There has been a considerable hype around this film. This was because of the unfortunate death of Paul Walker who died in a car crash in where he was halfway of the film’s completion and as a result there were doubts whether this film will be completed. But here I am writing a review on this so it did go ahead. When Justin Wan who directed horror films like Saw, Dead Sentence and The Conjuring was directing Fast & Furious 7, you may think to ponder how is Wan is going to use his experience in an action movie in where he’s been involved in horror movies? You may that the film was going to be disastrous of what’s been going on but he managed to pull it off and made a film that’s ludicrous and at times unfulfilling but a thrilling ride.
At the start of the film you see Jason Statham who plays Deckard Shaw an assassin who’s the brother of Owen Shaw (Luke Evans) attends to his brother at hospital after his misdeeds in Fast & Furious 6. He vows revenge and as he leaves you see in the background, SWAT members lay around in the floor and the hospital in ruins and later on he has a remarkable altercation with Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson), you can sense the picture in how the film is going to be planted out.
In the way Fast & Furious 7 is structured, Fast & Furious 4-6 are prequels as this film is a sequel from the third film of the franchise The Fast And Furious Tokyo Drift as it follows the events in where at the end of the film Han (Sung Kang) is killed and where we see in this film that Statham was behind it so he can send out a message to Dominic Toretto (Van Diesel) and his crew/family Brian O’Connor (Paul Walker), his wife Mia (Jordana Brewster), Letty (Michelle Rodriguez), Roman, (Tyrese Gibson) and Tej (Chris ‘Ludacris’ Bridges) who he feels they are responsible of what happened to his brother. They feel they are in danger in where they hope there will be no danger and instead have a peaceful life.
Of all the films in this franchise which began in 2001, this film raises the bar in terms of story, the character development and the action scenes. As mentioned previously Deckard Shaw (Statham) is out for blood in where Diesel and his crew are his targets but when Dom retrieves Han’s body in Tokyo so a funeral can be held in LA, during the service, Roman said to Brian “Please no more funerals.”, I felt this movie is not just going to be an action movie but an action movie with some emotion as the characters in the film realise they don’t want to lose another one from their extended family so despite being their usual self, you could see a different side from them especially Toretto as he remises the good times he has with Letty and how he wants to have that back. This is welcoming and the story and the development of the characters are strong.
For Toretto, he needs to get rid of Shaw but as he has a one to one with him, he gets interrupted by Frank Petty (Kurt Russell) who will help him track Shaw if he cooperates with him and his team to retrieve a tracking device called God’s Eye which was created by Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel) and as I mentioned the film raises the bar, it does especially in the action scenes. You will see Troetto and his crew go to places like Azerbaijan, Dominican Republic, Abu Dubai and LA in where you see the team parachute their cars from a boarding plane, O’Connor running from the bus as it’s about to side off from a cliff, and a car crashes from one building to another. Although the action can be intense, thrilling and joyous, these spectacles can be ludicrous and daft. But despite that and alongside the story and the character development, it works extremely well in the first two periods of the film.
However scripts for the story had to be rewritten unfortunately after Paul Walker’s death and you can notice there was hiccups as the film began to fall flat as the film reaches its conclusion. Dwayne Johnson’s character is limited for the majority of the film which is a shame until the end in where he fires machine gun across the helicopter but you do question whether he was needed in this film at all as he had a minor role. Diesel and Statham showdowns particularly in the car park in where it lasts around 15 minutes are uneventful and dull. And Jakande (Djimon Hounsou) who kidnapped Ramsey in order to use God Eye to use it for his evil works forms an alliance with Shaw to target Toretto and his crew but there’s no back story between the pair. Although this may be a minor issue, it does leave with unanswered answers.
But this film is for Paul Walker in where his voice and face were CGI and his brothers Caleb and Cody completed his remaining scenes as body doubles and a result we see Walker on form. And there’s a splendid fitting tribute for him and you begin to understand why Toretto is a family man as during the film he says “I have no friends. I got family.” A line I feel that’s unforgettable.
F&F7 is a film that’s set new heights and you get an outrageous, enjoyable and satisfying film. You could say it’s the strongest instalment in the series but it has missed opportunities to be a truly, remarkable film and that’s disappointing. A film in the series I feel that was class was Fast Five. I feel that film actually made the franchise tick as the previous 4 films weren’t great although I haven’t watched the 3rd film. It’s hard to see how an 8th film could be developed after a film like this in a franchise in where should have ended years ago but I wouldn’t be surprised if there was one.