Fast & Furious is easily one of my favourite film franchises, I am a big fan. I’m not just fan of the crazy stunts, awesome cars and flat out action but also the tremendous heart that is present throughout the entire series which is so often overlooked. Since Paul Walkers tragic death in 2013 I have been even more eagerly awaiting this outing as I was keen to see how the film would tribute Paul and I felt watching it was how I could properly pay my respects to a much loved actor and character of mine.
Fast & Furious 7 is pretty fantastic, admittedly it took me two watches to come to this conclusion as the first time I watched it my judgement was clouded with expectations galore. Fast & Furious has developed over the years it has grown from street racing to all out action. Number 7 is no different with some brilliant stunts and action sequences. There are two sequences in particular which are just fantastic; a scene in the mountains of Azerbaijan and one in Abu Dhabi in the pent house apartment at the top of a skyscraper. These two sequences are what fans have come to love about the series, crazy but well shot action sequences incorporating the roots of the series i.e. the cars! My favourite part of the film in terms of the action was the sequence in Abu Dhabi, it just felt the most Fast & Furious esque. I have to admit that I thought the finale went too far, this have never been an issue for me before. When others complain about the physics defining stunts I was able to enjoy them without over thinking however in Furious 7 I did have a few issues with the finale. It felt more like a Transformers or Marvel movie, it just went too far and for the first time in the series I didn’t feel like I was watching a Fast and Furious film. However it was a minor issue because of the greatness that came before it and there were loads of other elements within the finale which I really enjoyed.
If I’m honest I think that the main storyline should have been the Statham (Deckard Shaw) revenge plot. This would have been strong enough without adding in the God’s eye storyline but once you accept this there are plenty of elements to be enjoyed from both. Another aspect of the series which is widely enjoyed ever since we saw The Rock versus Vin Diesel in Fast 5 is the fist fights. Fast & Furious 7 has some of the best fights we have seen, two highlights were The Rock (Hobbs) versus Statham (Shaw) and Michelle Rodriguez (Letty) versus Ronda Rousey (Kara). Both of these fights had it all, the choreography was great and even the dialogue featured inbetween punches was fitting. On top of this there was some really nice camera work featured in these scenes too, it literally gave us some new an interesting angles to watch the action unfold. Ludacris (Tej) and Tyrese Gibson (Roman) are on top form again and they provide the bro banter that is as much a part of the series as the fast cars are. There are some new editions to the cast including Nathalie Emmanuel and Kurt Russell. Emmanuel seemed mis-cast to me and didn’t really add much but on the other hand Russell was great and turned out to be quite the badass, just what The Fast & Furious series demands. Jason Statham of course featured too and whilst I longed for more involvement in terms of dialogue his presence in the action scenes enhanced the film as you would expect and he made for a good adversary.
Fast & Furious 7 was only ever about one thing though, Paul Walker. I have to say that the tribute created here for him couldn’t have been any more perfect. You can tell that those involved with making these films care so much about them and that is why they are so great, and this transpires to the relationships between the cast members. The term Fast Family has never been more appropriate. Long term fans of the series will most definitely be fighting back tears but in the best sense as Paul has been dedicated here in such a beautiful way. So whilst Fast & Furious 7 isn’t the best film in the series and it definitely has its flaws these things really don’t matter. The tribute was everything that it should have been and more and the final scenes of the film is where the focus should be, this film is ‘For Paul’ and I think everyone involved should be immensely proud of themselves.
Rating – 8.5/10