Director: James Wan
Writer: Chris Morgan
Sequel to: The Fast and the Furious, 2 Fast 2 Furious, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, Fast & Furious, Fast Five, Fast & Furious 6
Cast: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Jordana Brewster, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris, Nathalie Emmanuel, Elsa Pataky, Lucas Black, Kurt Russell, Djimon Hounsou, Ronda Rousey, Tony Jaa, (Luke Evans, Gal Gadot, Sung Kang)
Seen on: 11.4.2015
After Dom (Vin Diesel), Brian (Paul Walker) and the rest of their team/family brought the criminal Owen Shaw (Luke Evans) down, and brought him down so hard that he’s still in a coma, Shaw’s brother Deckard (Jason Statham) has sworn revenge. He starts in Tokyo, but he’s soon right in Dom’s and Brian’s lives – including their families. So Dom and Brian – who thought that they could finally settle down with Letty (Gina Rodriguez) and Mia (Jordana Brewster) respectively – find themselves less retired than expected. But Shaw is not the only trouble, there’s also Mr. Nobody (Kurt Russell) who orders them to help with a new surveillance software that could do much harm in the wrong hands – which is just where it risks ending up.
I watched all seven Fast & Furious movies in less than 24 hours (which was kinda awesome, but also kinda insane and not to be done sober*), so Furious 7 really had to be fantastic to still make me pay attention. But no worries, it did and with apparent ease.
I really enjoy all the Fast & Furious movies (otherwise I wouldn’t have watched the first 6 for a second time anyway), despite their shortcomings. And there are many of those – from sexism and constant objectification of women to plot holes and a rather questionable, but in any case extremely conservative, patriarchal ethic. I don’t want to make those things seem small. Rather it makes it even more fascinating that I actually like those films and that they still manage to entertain me (especially considering that I’m not really into cars). [What they do get right is the diversity, with Paul Walker as the lonely white guy, apparently only present for the quota – which is a constant source of amusement to me.]
But they do, and the seventh is no exception (in any regard). They have many nods to fans of the entire series – whether it’s the small jokes (like revealing that Han’s last name is Seoul-Oh) or how they finally really tie Tokyo Drift into the rest of the movies and their chronology and plot. And of course the beautiful and touching tribute to Paul Walker who died shortly after the shoot of the film. Although I can imagine that newcomers would also have fun with it, despite it being the 7th in the series. The plot is certainly not too difficult to follow without the preceding story.
With Jason Statham they have a great villain and a perfect addition to the cast, which they not only use for general badassery but also for a little more hand-to-hand combat. Especially the fight scene between Statham and Johnson (rather early in the film) is a thing of beauty, not only regarding the choreography, but also the camera work and editing. Which makes it a little disappointing that the showdown and in particular the fight between Statham and Diesel is so badly edited and intercut with too many things. You could see that there were great moments in that fight, but they could barely register before they cut away again.
Apart from that, the action was pretty damn amazing and so completely out there that I couldn’t help but lean back and enjoy the wild ride. And as long as you approach the movies that way and laugh away the problematic parts, you can have the time of your life with them.
*And since most people ask: my personal ranking of the films (from favorite to least favorite) is 5, 7, 6, 4, 1, 2, 3.