Director: James Wan
Writers: Chris Morgan, Gary Scott Thompson (characters)
Stars: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Dwayne Johnson
Synopsis: Deckard Shaw seeks revenge against Dominic Toretto and his family for the death of his brother.
Fast & Furious 7 continues the franchise’s story reuniting almost every cast member thus far and then some. While you think you may know Fast & Furious, this film evolves into something more than just street racing by incorporating an action/espionage feel of franchises like James Bond and Mission Impossible. This approach may have been discouraging for loyal fans of the series but it helps to bring in newcomers and those who have a distaste for the street racing culture.
First off I have to say that Fast & Furious 7 is action-packed and a lot of fun. Like previous films in the series, Furious 7 lives up to the name in this regard. It’s obvious that they had a bigger budget when the action is this big…and I’m not just talking about Dwayne Johnson. Whether it’s taking a car flying across buildings or Vin Diesel and Jason Statham busting concrete across each other’s heads, Fast & Furious 7 has a bit of action that everyone can enjoy. And the variety of action is plentiful and consistent within the film with only brief moments of rest for dialogue driven scenes.
While action-packed, Fast & Furious 7 did suffer from flaws related to that action. The amount of action and over-the-top stunts further transform these once vulnerable vigilantes into superhuman heroes for hire. This takes away from the outlaw flair that the characters had established in the previous films and in turn disappoints movie-goers hoping for more grounded characters. In addition, the amount of action takes away from the dialogue. Unfortunately the film is so action-packed that there isn’t enough room to develop the many character stories that persist throughout the film. The dialogue seems poorly scripted and some moments don’t seem genuine. But while the script and acting are easily blamed, the amount of action sequences overhauls the time, giving even a well written script no time to flourish.
The dialogue-driven scenes were just emotionally disconnected with so much action, but the interactions between Dom (Vin Diesel) and Brian (Paul Walker) did not fall victim to that action. The moments between these two built up to a great send off for Paul Walker’s character. It may have been the last moments that tied everything together so well but the chemistry between Paul Walker and Vin Diesel is genuine. If anything was wrong with those scenes I would have to say it was the superimposed face of Paul Walker on his brother. While they did a great job, this CGI masking is noticeable many times and distracting. What also adds to the distraction are the forced and awkward camera angles to cut Brian’s (Walker) face out of the shot. This may have been a necessary tactic but that doesn’t change the fact that it took away from the film.
Overall I thought that Fast & Furious 7 was entertaining despite the mediocre acting and imbalance of action over dialogue. And despite the flaws, the entertainment value of the film is what’s important. Given the fun I had sitting through the film, I would recommend it as a fun time for a majority of general movie-goers. I wouldn’t consider it the best of the Fast & Furious series but I definitely wouldn’t consider it the worst. I would call “Fast & Furious 7” an acquired taste for some fans, but overall a credit to the series.
Furious 7 – 6.5 out of 10
Fast paced action with dialogue that loses traction…