a while, and he’s a welcome, if under-utilised addition. A natural fit, having made a career out of carrying similar films, Statham also takes to cartoon villainy like a duck to water. His introductory scene, which sees him visiting his brother in a London hospital, is a RIDICULOUS reveal of just how much of a badass he is, as we’re shown the effort he had to go to just to say goodbye to his brother. Deckard further establishes his badass credibility by infiltrating the office of Detective Hobbs (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson) while Hobbs is actually there. Needless to say, trash is talked and a fight ensues. Meanwhile, Dom (Vin Diesel) has taken his amnesiac girlfriend Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) to Race Wars, the desert-set car convention of the last film, in order to relive a past with her that she’s unable to remember. The events that occur there lead Letty to believe she needs some time apart from Dom but soon after, while Dom checks in on his sister Mia (Jordana Brewster), her boyfriend Brian (Paul Walker) and their son Jack, Deckard makes his first move against the family, and blows their home to smithereens.
Fast & Furious 7 Review

So far, so good, but unfortunately there’s a muddled road ahead. The absence of Paul Walker is keenly felt, with more CG utilised to complete his scenes than most would likely expect, but all in all the final escapade of Brian O’Connor is handled well, with a tribute at the end of the movie that serves as a fond farewell to both the character and the actor. The series will be a different beast without him. Statham and The Rock both shine in what little screen time they’re allotted, but given the fact that The Rock is generally recognised as the saviour of this franchise, the fact that he’s sidelined is a major loss, and while Statham is set up to be a great villain, Deckard stops being the primary threat once Dom is convinced to retrieve a hacker named Ramsey and the God’s Eye software from a terrorist named Jakande (Djimon Hounsou). Dom’s motivation is supposed to be tracking Deckard, but even when he’s being recruited Dom acknowledges that Deckard wants revenge and is going to come after him, so… yeah. Deckard’s vendetta is dwarfed when the stakes are raised to terrorist-threat level, and you can’t help but feel that the movie would have been better off had it tried to do less. That said, no one should be made to choose between Jason Statham and skydiving cars. In a perfect world, there’d be an abundance of both flying cars and vengeful Statham. Alas, we do not live in a perfect world.

Grade: B-

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3 Comments »

  • dalmatianjaws said

    Seeing it tonight, SO PUMPED!

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  • Sheridan Passell said
    Sheridan Passell

    Has anyone noticed how many bald actors there are in this movie? Diesel, Statham, The Rock, Tyrese Gibson and Djimon Hounsou. The few who aren’t bald have their hair cut really short as a compromise. As someone who appreciates great hair, should I see this? Worried.

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