Synopsis: Deckard Shaw seeks revenge against Dominic Toretto and his family for his comatose brother.
Director: James Wan
Starring: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Dwayne Johnson
Release Date: 1st April 2015
I will admit; Furious 7 was the first film in the Fast & Furious franchise I saw. If all movies in this billion dollar franchise are similar to this one, I don’t think I will be watching them. Before the movie started, I briefly read an article where Vin Diesel claimed that Furious 7 should win the Oscar for Best Picture;
“I think this is a movie that makes people cry, makes people laugh and the emotional thrust of this movie is not like anything else,” said Diesel to Access Hollywood. “Something that the Oscars never take into consideration is the ability to make an audience cheer… you never cheer in the theater, so to compound the laughing, the crying, the emotions… sooner or later you have to acknowledge the feat, the miracle that it is to pull off a movie like this.”
I thought that was an interesting comment, one that made me open my mind and go into the movie with relatively decent expectations (please note that I did not say high expectations, just decent).
Well, that was a mistake.
I did not cry, I did not cheer. But boy, did I laugh. Probably not in the way that Diesel would have liked though.
Furious 7 is the absolute, most ridiculous movie I have ever seen.
We’re talking cars being dropped from 35,000 feet and parachuting to safety, cars crashing from skyscraper to skyscraper. It is the most indulgent, over-the-top, badly acted movie I have seen in a long time.
I’m sorry Vin Diesel, but you showed more nuance and skill as an actor when you provided the voice for Groot in Guardians of the Galaxy. The performances make you feel like you’re watching some kind of telenovela.
I will always give props when they’re due, and I do have to commend director James Wan. It’s a terrible loss to lose an actor during production, particularly in such a devastating way as was the death of Paul Walker. Wan managed to complete the movie pretty seamlessly, using Walker’s own brothers as doubles for the deceased actor. There was a long tribute to Walker at the end of the movie, along with a memorial title card.
A nice, thoughtful touch at the end of a ridiculously bad movie.
Since its inception in 2001 I’ve been following the Fast & Furious franchise. They’ve never been critically acclaimed films; they’ve always been what-you-see-is-what-you-get: cheap thrills, fast cars and fast women, crash, bang, etc. They don’t try to be more than what everyone accepts that they are. One of the great things about the first film was its raw edge- I liked that they were everyday guys coming from the poorer suburbs of LA and that it was all about their passion for cars and racing. No one can deny that since the first film, the following have ranged from pretty crap (looking at you Tokyo Drift) to pretty average. Regardless of this, audiences have enjoyed the franchise for its beautiful cars, racing scenes, insane action-drama and most of all for Paul Walker and Vin Diesel– it has after all been estimated to have generated over $2.5 billion worldwide.
The latest instalment is not an exception to this; rather it takes its usual formula and over dramatizes everything in the cheesiest most ridiculous way possible. Acting is over dramatized with what were meant to be emotional scenes coming across really lame and predictable (like, Bold & the Beautiful kind of acting). The acting was one of the things that annoyed me most- we know that most actors in this movie have the ability to be good, however it felt like everyone was just trying way too hard, none of it was natural. Really this movie could have been a good graphic novel they were all so caricaturised.
Action sequences are taken to the laughably extreme (seriously, people were laughing in the theatre) with parachuting cars (really? Come on guys!), Walker running up a vertical bus as it goes off a cliff (yeah no) and a $4.4AUD Million super-car (The Lykan Hypersport, only 7 being made in the world) being driven through 3 skyscrapers in Dubai (well, some Physicist has been saying it is plausible, but, come on… no).
Why did you have to take everything to the extreme? I like a good action flick, but unless it’s a comic book-turned-movie film with superheroes, I expect things to actually be somewhat plausible (I don’t care what that physicist says, that shit can’t be done). Seriously, go back to the first film and see how much things have changed- they’ve gone from drag racing to parachuting cars.
At the end of the day, this film was always going to make a huge amount of cash- to be straight- on account of Paul Walkers sad passing in the middle of filming. I felt the dedication to him at the end was sad and sweet, with beautiful imagery of his and Toretto’s car driving off in opposite directions at the end.
All-in-all a pretty bad, cheesy… bad film, with a nice dedication at the end.