Review – Fast And Furious 7

It comes to something when the sight of the Furious Gang launching their fleet of souped-up super cars out of a plane is just another crazy day for a franchise that has well and truly gone into overdrive.

Fast and Furious 7 shows there's still plenty left in the tank of this gloriously absurd franchise so don't think, just strap yourselves in and enjoy the ride

Fast and Furious 7 shows there’s still plenty left in the tank of this gloriously absurd franchise so don’t think, just strap yourselves in and enjoy the ride

Whether by accident or design, the adventures of Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and co have hit upon the perfect formula of cars, cartoon action and complete craziness that has proved to be box office gold dust and all-but guaranteed a further sequel.

While the lurid focus on female flesh would make Michael Bay proud, horror maestro James Wan nevertheless takes the wheel with an assuredness that belies any fan fears that he might fail to step out of the long shadow cast by F&F alumnus Justin Lin.

Dom (Vin Diesel) and Brian (Paul Walker) encounter the enigmatic Mr Nobody (Kurt Russell) in Fast And Furious 7

Dom (Vin Diesel) and Brian (Paul Walker) encounter the enigmatic Mr Nobody (Kurt Russell) in Fast And Furious 7

Wan’s job was made nigh-on impossible with the tragic death of series stalwart Paul Walker. We’ll probably never know what Fast and Furious 7 would have been had its co-lead survived, but the film we have (rewritten to address his departure from the franchise) is a very fitting send off for an actor who got better with each instalment and provides a genuinely moving final scene that will have anyone invested in the series wiping away a tear.

The spectre of death hangs over the film; from the carnage unleashed by ex-special forces hard case Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) as revenge for what happened to his brother Owen (Luke Evans) in F&F 6, to the quieter moments; most hauntingly when Dom’s crew mourn the loss of one of their ‘family’ and Brian (Walker) responds to Tej’s (Ludacris) plea for there to be no more funerals with the prophetic line: “Just one more…”

Brian (Paul Walker) and Mia (Jordana Brewster) in Fast And Furious 7

Brian (Paul Walker) and Mia (Jordana Brewster) in Fast And Furious 7

As well as being Walker’s final movie, F&F 7 also takes the franchise in a whole new direction with the introduction of Mr Nobody (Kurt Russell), leader of a typically well-stocked covert ops unit who offers to help put down Shaw in return for Dom, Brian and the others locating an all-powerful computer program called the ‘God’s eye’.

There are teasings of it here (in particular during a covert infiltration of an Abu Dhabi’s prince’s hotel penthouse party), but one can foresee future films following in the footsteps of Mission: Impossible, with Dom’s crew choosing to accept increasingly outlandish assignments from Mr Nobody.

Hobbs (The Rock) and Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) go toe-to-toe in Fast And Furious 7

Hobbs (The Rock) and Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) go toe-to-toe in Fast And Furious 7

The addition of Statham to a heaving cast of alpha males adds an extra spice to proceedings. Shaw’s motivations make him dangerous and unpredictable, while his Terminator-esque relentlessness and seeming inability to sustain injury means he’s also fun to have around.

The film is bookended by two satisfyingly titanic fist fights involving Statham; the first (and best) against Diplomatic Security service agent Hobbs (Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, who doesn’t get nearly enough screen time); and the second with Dom atop a multi-storey car park being besieged by mad-as-a-lorry mercenary Jakande (Djimon Hounsou).

A typically understated scene from Fast And Furious 7

A typically understated scene from Fast And Furious 7

However, it’s the eye-popping motor madness that’s most fun, what with the aforementioned flying cars sequence (nicely referencing an earlier moment when Brian, having spotted his son throwing a toy car out of the window, says “cars don’t fly!”) and an equally unlikely scene when Dom drives off the side of a mountain and thinks nothing of it.

Even this pales in comparison, though, to the truly outrageous sight of Dom and Brian jumping a sports car from one Abu Dhabi skyscraper to another… before doing it again. Quite how they’ll top that one in F&F 8 is anyone’s guess.

Fast and Furious 7 shows there’s still plenty left in the tank of this gloriously absurd franchise so don’t think, just strap yourselves in and enjoy the ride.

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18 comments

  1. le0pard13 · April 24, 2015

    Fast Five is still my favorite of the series, but this was entertaining. Ridiculously so. Nice send-off, too, for Paul Walker.

    • Three Rows Back · April 24, 2015

      It’s my favourite also. Love that movie. This comes close and yeah, I really liked the tribute to Walker at the end.

  2. theipc · April 24, 2015

    I’m almost interested in seeing this one….

    • Three Rows Back · April 24, 2015

      DO ITTTTTTTT!!!!!!!!!

      • theipc · April 24, 2015

        I’ll watch it when it’s out for free. I haven’t seen any of the other ones – will that be a problem?

      • Three Rows Back · April 24, 2015

        A bit yeah. I think you can start with Fast Five (the best one) and go from there.

  3. Jay · April 24, 2015

    Vin Diesel thinks it’s Oscar-worthy!

  4. Stu · April 24, 2015

    I really should get round to watching some of these one day. I haven’t seen any, but I have to say “Deckard Shaw” is the finest name I’ve seen for a while!

    • Three Rows Back · April 24, 2015

      Oh, I love ’em! Popcorn cinema at its very best mate 🙂

  5. Tom · April 24, 2015

    Furious 7 might actually be my favorite thus far. I am out of the loop on Fast 5 though, so I maybe need to go back and watch from that point on. I also skipped out on Tokyo Drift so I was unfamiliar with a few characters interjected here from that storyline. Just goes to show you how well these guys have made all this work out — you don’t necessarily need to see it all (or at least in a particular order) to let some of these crazy moments take you out of the seat you’re sitting in and into an entirely insane new world.

    Great review Mark

    • Three Rows Back · April 28, 2015

      Cheers brother. For me Fast 5 is the best, 7 is 2nd, 6 is 3rd and the rest are along the same lines (I’ve always kinda liked 4 too). I’m a big fan of this franchise; it’s popcorn entertainment at its most bonkers.

  6. Dan O. · April 25, 2015

    Like the others, it’s ridiculous as ever. But still a whole lot of fun. Nice review.

  7. ruth · April 27, 2015

    I did enjoy this ride! Glad I gave this franchise a chance, starting w/ Fast & Furious 6, and I think Fast 5 is my fave, followed w/ Furious 7 as a close second. The preposterous action was fun to watch, esp when the car jumped not one but TWO skyscrapers!!

    • Three Rows Back · April 28, 2015

      I’m glad! Fast Five is my fave too. The skyscraper jump(s) was absolutely bonkers. I loved it!

  8. Andrew · April 27, 2015

    I apparently need to see this.

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