“This time it ain’t just about being fast” Sounds like the perfect tag line for a film called “Fast & Furious”, its a line spoken by Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) in the latest installment of the mega successful franchise about guys and their cars. It seems that they are no longer fast here, just furious. This franchise which looked like it might be running out of gas (pun intended), got a much needed refill of Diesel, with a side of The Rock, and suddenly it gained new life. With each sequel the action has gotten bigger and the stunts crazier, even defying every physics book in the process, but they embrace it, and we as an audience eat it up.
After the last film’s ending we know that one of the crew didn’t make it after being hunted down by a guy looking for revenge. That guy is Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham), who wants to take out our favorite ‘Furious’ crew for what they did to his brother. Shaw tracks them down by hacking into Hobbs’s (Dwayne Johnson) computer, which sets up a fight scene with Hobbs himself. Meanwhile Dominic (Vin Diesel) is trying to help Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) remember her life, while Brian (Paul Walker) and Mia (Jordana Brewster) try to settle into a normal life. When an attack almost kills Dominic and Brian’s family, it sets up a lot of expected car chases, and good old-fashioned street fighting along the way.
“Furious 7” was in full swing to come out in July of 2014, but the death of Paul Walker put the release of the film in doubt. After much debate, director James Wan and the studio decided to continue, and used different methods to finish the scenes that Walker had left to shoot. One of the strengths of this film series, especially with the last four, was the chemistry and feeling of family these characters have, and no more so then Walker and Diesel. While the loss of Walker doesn’t make the film bad, it also doesn’t help it. With part 6, when people weren’t jumping from fast moving cars, they were traveling down a fifty-mile runway, with planes and explosions. While the action is still present in “Furious 7”, the film takes too long to get going, as it tries to set everything up, neglecting what everyone came to see. Once it remembers what it is, the movie gets in the groove, and we get to see the cars, action, and for the guys, attractive women.
Writer Chris Morgan is once again behind the wheel, as he has been since “Tokyo Drift”, even throwing a bone to Lucas Black and Bow Wow, as they make an appearance in this film briefly. Somehow though, the film has been taken in by its own machoness as it tries to one up the unreal acts of the previous films, with even crazier ones. Well this time it doesn’t work, add that with cheesy dialogue, and a run time that is probably thirty minutes too long, and you are left with a lot to desire. While the tribute to Walker in nice, the film is not so much, and if this is the last ride in this franchise, what was once a shiny muscle car, just became an reasonably affordable ride.