Directed by James Wan, starring Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Michelle Rodriguez, Jason Statham, Dwayne Johnson, Jordana, Brewster, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris and Kurt Russell. After taking on Shaw in London in the previous film, Shaw’s big brother, played by Jason Statham, is now on the revenge trail after the group who put his brother into the hospital. Add an element of FBI and technological warfare and you are presented with ‘Furious 7’.
I consider myself a fan of this series, I began my ‘Fast and Furious’ journey with the second film ‘2 Fast, 2 Furious’. From that moment on I grew an instant connection to Paul Walker’s character and through the series he has remained, and will remain my favourite character throughout. As far as I am aware Vin Diesel and Paul Walker are the Fast and Furious franchise, meaning because they began this franchise together from quite a small film to what it is now, they are the essence of the series.
When news broke out two years ago in November that Paul Walker, along with his friend Roger Rodas, had died in a car crash I was devastated given the age of both men, the potential they had with the rest of their lives as well as being keenly aware that Paul Walker was leaving a daughter behind. Production for ‘Furious 7’ was put on hold for many months as many wondered how production would continue and how much of his last furious film Paul Walker had finished before his untimely death.
Having now watched the film twice, it seems clear that not only had he almost entirely finished his scenes but that the series was looking to push his character from the franchise. Whether this was the original plan or because it felt fitting after his death, we shall never know. All I can say is, the combination of using CGI with Paul Walker’s brothers Cody and Caleb in order to produce Paul Walker’s character, results in a tastefully produced and a very worthy send of for the late Paul Walker.
In regards to the rest of the film, we are now into the seventh instalment in this franchise, that with every instalment the film typically becomes bigger, louder and with more high powered stunts than before. However Fast and Furious has always been about family and the loving bond they share with each other, which at times borders into becoming a soap opera particularly with the last few films with the dialogue becoming increasingly reminiscent of one, at its heart and sole this is still the film what we fell in love with all those years ago. While one would have hoped that this would have been the last in the series after Paul Walker’s death, this would appear to not be the case as ‘Furious 8’ has been announced.
OVERALL **** Although slightly too long in length, this franchise still contains all the elements that we loved to begin with as well as the new characters it has established on the way. Though it needs to be clear of its direction and not wander too far into the world of soap operas.
RECOMMENDATION – If you are a fan of the series such as myself then you will enjoy this continued journey. Otherwise, it is still great entertainment with a beautiful and tasteful send-off for a beloved man.