<Review by: Sailesh Ghelani>
Directed by James Wan. Starring Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Jason Statham, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, Michelle Rodriquez, Tyrese Gibson, Jordana Brewster, Chris ‘Ludacris’ Bridges, Tony Jaa, Nathalie Emmanuel, Kurt Russell, Djimon Hounsou
Breaking all sorts of box office records and riding on the untimely demise of actor Paul Walker, Furious 7 is entertaining audiences and gratifying fans with its emotional send off for Walker, who will certainly be missed.
This franchise has gone on for six years now. Some of the movies have been panned (like the very first one) and others have gotten some good reviews (Fast Five). The films have a wide appeal with their fast cars, action, hot girls, Vin Diesel, The Rock and humour courtesy Tyrese Gibson. There has always been something about the franchise that has built up its loyal following and kept audiences coming back inspite of not exactly being ‘Award-winning cinema’ as much as Vin Diesel would like this last film to win an Oscar.
I don’t think the plot of Fast and Furious 7 is ever the draw factor. You have a couple of bad guys – Jason Statham as Deckard Shaw and Djimon Hounsou as… well another bad guy – trying to kill the ‘team’ who have taken on the persona of an elite group of ‘agents’ saving the world. In a kinda convoluted plotline, the team must recover a secret tracking device called the ‘eye of God’ so they can stop Deckard from getting to them inspite of the fact that he’s chasing them throughout the movie and is never really ‘in hiding’.
Kurt Russell’s character is another covert agent heading a secret military operation to recover ‘god’s eye’ and its creator Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel) with the aid of Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel), Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker) and their team. It’s an interesting character with layers and a bit of mystery since you never quite know if he’s going to double cross them.
Also playing out in the film is Letty’s (Michelle Rodriquez) continuing loss of memory and inability to remember her love for Dom who is trying to stick by her and wait for the flashbacks to bring her back.
And of course there are car chases and buses careening off cliffs with Brian inside. Intermittent bouts of humour surface between the Roman (Tyrese Gibson) and Tej (Chris Bridges) that give you a chuckle. And yes there passing scenes of some hot girls in bikinis too.
What stand out in Furious 7 are the action sequences of course. One in particular of a sports car that Dom and Brian steal jumping from one tower building into another is quite fun.
Of course you’ve seen it all before and there’s nothing really new here. I usually find Vin Diesel’s sluggish drawl a bit tiresome and have always thought Paul Walker needed more to do in the films.
By the end of the movie you know that they have to find some way to usher Paul’s character Brian out after his tragic crash in a speeding car last year. I just wonder if apart from being ironic that Paul’s death should not have elicited a more cautious response in the filmmakers about speeding cars and guns. Do we need more young people to be ‘inspired’ to race and take up guns because that’s where the thrills are (according to Brian in the film)?
You know you’re going to watch the movie, irrespective of the reviews so go and enjoy it and be prepared to shed a tear at the end for Paul Walker who is given a respectable tribute by the filmmakers and Vin Diesel who considered him a brother on and off screen.