In Review: Fast & Furious 7

by Daniel Goodwin on 02/04/2015


For a series that started with a mid-budget street race flick, the Fast & Furious franchise has grown into an absurd phenomenon. The 2001 original was inspired by a magazine article and took its title from a 1955 Roger Corman B movie yet was successful enough to warrant a follow up (2 Fast 2 Furious) in 2003, minus main star Vin Diesel. After The Fast and The Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006), Diesel returned for Fast and Furious (2009) but it wasn’t until Dwayne Johnson arrived for Fast 5 (2011) that the franchise mutated into a hyper-boiled box office sensation. New to the series director James Wan (The Conjuring (2013)) has crafted F&F7 as an honourable tribute to a much loved cast member without skimping on the high-octane action that defines the franchise. 

Like Top Gear, the latter sequels became less about the motors and more about the characters and their outlandish antics. Perceived by some as obtrusive pop cultural artefacts, the films retained the trash flick traits of the B movie from which they took their title but buried them under strata of bling, grime and gaudy design.

F&F7 follows a densely veiled tale about revenge knotted with a quest for a surveillance microchip. Ersatz dramas occur within the clan amid the bombastic explosions, plot exposition and violent tiffs between villain Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham), Vin Diesel’s Toretto and Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) but it is when F&F7 strives for fake poignancy that the film becomes mostly unreal. The makeshift romance between Toretto and Michelle Rodriguez’s Letty, along with her soap-box amnesia, are almost as fantastic as the implausible pop-up stunts. Yet F&F7 is embroidered with a genuine sadness due to the tragic death of series regular Paul Walker and the scenes featuring his character are exceptionally stirring.

Walker’s last moments coalesce well with the action and F&F7 remains a sun-kissed, stunt-loaded sequel, expectedly light on plot plausibility but with a indisputable sorrow that permeates throughout. F&F7 combines spectacular set pieces with an underlying poignancy that melds for an above average entry. A huge treat for franchise and action film fans alike.

Daniel has awarded Fast & Furious 7 three Torches of Truth

three torches

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