Review: Fast and Furious 7 (aka Furious 7)

I want to make it clear, first and foremost, anyone dying is a tragic thing, Paul Walker was far too young and his career was only just beginning. I don’t want my opinion of this film to be considered disrespectful.

Furious 7 is so, so far from what the franchise used to be that I found myself ceasing to care. When did this series forget it is about cars?

Set after the events of Fast and Furious 6, Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and his friends, excuse me “family”, become targets for Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) who is out for revenge after they killed his brother. Toretto’s team is recruited by a shadowy covert operation to hunt Shaw down, but to do so they need a device called The God Eye, a computer hacking tool that can simultaneously access all of the cameras in the world.

This film has excessive action sequences, often running for twenty minutes or more at a time, explosions, attack helicopters, predator drones, hundreds of half naked women everywhere, flashy cars for no reason at all, bad jokes, product placement, over-long running time and most of all lazy writing. Sounds familiar right? Yet unlike many Michael Bay films this gets a free pass from critics?? This is appalling.

At first I had high hopes; the opening features Dom attempting to remind his Amnesia-saddled girlfriend Letty of her past by taking her to Race Wars (a key moment in the first film) as well as his visit to Tokyo and speaking to the forgotten lead actor Lucas Black from the third film Tokyo Drift. An early bout between Statham and Dwayne Johnson’s returning Agent Hobbs was also excellent.

But it lost me after the sky-diving cars (yes, sky-diving cars, if you haven’t seen the trailer) when our heroes, for the most redundant reason ever, must go to Abu Dhabi. After a manic mountainside battle they somehow go to Dubai in the flashiest super cars which even Toretto wouldn’t drive. A Bugatti Veyron, seriously? Where did they get one of those? From the local Dubai Veyron rental service??

Going to Dubai is because a chip required for the God Eye device had been installed in a super car… literally no reason why. This makes the sixth movies’ idea of putting a valuable microchip inside a tank inside an armoured motorcade seem believable!

But why all of this nonsense? Why do we need a God Eye device? Because Jason Statham’s character is so skilled that he can virtually teleport around the world completely untraceable. Or as I like to call it: lazy writing.

The film is a constant, constant battlefield after the first twenty minutes. Not only do we have Statham appearing randomly throughout, but we also have Djimon Hounsou as a… a… bad man? The character development is astounding. We have his stock Asian martial artist, as well as a random burly woman in a dress for Michelle Rodriguez to fight once.

This film is just immature nonsense; a weird mash of Mission Impossible, Michael Bay films and The Expendables.

The action sequences when appreciated in isolation are impressive, that scene in Abu Dhabi is awesome and certainly something I’ve never seen before… But I need story substance and narrative cohesion to care; the Fast films used to have some semblance of structure to them, now its just a barrage of noise.

Additional Marshmallows: I distinctly remember fans loving Statham’s appearance at the end of the sixth film… But can those same fans say that this film’s lazy usage of his talents is acceptable? Hey, we have Statham in the franchise now, watch as we barely have him in the film!
And how come everyone knows martial arts now? Even the tech guy knows martial arts?? Aren’t they supposed to be street brawlers??

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