Fast and Furious 7 – Movie Review – 74/100

Furious 7 … or Vin Diesel’s Family Vendetta as I’m going to call it… follows the rogue black ops agent/total badass (The Stath) who’s looking to track down and eliminate all those who put his brother in a coma in the previous film. While this starts to happen Toretto’s trying to eek out memories from amnesiac Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) and Brian (Paul Walker) is settling into family life uncomfortably before this threat from Statham arrives and then we are treated to an around the world trip of chases, destruction and putting the band back together.

This is rare, very very rare. I don’t know another franchise that can churn out 7 movies the majority of them progressively getting better. Well, 1 was good, 2 was less so, 3 was terrible, but since then the recurring gang of Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Paul Walker, Ludacris et al have just upped the stakes each film. The action gets bigger, bolder and flashier and to be honest I’m fine with that, it’s entertainment at its highest. You don’t go to see this film for its plot, you go to see cars jumping between buildings or Dwayne Johnson standing in a street with a mini gun taking on a militarised helicopter. It is bat shit crazy.

What would have been interesting is that if Paul Walker had not died what the third act would have turned out like.  The film becomes muddled, there’s a clear start but someway through the second act it gets unclear what the actual point of what they are doing is, and given Walkers death it’s clear there was a big reshuffle which meant Statham wasn’t really used in the right way as the villain.

Director James Wan (Saw) certainly knows his audience. Of course the action is for everyone but the unnecessary amount of tits/ass shots is definitely for the testosterone filled youngsters of this world and they wont be disappointed.

Given the sort of film it is, it is not surprising that the acting may not have been at the foremost of the film makers mind but I’ll tell you what, Dwayne Johnson (who was far too underused) and Ludicris were  easily the best performances here. I didn’t even instantly hate Tyrese Gibson and thank one of a number of deities that they dialed his character back.

All these aspects made for a pretty entertaining film…. although…

– It is a long film (139 mins) and could have done with either losing a set piece or have Vin Diesel tell us how he has ‘family’ less times…

– While we’re on the subject the abject repetition of our bald hard man racer telling ABSOLUTELY anyone that will listen that the reason he’s doing anything in life is because he has ‘family’ was just not needed… I get it… under that tough exterior is a gooey marshmallow like substance…

-While I understand why there  was homage to Paul Walker at the end I just felt it was rammed down my throat a little ad was a bit on the nose, I just like it to be subtler…

– The guy from Tokyo drift makes an appearance and is meant to only be months after the end of the 3rd film and he looks terrible. Clearly a decade older whoever thought this was a good idea should not be in any decision making position again…

– This film poses the question “Who needs physics in a film?” I can suspend my disbelief but it was just ridiculous at times…

– The dialogue is pretty cheesy and atrocious…

– And when did everyone become experts in hand to hand combat?! Seriously? When?

Yet all these negatives don’t really massively affect the film as others might because it’s what we want… you don’t go to see a F&F film for its written romances or deep subtext, you want to be wowed visually and in this installment you are with grand nail biting set pieces.

TL;DR

A revenge story that forgets it’s a revenge story half way through but is expertly disguised by high octane effective action by the film makers. It doesn’t get any more entertaining than this and while there is plenty wrong with it, there is probably more right with it.

74/100

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