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DVD Review – Fast and Furious 7

4 min read

With any movie franchise with a few flicks under its belt, it’s natural to expect much of the same thing, done at an acceptable level but not anything too amazing or surprising. The difference with the latest Fast and Furious instalment is that there is no acting when the familial nature and relationship is in play, and as such can never really get old. Added to this the unfortunate loss of Paul Walker, who shared patriarch duties with co-star Vin Diesel, Fast and Furious 7 reaches action packed highs and emotional lows that is a pleasant surprise from a “car” movie.

Fast and the furious 7 DVDPicking up where the last movie left off, Deckard Shaw (Jason Stratham) has a bone to pick with our rag tag heroes, and is hunting them one by one to get revenge for his brother Owen’s  (Luke Evans) near death. Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) are having some romantic troubles, while Brian O’Connor (Paul Walker) is adapting to family life with wife Mia (Jordana Brewster) and son Jack. But when their lives are threatened by Shaw’s vendetta, Tej (Ludacris), Roman (Tyrese Gibson) and Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) join the rest of the crew for ‘one last ride’ to ensure the family’s safety. This includes helping out spy guy Mr Nobody (Kurt Russell) in finding and rescuing a hacker named Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel) who has created a device that can find anybody anywhere anytime. What follows is a three way battle between Shaw, a black ops crew led by the maniacal Jakande (Djimon Hounsou) and our heroes to ensure the device doesn’t end up in the wrong hands.

Obviously this movie has had a tonne of interest considering it is Walker’s final performance in the franchise following his tragic death. While it is an enormous loss for the community, the film manages to stick to the original script (thanks to some CGI and help from Walker’s brothers) to ensure that the focus isn’t necessarily on Walker until the final moments, which it should be mentioned is very emotional and please don’t feel bad if you a shed a tear or ten. Without overshadowing the narrative and sticking to what the Fast and Furious franchise does best, the acknowledgement at the end of the film pays so many respects to Walker while still honouring the action packed high octane thrill ride audiences expect from these films.

The action level is just, in a word, insane. When a car drives through not one but two high rise buildings on god knows what floor tittering on the point of absurdity, or when Johnson faces a helicopter complete with machine gun and wins, this is definitely a film that is for lack of a better word ludicrous and yet is what we’ve come to expect from the Fast and Furious world. Any other time and stunts like this would be laughed off and the film would be an absolute flop, but this is the seventh in the franchise and thus continually raises the bar, and while it’s unlikely you will ever see such things in the real world, Fast and Furious 7 is about the unbelievable and captures that essence effortlessly.

It may come as a shock to some, but there are no academy award winning performances here, but that’s not were paying to see. Diesel is Toretto, and he is so comfortable in that role that it’s hard to distinguish where one starts and the other ends. His touching tribute at the end of the film to Walker is emotionally fraught with a comradery that only they will understand, but the brevity of that moment is felt regardless. The other highlight is Johnson as the marshmallow Hobbs, whose comic timing is spot on, but was a little underused. It would have been great to see more of him, especially his and Diesel’s interaction together, as it has worked well in the past.

This is probably one of the best Fast and Furious films in the franchise – and obviously the most successful film in the franchise (and currently the 3rd highest grossing film of all time) with imaginative action sequences laced with perfect comedic timing. It’s unfortunate that the franchise has lost a figurehead in Walker, and while it’s hard to think of anything else other than the real life tragedy, Fast and Furious 7 manages to stick to the narrative and key ingredients that make the franchise so great, while honouring Walker in a powerful way that keeps his memory alive.

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