You would think Furious 7 would be running on empty, having exhausted their pattern of flaunting hot-rods, bikini models and a crazy number of absurdly impossible action sequences. Well, the newest film still features all of these things that have formed the backbone of the franchise, however the values of home and family are embedded more deeply than ever, potentially making this film the most memorable one so far.
Furious 7 follows the latest adventure of Dominic Torretto (Vin Diesel) as he faces off against newest villain Deckard Shaw (played by Jason Statham aka the Transporter), brother of the crew’s previous nemesis. His vow to take the crew out one-by-one reunites Team Torretto – aka the “cop, hacker, Alpha, Mrs Alpha and joker” – along with newbie hacker Ramsey (played by Nathalie Emmanuel). Their newest mission sees them racing around the globe to regain control of an important computer program, from a bustling LA, a Furious 3 reminiscent Tokyo, all the way to the golden sands of Abu Dhabi.
The storyline of the Furious films never take out the top prize for complexity, and usually take a while to gain momentum, but former horror director James Wan (Saw, The Conjuring) makes up for this by obliterating the laws of physics and providing a 2 hour and 17 minute visual spectacle full of explosions, chases, races, car free falls, cliff dives and crashes. It’s the kind of close call, near miss anticipation that will keep you teetering on the edge of your seat. He takes the film from zero to insanity and we’re pretty convinced Dominic and Brian have been launched to superhero status after surviving seemingly fatal crashes and being hurled off cliffs, planes and skyscrapers.
Statham rocks his role as the newest big bad, Tyrese Gibson manages to inject some humour through his witty although sometimes cringeworthy one-liners (something about a girl having two grenades hidden beneath her dress) along with Michelle Rodriguez as the ass-kicking amnesiac. We even get to see The Rock in action, even if it’s just to see him show off his muscle – being able to lift a Lykan off the ground, as well as snap his cast off just by flexing.
Although it was bittersweet to watch, the late Paul Walker was also fantastic in his final film role, managing to still be his badass self while showing us the trials and tribulations of domestic life. His character Brian shows the audience the journey is always hard – whether it be in a race, a fight, a marriage or just driving his kids to day care. His death threw a wrench in production, but the use of CGI, stunt doubles and his brothers meant it could be woven seamlessly into the film.
The soundtrack perfectly complements the pace of the film – from the catchy trademark sounds of Kid Ink, DJ Snake and Flo Rida, to the more sentimental tones of Skylar Grey and Wiz Khalifa; particularly his tribute track that captures the essence of the film in the hauntingly beautiful line “we’ve come a long way from where we began, but I’ll tell you all about it when I see you again.”
A word of advice: don’t take the film too seriously. Accept it for what it is and you’ll find yourself laughing at the ridiculousness of it all, cringing when beautiful cars are totalled (and of course during Iggy Azalea’s cameo and attempt at an American accent) and even leave the cinema having shed a few tears.
So whether or not you’re a diehard fan, catch Furious 7 when it hits cinemas tomorrow to witness the star studded cast in a genuinely entertaining film without a single dull moment, as well as to experience the emotional roller coaster of Paul Walker’s “one last ride.”