Movie Review: Fast & Furious 7

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No movie this year pumped us up as much as this one. Fast & Furious 7 is exactly what you’d expect of it. Gorgeous girls, supersonic cars, electrifying street fights and outrageous stunts are the franchise’s speciality, and an emotional tribute to the late Paul Walker concluded a well-rounded experience.

Director James Wan’s uncharacteristic venture into an action film is a commendable one; he usually prefers to scare audiences with previous work like Saw (2004), Dead Silence (2007), Insidious (2010) and The Conjuring (2013). We’re also glad that he decided to keep Walker’s part in the movie after his untimely demise in a car crash in Nov 2013, though there was talk at first of reshooting the movie. (Paul’s two brothers Cody and Caleb Walker, as well as actor John Brotherton, stood in as his body double to complete the filming.)

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In this 7th instalment, former government hitman Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) is out to silence Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and his team for confining his brother Owen to a hospital bed in the prequel. A government official only known as Mr Nobody (Kurt Russell) offers them a proposition: Rescue a professional hacker named Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel) kidnapped by Nigerian warlords, and they get to unlock the most advanced piece of stalker-technology to obliterate Shaw before he takes his revenge on them.

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Brian O’ Conner (Paul Walker), Tej Parker (Chris ‘Ludacris’ Bridges), Roman (Tyrese Gibson), Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) and Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) form the usual badass crew while Han (Sung Kang) was the first victim of Shaw’s assassination.

Over the course of 7 movies, the Fast & Furious team have created, used, and reused many of their clichéd lines in the script. But somehow, they still don’t feel overused; in fact, they make it cool. This comes down to one thing only: 5-star acting. We also realised that this edition features a whole lot more fighting than racing but that’s fine with us, considering how they’ve amped up their stunts game by a mile.

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“Sheer ballsy-ness” is how we’d describe them. Look, they even throw cars off a plane (legitimately). The cinematography is exceptional; the slow-motion scenes are tactfully carried out, and the screen changes orientation as the character flips sides to make the audience feel as if we’re part of the movie. To top it off, Dwayne Johnson does a Rock Bottom!!! (This WWE-fanboy writer can hardly contain his excitement!)

The Fast & Furious cast has positioned themselves so impeccably as Hollywood’s epitome of family-friendly violence and renegade, that any boy from 13 to 50 will wish they had at least half their swag.

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Then there’re the sentimental bits. During our press screening, many viewers could not stop themselves from sniffling when Walker’s character Brian talked about not surviving the operation. Who would have predicted that he would perish in real life? If they teared, then they probably bawled before the movie’s ending. The Furious crew paid tribute to Paul with a touch of class, by showing a compilation of his appearances in previous movies as he drove off into the sunlight. It therefore seems apt that this movie explored the importance of family and the family of friends, mostly through Brian’s difficult transition from constant adventure to domestic life.

All that being said, the plot is less than thrilling. It is almost too predictable and convenient for Shaw to appear everywhere the Furious team turns up. And who knows what Jakande (Djimon Hounsou) is in the movie for. For all the well-executed character development and on-point emotional scenes, it feels as if the Nigerian hunk is placed here for the sole purpose of ethnic diversity. But that can be forgiven.

Watch this movie for your biannual dose of heart-pumping adrenaline and yes, to say your final goodbye to Paul Walker.

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Rating: ★★★★☆ 

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Information

Release Date: 2 April 2015

Runtime: 138 minutes

Language: English

Censorship Rating: PG13 – Violence

Genre: Action / Adventure

Director: James Wan

Main Actors: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Dwayne Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Djimon Hounsou, Kurt Russell, Jordana Brewster

 

(Photos courtesy of United International Pictures)