Film & TV

Film Review – Furious 7

The seventh instalment in the explosive racing turned heist franchise, which has surprisingly seen more mileage than expected, is finally upon us, a year later than scheduled due to the untimely passing of its lead, Paul Walker. The film is ultimately a celebration of his memory and his contribution to the long running Fast & Furious series, which he helped launch in 2001.

Following their defeat of Owen Shaw and his team in 6, the Furious crew are able to enjoy their reprieve and lead domesticated lives. However, unbeknownst to them, they are now the subject of a crusade led by Shaw’s sibling, Deckard (Jason Statham), who is seeking retribution for his brother.

Given the series’ transition from racing to all out vehicular warfare, it is imperative that the action sequences are executed well. Therein lies the film’s predominant success. If you thought the plane sequence on the longest runway known to man from Furious 6 was a stretch, 7 requires an even greater suspension of disbelief, what with airborne cars leaping across building, off cliffs and from an active aircraft as well.

In going overboard with the action, the story is considerably compromised in the process. A paper-thin narrative is accompanied by the lack of palpable consequences for the principal characters. Somehow, they always manage to recover from every collision and accident unscathed, which makes proceedings credulous and unrealistic.

Moreover, the primary cast’s vibrant chemistry and exotic locales spanning several countries is as a prominent feature as ever. Sadly though, Jason Statham is relegated to being a generic nemesis and lacks his customary swagger. The latest chapter also adds new blood in the form of veteran thespian Kurt Russell, Thai action star Tony Jaa, UFC athlete Ronda Rousey and Game of Thrones’ Nathalie Emmanuel, all of whom feature in glorified cameos.

Furious 7

The relentless flurry of action includes several epic confrontations between certain characters, with all of these brawls extremely well-choreographed. While the muscle men all lock horns, the pick of the bunch is a brutal altercation between two women, namely Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) and Kara (the aforementioned Rousey). In a testosterone-fuelled franchise, it is a pleasant surprise that the latter shine through when afforded larger and non-tokenistic roles compared with the previous six chapters.

In a series which has always emphasised the significance of family and brotherhood, the final tribute to Paul Walker is particularly poignant. An emotional send-off is matched by a few resonating dialogues, representing a beautiful farewell to the actor.

Slick and stylish but devoid of much substance, Fast & Furious is showing no signs of slowing down. While it won’t be the same without Paul Walker, with three more sequels in the pipeline, the sky is the limit.


Ibrahim Rizwan

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Film & TVFilm Reviews

Writer and Editor for the Film & TV section of Impact, Bharat is a keen previewer, reviewer and sometimes just viewer, of all things cinematic and televisual, with a particular passion for biographical pictures, adaptations and sitcoms.

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