by BIBI AJAYI
If you’re a true fan of the Fast and Furious franchise then you’ll be as disappointed in Furious 7 as I was. The Fast and Furious movies have always been about action and fun, and Furious 7 stays true to that. But I must say, there is a certain dark cloud that hangs over Furious 7: Paul Walker’s untimely death.
Unlike the previous Fast and Furious movies, in order to understand Furious 7 you’ll need to know the back-story. Any attempt to figure out the deep-rooted relationships from the past six movies will leave you in a state of panic. So I suggest you grab the nearest Fast and Furious fan and brush up on some facts.
Furious 7 opens up with the aftermath of Tokyo Drift. Dom (Vin Diesel) and the crew are out for blood as they try to avenge the death of their fallen friend, Han. What they don’t know is Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) has a plan of his own to avenge his brother.
Sounds like the making of a great action movie? Ehhh. Don’t get me wrong, the film does have some action filled fight scenes, but they all seem to fall short. Even the amped up girl-on-girl fight between Michelle Rodriguez (Letty) and Ronda Rousey had all the makings of a legendary fight, but it just doesn’t compare to other fights we have seen in the franchise.
Furious 7 didn’t seem to match the high intensity and smooth shooting style that Fast & Furious 3, 4, 5, and 6 produced. Sadly, franchise newcomer James Wan’s (Insidious, The Conjuring) shooting style just doesn’t compare to Justin Lin’s action scenes.
The flow between high action scenes and the rest of the scenes seemed choppy and oddly placed. This film felt like a lot of decent ideas that just didn’t work cohesively. Even the characters that we’ve all grown to love felt like the distant relatives that show up for a plate on Thanksgiving, unfamiliar and awkward. The only time we see Roman (Tyrese Gibson) and Tej (Chris “Ludacris” Bridges’) on the big screen is when they’re accompanying the rest of the crew.
This is a shame because Gibson’s comedic timing is amazing and adds humor during the most inappropriate times. The film circulates around Dom more than anyone else. Personally, I’ve come to appreciate how the Fast and Furious movies are about family, but Furious 7 is more of “The Dom Show” if anything. Even Dom’s usually impactful one-liners seemed comedic rather than sentimental, or meaningful.
The new characters weren’t properly introduced either. Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel), the gorgeous computer hacker character, who is the center of conflict in the latter half of the film came across underdeveloped and underutilized. Deckard Shaw the villain of the movie came across as an annoying pit bull mix rather than a meticulous vicious villain.
There just isn’t any character building or development. The lack of development is apparent throughout the film. Certain moments that call for a reaction from the audience just didn’t resonate. I needed more. Its one thing to have a movie full of explosion, fights and action that add to the story line; but its another thing when all that action just seems like its added to fill up movie time.
On Paul Walker
As we know, Paul Walker passed away mid-way through the filming of Furious 7. The directors did what they could with previous footage, stand in actors, and CGI; but it’s almost as if Brian O’Connor could have been written out of the film completely. Most of his presence in the film was profile shots, or a deliberate attempt to hide his face. Understandably, they did what they could to make it work, but it was distracting when noticeable.
Furious 7 did include a touching tribute to Walker where they showed him throughout his journey in the Fast and Furious franchise. The final scene isn’t overly done, or forced. In fact, it was a really nice way to pay homage to their dear friend and co-star. Let me tell you, there wasn’t a dry eye in the room!