While I will never understand just why the producers of this franchise keep toying with the name of every single sequel instead of settling down with “The Fast and the Furious” title with numbers behind the respective chapters, it’s astonishing that this highly mediocre series found its footing after churning out four forgettable chapters. Fast Five was exactly what this franchise should’ve been from the start. Fast & Furious 6 continued the new-found form to an extent. And now we’ve another one.
Having already made a huge impression at the box-office this summer, Furious 7 (also known as Fast Seven and Fast & Furious 7), the seventh instalment in The Fast and the Furious franchise, does pack in all the big-budget blockbuster ingredients to give its viewers an extravaganza worth the price of their ticket but in its aim to provide a larger-than-life entertainment, it ends up becoming so over-the-top, overdone & overlong that the whole experience of sitting through it doesn’t amount to much in the end.
Taking place after the events that transpired in Tokyo Drift, Furious 7 finds Dominic Toretto & his family back in the United States after he & his team earned their amnesty by finishing the job they were assigned in the last chapter. But their peaceful life is once again disrupted when Deckard Shaw arrives to seek revenge for his comatose brother and starts eliminating Dom’s crew one by one. On the other hand, a covert ops team promises to help Dom find Shaw if he & his crew can assist them in obtaining an advanced computer program.
Directed by James Wan (best known for Saw, Insidious & The Conjuring), Furious 7 marks his first attempt at blockbuster filmmaking and while he does a fine job when compared to other big-screen spectacles released these days, the very sense of fun which made the previous two films such an enjoyable ride is missing here. The main plot is compelling to an extent but it is unnecessarily contaminated with a needless subplot it could’ve easily done without. Because that other part exists as a poor excuse to add in a few more action segments.
The screenplay makes use of almost every cliché one can find in a story like this plus all its attempts at humour fall flat most times or isn’t as well-timed as before. Set pieces do get an upgrade, cars include both old-school & modern beasts, Cinematography keeps the camera in motion even when it isn’t required and its action sequences suffer from overuse of slow-mo. Editing isn’t up to mark either as many segments are just thrown in and don’t play any role in the final outcome while Brian Tyler’s score is a mishmash that’s all over the place.
As far as visual effects go, Fast Five reverted back to the old-school formula involving stunts and made extensive use of practical effects. Fast & Furious 6 wasn’t far behind but it nevertheless used CGI for a few ambitious/ridiculous sequences. Furious 7 however goes completely overboard when it comes to the use of digital effects and actually revels in it as its action set pieces are too absurd to have any ground for believability. And where the previous chapter only toyed with the laws of physics, this latest entry simply slaughters it with one ludicrous sequence after another.
Coming to the acting department, the cast brings back the team of Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Michelle Rodrigues, Tyrese Gibson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges & others, while new additions include Jason Statham, Kurt Russell & Djimon Hounsou. And the sum of all the performances here is passable at best. It’s a shame that Johnson isn’t given enough time on the screen, Diesel & Walker carry their roles like did in previous instalments, Gibson & Bridges also fail to provide the comic relief like before, Hounsou’s input is just pathetic, and Statham isn’t intimidating at all despite his impressive intro.
On an overall scale, Furious 7 isn’t entirely devoid of fun and can be enjoyed if you are used to mindless blockbusters but after the unexpected resurrection of this franchise with Fast Five and the continuation of the same form with a few snags in Fast & Furious 6, this sudden drop in quality due to more emphasis on its CGI-laden action than its plot or characters wasn’t expected, at least not this soon. Nevertheless, there are definitely a few cool stuff in this sequel and for the majority of its fans & mainstream audience, this is going to be a satisfying ride but for a few douchebags like me, Furious 7 is an indisputable disappointment.