Ka-Booms and Zooms
After a three month hiatus, whilst I popped over to southeast Asia, I’m back. A new Cineworld Unlimited card has been bought and I’m ready for more time with my second lover: the cinema.
As is the way with this series; Fast & Furious 7 tries to take the previous installment and slap a huge turbocharger on it. The film has a self awareness of this fact as well with Roman (Tyrese Gibson) stating that he had taken down a tank and a plane and now he’s fighting spaceships!
It’s safe to say this is yet another big dumb action movie with no real surprises but is of course peppered with thrills and spills. The biggest of these is naturally at the end of the film where the crew is being hunted by a fighter drone – not a spaceship. Obviously car vs plane chases are the norm here… oh yeah, and explosions. There are other notable thrills as well. My personal favourite was Toretto (Vin Diesel) and O’Connor (Paul Walker) jumping a car between buildings in Dubai. It is delightfully bonkers.
The scene is almost as bonkers as the films plot but unfortunately the plot isn’t quite so delightful. In short Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) is hunting the crew and being ex special forces he, himself, is difficult to find. In order to track down Deckard Shaw the crew need the help of a big brother type surveillance programme called the ‘God’s eye’ written by a hacker known as Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel). So find Ramsey, get God’s eye, find Shaw, stop shaw.
It’s a piss poor plot especially seeing as the programme can instantly access any networked camera or listening device and magically just find any person but let’s face it you aren’t watching FF7 for the believable and gripping plot. Thankfully you aren’t watching it for the acting either as our newcomer Ramsey is possibly the least believable hacker ever depicted on screen but I would assume the criteria for the role was simply ‘she must be a hot chick’. The plot is also highly reliant on people/actions of the previous films and if, like me, you have watched all the fast and furions films but not really paid too much attention to each then you may have questions rattling around your head? Who is he again? Do they know each other? When did this happen?
Shaw, the other newcomer to the series, is a bit of a let down too. Don’t get me wrong, Statham makes for a good villain but his initial fight with the rock is not the high level of dynamic fighting you expect from Statham in something like the transporter and that’s a shame because he looks good throwing a punch. Don’t get too disappointed though because the fighting is still quite good. More importantly though Tony Jaa makes an appearance in FF7 and well… Tony Jaa. TONY JAA!!!
Shaw also turns up everywhere like a creepy stalker – although i’m not really sure that the word stalker needs to be qualified with the word creepy but I digress – I mean being ex special CI5 Marine beret forces or whatever he was I’m sure he has his methods of tracking the crew down. The problem comes when this is linked to the rest of the plot which focuses on the crew desperately trying to get a method of finding Shaw but why bother when he is literally everywhere all the time. Simply having Statham appear on screen for less time would have made for a better film and a better villain.
Still, we’ve established that the action scenes are rockin’. Speaking of rocks; Dwayne ‘the Rock’ Johnson is amazing in this film taking cues from Arnold Schwarzneggar, only with more vocal range, but how can you not love this cartoon of a character? No?! Breaking off and arm cast by simply flexing or delivering lines like ‘woman, I am the cavalry’ is worth the ticket price alone.
The last point to touch upon is that this is obviously Paul Walker’s last film before his untimely death. The film still feels complete so the writing/directing teams have either done a good job to fit the film around what scenes weren’t filmed or they managed to get all the scenes done before Paul passed away. There is an obligatory montage scene of Paul throughout the Fast & Furious films which is meant to be a touching tribute but half of the montage is Vin Diesel saying inspiriational lines to the crew so the tribute looses some of it’s impact in my opinion which is a shame.
Still, all in all it’s a good fun film to watch. It’s certainly better than the previous film which had the rubbish plane take off chase scene that took over 10 minutes and would need something like 30 miles of runway. It is rife with car porn, bikini clad ladies, explosions, gear shifting, Tony Jaa and mini-guns so yes you should absolutely see this but don’t expect anything particularly high brow, memorable or unfortunately in the case of Paul Walkers tribute: touching.
- Car porn, bikinis and mini-guns
- Paul Walker’s last film
- The Dubai car jump scene
- If you are looking for Oscar fodder
- If you haven’t seen the previous films
- The plot is terrifyingly bad