The seventh instalment of the very popular Fast & Furious franchise was released earlier this month. I was lucky enough to get to see it before it’s official release in a double bill with Fast & Furious 6 in Cineworld, it ended late, but was worth it in the end!
If you haven’t had time to re-watch the previous 6 movies, or you haven’t seen the other Fast & Furious movies (where have you been for the past 14 years!) you can read my recap of the first 6 movies here: Fast & Furious – The Story so far.
WARNING: Spoilers beyond this point!
Skip to the end for my review.
Fast & Furious 7 (Furious 7 in the US) takes place at the same time as the ending of Tokyo Drift and follows on from it’s ending. The film opens not long after the ending of the 6th movie, Owen Shaw is alive, but in a coma in a hospital in London, his brother Deckard (Jason Statham) vows to seek vengeance for his brother’s current situation. Meanwhile, in L.A. Dom (Vin Diesel) is trying to help Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) recover her memory and Brian is trying to re-adjust to normal life.
Deckard breaks in to DSS HQ in LA to attain information about the team who took down his brother, and ends up in a fight with Hobbs, leaving him in the hospital. While visiting Mia (Jordana Brewster) & Brian (Paul Walker), Dom receives a call from Deckard, after he has killed Han, at the same time he activates a bomb he sent to Brian’s house, destroying the property.
At Han’s funeral in LA, Dom confronts Deckard, and after the intervention from black ops team, led by Frank Petty (Kurt Russell). Dom and his crew are enlisted by Petty to rescue a hacker Ramsay (Nathalie Emmanuel), in exchange for Ramsay’s software, which will help them fins Shaw anywhere in the world. The crew use tricked out cars that are parachuted into a remote area of Caucassus mountains to attack the convoy transporting Ramsay. During the mission Deckard shows up and nearly ruins the mission, some car based mayhem ensues with gatling guns, armored trucks and RPGs and Brian is able to get Ramsay off the bus and to safety, although after fighting with Kiet (Tony Jaa), he nearly dies when the bus goes out of control and goes off a cliff.
Ramsay reveals that her software is in Abu Dhabi with a friend, and when they reach the UAE, they find out the drive concealing the God’s Eye device has been sold to a billionaire playboy. The crew infiltrate a party in the playboy’s penthouse. Tej (Ludacris) & Ramsay deal with the security, Roman (Tyrese Gibson) distracts the party, while Dom & Brian try to retrieve the drive from the playboy’s car. Things dont go to plan, Letty is attacked by security led by Kara (Ronda Rousey) Dom & Brian have to steal the car, and Deckard shows up again. To escape Dom has to jump the car between buildings and Brian is finally able to retrieve the drive.
Using God’s eye they track down Deckard, but thanks to the mercenaries led by Mose Jakande (Djimon Honsou), that were holding Ramsay, joining forces with Deckard they almost get themselves killed and lose God’s eye in the process.
They head back to LA, using it as home ground for the final showdown. Deckard still wants revenge and the mercenaries want to take down Ramsay so she cant lock them out of God’s eye. Deckard and Dom fight one another using oversized wrenches and metal bars, while the mercenaries tear the city apart with a predator drone and attack helicopter. Seeing the carnage, Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) leaves his hospital bed and takes on the mercenaries, saving Ramsay & Letty in the process. Following the carnage, the mercenaries are all taken out, Deckard is unconscious and taken into custody, and although Dom almost dies, the entire crew get out with their lives.
The final scenes of the movie were added after the passing of Paul Walker. These scenes serve as a tribute to Paul Walker and his character in the series. These scenes also explain why Brian won’t be joining Dom on anymore adventures, as he has his own family to protect and lead.
This is one of the most enjoyable movies in the Fast & Furious franchise, and is now probably my favourite of them all. Furious 7 is also by far the most action heavy instalment in the franchise, and has taken the franchise almost completely away from it’s street racing origins, at least there was the Dom & Letty race scene in Fast & Furious 6. I’m not complaining about this, I actually quite like it, as the franchise has evolved over time from racing movies to full on action blockbusters.
It seems that most people agree with this change too, as (at the time of writing) Fast & Furious 7 had earned over $800 million at the Box office, the most successful in the franchise, and is currently the biggest grossing movie of 2015, although I am sure some of this is due to this being Paul Walker’s last movie, as he passed away during it’s filming.
The action scenes in Furious 7 are very impressive, and the film makers were definitely trying to out-do the previous instalments, from the Car parachute scene, the car jumping scene in Abu Dhabi to the destruction of LA. The fight scenes are also well done, with great choreography as well as filming. The third aspect that they got right with this movie, is the humour, which is well placed, and never takes away from the main scene, one of my favourite humorous pieces is Roman’s reaction to having to parachute in his car!
While watching this movie, I am sad to say, I was waiting for the scene where Paul Walker’s character died, as I wanted to prepare myself for it, I was glad that my assumptions were incorrect. I was able to notice the parts of the movie where Paul’s CGI double was used to finish Brian’s scenes in the movie, but it wasn’t distracting enough to take away from enjoying the movie. The farewell scene at the end of the movie was, I feel, a near perfect tribute to Paul Walker and his character in the franchise.
This movie gets a big thumbs up from me, great action, amazing cars, enjoyable characters and well placed humour makes it a very enjoyable experience, I even went to see it twice!
Rest in Peace Paul Walker!