Fast and Furious 7 review: An action-soaked goodbye to Paul Walker
Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Dwayne Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez, Ludacris and Tyrese Gibson are back one last time and this time, it is personal. The film is high on action sequences, car chases, explosions and fist fights as well as emotional quotient. An action-filled last ride for Paul Walker who died during the shooting of the film.movie reviews Updated: Apr 04, 2015 11:19 IST
Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Jason Statham, Dwayne Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez, Ludacris, Tyrese Gibson
There are good films, bad films and some plain ridiculous ones. And then there is a critic-proof phenomena like Fast and Furious franchise which fuses all of the above and comes up with a brand all its own.
This one is a blockbuster with smack-you-in-your-face set pieces, death-defying stunts, muscle cars, family-first ethos, ridiculous one-liners which get all the taalis and an apology of a plot. And you know what when Vin Diesel and his crew do their stuff in 3D, it looks so much more spectacular.
But then, plot and story is not what you go in expecting when you sign up for a fast and Furious film. You go for men who are men doing stuff you thought laws of physics did not allow, you went for big cars and pretty girls in itsy-bitsy nothings and campy fun.
This film is as much about action as it is about its one-liners. Here, we bring you some of its best.
There is an additional emotional heft this time because of the untimely death of Paul Walker during the shooting of the film in a car crash. While Walker's Brian O'Conner is an integral part of the film thanks to CGI and his younger brothers Cody and Caleb standing in for him, his death runs like an undercurrent throughout the film, reminding you that while speed thrills (the film's central etho), it also kills.
Here's what the film's wafer-thin plot offers: Former Black ops operative Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) is out to avenge his younger brother Luke who was put in hospital by Dominic (Vin Diesel) and his crew. That's a tease the last film in the franchise gave us and we know this is coming. Dom and CIA undercover operative Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) don't. Shaw puts Hobbs in hospital after a face-off and totals the house Dom shares with his amnesiac wife Letty (Michelle Rodriguez), pal Brian (Walker) and his wife Mia (Jordana Brewster).
Now, if Dwayne Johnson can't be the cavalry, who can?
Dom meets government operative Mr Nobody (Kurt Russell) who offers him a deal: Find a hacker Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuelle) and her super tracking programme God's Eye which can locate anyone anywhere and he will serve Shaw on a platter. Ramsey has been kidnapped by an African warlord (Djimon Hounsou) and his band of merry mercenaries. This search will take the gang to treacherous Azerbijani mountain roads and swish penthouses in Abu Dhabi.
And that's where ka-boom happens. A scene where the crew - including tech guy Tez (Ludacris) and motormouth Roman (Tyrese Gibson) - will skydive in their cars and land safely on the said mountain road is probably one of the best stunts we have seen in the franchise till now.
Another seat-of-the-edge moment is when Dom drives a beautiful LyKan Hypersport off the window of a skyscraper into yet another skyscraper and then one more skyscraper. Now, you would say cars don't fly. That's exactly what Brian, riding shotgun, also says but then what's gravity when faced with macho?
It is always about the family in Furious 7, even for the bad guys.
In fact, we so get used to this that when a car flies so that Dom can place bombs on a helicopter, nobody bats an eyelid. It's all in a day's work.
Not just flying cars, there are enough explosions and fist-to-fist fights to keep the momentum going. While Statham-The Rock face-off shatters enough glass and crunches bones, it falls short of Statham-Diesel's climactic street fight. Martial art expert Tony Jaa, who plays Hounsou's muscle, appears in two scenes but we would have liked to see more of him.
This brings us to Ali Fazal. The Indian actor, as he revealed earlier, has a total of three scenes in the film and a terrible, terrible accent. And we are not even saying anything about his colourful shirts!
The extreme action and explosions in the film come interspersed with emotional moments. A funeral scene where the crew is bidding goodbye to a fallen comrade is especially moving given Walker's death. The send-off to Walker's character is so subtle and real that it leaves your eyes moist. It just feels natural that this glass-shattering, asphalt-breaking film should end so poignantly. Because after cars have been smashed and big-ticket weaponry unleashed, it is really about family, friendship and loss.
Watch: An action-filled last ride for Paul Walker