Fast and Furious 7; the action is grand, the stunts are overblown and the bond of brotherhood only gets stronger. Now I am going to address this here. This sequel was marred the tragic death of Paul Walker, it affected the film in a massive way.
One of the saving features in this Franchise is the loveable rogues and their code that runs throughout the films. Loyalty friendship, family and honour are the embodied by this group. Justin Lin really built this up during his run on the franchise. In my opinion it saved the franchise and has helped it last as long at is has.
People, especially the younger generation, very film and media literate buy into this cast of characters who appear throughout the franchise. They are pillars of familiarity and cornerstones of the genre. Therefore when one of the original cast, who has appeared in all but one of the films, passes away. It creates a huge sense of loss. More so when this cast is really a family, who we have watched for nearly thirteen years overcome all the odds.
It also makes all the footage filmed before Walkers death all the more poignant. There are many aspects of this film that deals with getting old and retiring walking away before it kills you. That really hits a sad note because as the audience, we know the reality. I would be interested to know what was filmed after the tragedy.
An example; there’s a scene, with Paul phoning Jordanna Brewster. They are having their ‘if I don’t come back’ moment. The state of Jordana in this scene is heart-breaking and she isn’t that good of an actress. It makes me wonder when it was filmed. This is truly Paul’s Swan Song. The last scene is a very touching tribute to Paul and retires his character Brian O Connor.
The film itself follows a very similar theme. The family is in danger, the crew must rally to deal with it and stop this danger at all cost. Jason Statham (new villain Deckard Shaw) is the brother of Owen Shaw. He was the villain in Fast and Furious 6. Statham is really not on form, unlike the rest of the cast, I feel he is phoning it in. This contrasts with Kurt Russell, who fits very nicely into this franchise and his role as government executive helping our heroes out.
There are some fantastic if not ridiculous action sequences and moments of Bad-assed-ness that even still astound me. It sweeps you up and makes you forget what you are watching. I also love how street thugs and racers can go toe to toe with specially trained forces and ex-military and come off winners. The plot is nothing special and is in sorts an amalgamation of five and six, defeating villain/drug lord and high scale robbery.
The last act is very stilted, clumsy and the editing is shocking. Also the pace is incredibly fats even for an action film. But obviously there were rewrites and I understand why. I also think I think after the tragedy, everyone wanted it finished quickly, make the tribute and move on. Tyrese Gibson, Vin Diesel and Michelle Rodriguez have all stated in separate interviews ‘it was hard to go back to filming and pretending he was alive, having just buried him or still mourning him.
As I said in an earlier post, it’s interesting how the Fast and Furious Franchise has managed to survive, grow, have a worldwide fan base and avoid the devastating reviews usually doled out by critics. If you love or even like the franchise you will love it, many were in tears at the end and also throughout. If it was the last in the franchise it would be a perfect end. Otherwise roll on Fast and Furious 8.