Usually a 7th installment of a franchise is what you expect; not as good as earlier movies, to the point where it’s time to call it a day. However Fast and the Furious 7 certainly doesn’t fall into that category. Ever since Fast Five the franchise has had a new lease of life, the car sequences becoming more elaborate, and the levels of adrenaline reaching top peak.
Fast 7’s central theme is of family, and you can see it in more than just one way. The plot opens with the arrival of the film’s bad guy -Jason Statham, playing the big bad brother of Fast 6’s Owen Shaw. He’s out for revenge on Dom (Vin Diesel) and the gang and the death of Han which we saw in the end credits of the previous scene is the start of a game of cat and mouse which takes in Abu Dhabi all the way to the streets of LA, where the series all started.
This franchise never tries to pull the wool over its audiences’ eyes in the sense it doesn’t try to be something it’s not. It knows that it’s not the most intelligent movie ever or that it’s going to win worldwide awards, but it knows that it can deliver on those adrenaline, action and wow moments. Everything from cars parachuting out of a plane to a car jumping from buildings, this is the biggest the films have been and it’s brilliant.
Dom and Letty’s (Michelle Rodriguez) relationship is developing within the film, despite all of their history, Letty’s memory loss is driving a wedge between the pair. Diesel and Rodriguez have a great chemistry together and it’s a welcome break to the action to have a love story admist the story.
Of course the real heart of this story and the notion of family is bittersweet with the tragic loss of Paul Walker who plays Brian O’Conner in the movies back in Novermber 2013. The film was completed with the help of Walker’s brothers and CGI and through the cast’s interviews you can tell the cast were a real family and that the on screen emotions are real. The movie deals with Walker’s death well and in a tasteful way and it genuinely moves the audience when ‘See You Again’ by Wiz Khalifa plays and a montage of Walker’s time in the franchise plays. The screening I was in broke into applause at the end of the film, a true mark of respect.
Fast and the Furious 7 is an adrenaline fuelled ride, full of fantastic stunts, great action and full of heart and emotion. For Fast fans, it certainly doesn’t disappoint and offers a true send-off for a much loved character and an actor who was truly loved. As Dom states in the film ‘he doesn’t have friends, he has family’, and that’s truly the message of this film.
Letty: Did you bring the cavalry?
Hobbs: Woman, I am the cavalry