Fast & Furious 7 (Film Review)

★★

James Wan who we know from the Saw franchise, Insidious and The Conjuring delivers an action movie which just manages to tick all the boxes before the pen blows up, destroys half of Abu Dhabi and slaps the audience in the face with the cartoon-esc approach to life and death.

I was determined to watch the midnight screening of Fast & Furious 7 with absolutely no preconceptions of this terribly high-concept, blabbering male dominated, and money doused feature. I put that to the back of my mind, or at lease tried.

In case (like me) you are absolutely unaware of what Fast & Furious 7 is about, allow me to divulge. Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham), an ex-British secret service assassin is seeking revenge against Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and the rest of his crew for the demise of his hospital-bound brother. All whilst a system named “God’s Eye” which allows the user to track and trace anyone at the touch of a button via hacking into everything, from cell phones to ATMs and satellites, is being fought over by a Nigerian warlord, his small army, Vin Diesel and his new mate Kurt Russell.

I don’t think I mentioned the word car there did I? From what I’ve gathered this newest picture has drifted rather far from the original movies; they appeared to have transition from cars to heists. This isn’t really a flaw (not for a first time viewer anyway) but almost shows the development of the franchise.

Okay, but the film was weak. I mean, really weak. I found myself pained watching manly men try and out man each other whilst simultaneously competing for the cheesiest (and manliest) line award. That combined with a frank chauvinistic approach to the representation of females, explosions every 10 minutes, fight scenes where characters receive an uppercut from The Rock (Dwayne Johnson) and get straight back up, a cameo appearance from Iggy Azalea and soppy romance which provokes absolutely no response from the viewer; was all too much for me. It’s like a soap opera being given a $250 million budget. The action sequences are contrived and the romance sequences are poorly executed; both of which are strung together by a small piece of string which resembles the dialogue from Hollyoaks.

But, that’s action films. If you don’t want to see that, don’t watch these types of features. Everything bad about this film is simply just a genre convention. So can we blame Wan or Diesel?

Cool, so there was so much wrong with this film – as aforementioned, the male domination, contrived narrative, and just god awful dialogue – but strangely at the grossly longer than necessary 137mins (2hrs 17mins), I somehow found myself entertained. The camera work was cool, and the addition of fast and slow motion as well as extended shots for the action sequences was a nice touch. I wasn’t yawning, fidgeting, or finding myself nodding off (which I did incidentally do during the newest Spongebob movie.) So through all the poor performances, ‘bad guy’ lines and inability to go 10 minutes without showing a pair of tits or an ass, I found myself laughing (albeit at the wrong times) and generally enjoying myself (slightly.) I did look away a couple of times because some fight scenes are really intense and a few car crashes are similar, but how’s that for a visceral response? This movie made me laugh, wince, and the end sequence is emotive and relatively well executed. You can’t really ask for much more from a Blockbuster exploitation action film.

Sam Bambury, Film writer at Seroword

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8 Comments

  1. Valid points, although complaining about realism here is like saying those “Crank” flicks with Jason Statham are unrealistic – that’s kind of the idea they’re going for. I would assume you’ve seen the previous installments of the franchise (because why would you write about the seventh movie of a series without seeing the previous ones?), so I’m not sure what happened here.

    To be fair, I also mentioned some of the more dubious action sequences (Abu Dhabi, anyone?) in my review. But still.

    And let’s not overstate Iggy Azalea’s role here. She was present for literally fifteen seconds.

    Really, the only reason I read this is because I just wrote about it too (and every other pop culture connoisseur, I imagine): https://barrettsonn.wordpress.com/2015/04/05/family-is-forever-in-furious-7/

  2. I may have posted twice. My bad!

  3. If you went to see Furious 7 for realism well to quote Kingsman; “this ain’t that kind of movie bruv”. This film was all about honouring Paul Walker and going above and beyond what happened previously with the furious family. Check out our review on A Tale of Two Dans with a more honest portrayal on what the movie was about and how it was meant to be seen…
    http://taleoftwodans.com/2015/04/03/furious-7-still-fast-still-furious/

  4. Also the action scenes are the most amazing seen in theaters since The Raid 2. Tony Jaa!!!! Parachuting with cars out of planes!!! The Rock and Jason Statham battling it out!!! Did you even see this movie??!!

  5. I think it depends on every and each different personality type. This movie was unrealistic, but AWESOME! And that about the romantic scenes? Uh…that was so perfectly played. Because it’s a man’s movie. It’s not supposed to be A Nicholas Sparks execution. I actually cried when in the last romantic scene. And obviously the “Last Ride” scene, because that’s what they wanted to happen! Next thing, you’re going to say John Wick is an unrealistic movie? No way. I counted the bullets, and checked that all the vital areas were targeted before an opponent died or fell down. Very realistic. And I do agree with Tale of Two Dans – “this ain’t that kinda movie, bruv” and it was never supposed to be.

  6. Hello

    I did watch the movie as well. I felt entertained but I don’t have a great word for this movie I believe. But then it was a great tribute to Paul. 🙂

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