The Fast And The Furious franchise has never been one for quality. Furious 7 is no different. The acting is bad, the plot makes no sense, and yet its still immensely enjoyable. The plot involves the Furious crew on the run from a super assassin related to the villain of the last movie. Statham who plays the villain Deckard Shaw, is on a mission to take out the entire crew. Remember Tokyo Drift, and the death of Han? Well, Shaw is the man responsible. To be honest there is more to the plot, involving hacking, and Kurt Russell but its all just an excuse to get from one action set piece to the other.
James Wan, the architect behind the Saw franchise gives us exactly what we’ve come to expect from a Fast and the Furious film. There are at least two instances of Vin Diesel saying “Family”, and multiple declarations of this being the “last” job. Yet with another batch of sequels planned up to 2021 we will have to wait a long time to see the final job. However one crew member will not be returning, Paul Walker who tragically died before filming of Furious 7. When his manner of death closely resembled the franchise many were worried the film would exploit his death. Those who are worried will be happy to hear Paul Walker’s send off is the only truly touching moment of the film. Set to the song “See You Again” by Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth, it really hits an emotional beat, showcasing clips of Walker throughout the franchise. The remaining sequels will definitely be missing Walker, who despite not being the best actor was always an emotional anchor for the franchise. The sequences that Walker has been replaced are pretty obvious, but the action sequences he does do are outstanding.
The film features moments that stretch the believability of anyone’s mind, so if you really want to enjoy the film don’t view it as real life, treat it like a cartoon. We have sequences of bald men beating each other with wrenches, driving down cliffs, cars flying through the air, villains that constantly pop up seemingly out of nowhere, and most ridiculous of all driving a sports car from one building to another. Not only does the sports car drive from one tower to the next, but it actually manages to do it twice. Did I forget to mention the fact that The Rock drives an ambulance into an active drone, and then removes the mini-gun from the drone to fight against a fully armed combat helicopter? Yeah well that happens, and even more insane the scene takes place in L.A. Unfortunately The Rock is one of the actors that gets a little short changed in the film. He gets injured early on, and is out of commission for the majority of the film.
The film adds a new character to the mix, Game Of Thrones star Nathalie Emmanuel. Her character is the sexy hacker counterpart to Tej, and introduces the films most ridiculous element. “The Gods Eye” as the film dubs it, is essentially a worldwide big brother. It somehow hacks into every surveillance, and cell phone in existence, that allows the crew to track down Statham. The idea that the crew would go along with Kurt Russell’s character to retrieve the device seems incredibly bizarre. Are they not aware that such a technology would have screwed them over just two movies ago. The film has about as much realism to its hacking as Jurassic Park did, and that film was made in 1993.
At the end of the day Furious 7 is like a ugly dog, it can still make you smile, but its not winning any beauty contests. If you are a fan of highbrow entertainment you should go elsewhere, but if you are looking for some explosive action then this will be right up your alley. It debuts Saturday, February 13 at 8:00pm on HBO.