After his brother was critically injured in Fast & Furious 6, his brother Deckard (Jason Statham) swears revenge against Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and his friends. Meanwhile, the gang are recruited to rescue Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel), a hacker, from terrorists, and recover a device that can track people around the world.
Once upon a very long time ago, the Fast & Furious movies were set in a world that mostly resembled ours. Now, with the seventh instalment in the franchise however, the series is firmly set in a reality where the laws of physics don’t apply… Sort of like the Classic Bond movies of the late 1970s.
The good news is that Fast & Furious 7 makes no attempt to change the formula that has worked for the franchise all these years, so the film is chock full of terrible, laughable, expository dialogue, car chases and set pieces that defy the laws of gravity and science, and high octane silliness that would not work anywhere else.
The performances in the film are what you would expect if you have ever seen a Fast & Furious film before; everyone driving fast and cracking wise in order the save the day. Chris Morgan’s screenplay errs on the side of the fantastical, causing cars to be jumped between hotel towers, parachuted out of planes and driven at airborne helicopters. As mentioned, the dialogue is laughably clichéd and trite, but somehow this doesn’t detract from the film too much.
Director James Wan makes Fast & Furious 7 a combination of Sexpolitation, Carsploitation and CGIsploitation. This works most of the time, but there are times when the audience can’t help but wonder if background girls need to be half naked for scenes to work. On the positive side, the pacing is steady, and there is just enough balance between the set pieces and the overly sentimentalised loyalty to keep the film moving. The final 10 minutes pay tribute to the late Paul Walker – this is his final film – a choice which will probably delight fans, but changes the tone of the whole film.
In all, Fast & Furious 7 is exactly what we have come to expect from this franchise; big dumb fun with a little bit of sexism and some Carsploitation thrown in. The dialogue is hokey but the set pieces are fun, and Dwayne Johnson removing a cast by simply flexing is a moment of comic brilliance.