Director: James Wan
Cast: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Jason Statham, Michelle Rodriguez, Dwayne Johnson, Jordana Brewster, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris
Age Restriction: 13 LV
Runtime: 138 minutes
Release date: 2 April 2015
Since the release of the fourth Fast & Furious film, the franchise has been reinvigorated and is at its peak with the previous film Fast and Furious 6 grossing a whopping $788-million at the global box office – the biggest money-maker in the lucrative car film series, which began in 2001.
This seventh instalment in the franchise was originally slated for release in July 2014, but was ultimately delayed due to the tragic death of one of its stars Paul Walker, who died during production.
According to reports, Walker was "nearly halfway through filming" when he died, and so Universal Pictures used stunt and body doubles with Walker’s two brothers Cody and Caleb Walker among them. CGI was also used in order to recreate Walker’s face and voice.
Fast and Furious 7 is Walker’s last film and, yes, he does get one final tribute and send off in this film, but more on that a little later.
When we last left the gang, Jason Statham’s Deckard Shaw killed Han (Sung Kang) in Tokyo and is now after Han’s friend Dominic "Dom" Toretto (Vin Diesel) and the rest of the crew. Why is Shaw after their blood you ask? Remember the baddie from the sixth instalment, played by Luke Evans? Well it turns out that Shaw is his big brother, out for revenge.
Dom and his crew decide to return the favour and take down Shaw for killing Han, but are unexpectedly side-tracked by government agent Mr. Nobody (Kurt Russell) who has a special mission for them. The mission: to retrieve a software program which can track any individual through the use of practically any camera, be it surveillance or cell phone.
Of course, Dom sees this software device as a way to track down Shaw, and Mr. Nobody offers Dom the opportunity to use the device, but first it needs to be retrieved.
This mission proves to be a challenge as the device was stolen by Jakande (Djimon Hounsou) a threatening opponent, but nothing the crew can’t handle. However, things prove difficult when Shaw unexpectedly appears and harasses them during their mission.
Fast and Furious 7 continues to keep the franchise on a high pedestal as it not only improves upon its predecessor in every way, but ups the ante in every aspect.
We basically end up with a balanced film this time round and the biggest in the franchise to date. While Fast and Furious 6 is known for featuring the most outrageous stunts in the franchise, this seventh instalment easily tops it with longer, more innovative stunts, that are phenomenal and will absolutely blow your mind.
The high-octane action is bigger, better, lengthier and will keep viewers glued to the screen in awe. The fight sequences were well choreographed, especially the fights between Paul Walker and Ong-Bak’s Tony Jaa.
Emotions run rampant in Fast and Furious 7 due to Paul Walker’s tribute and the fact that his character Brian O'Conner is a father and his partner Mia Toretto (Jordana Brewster), who is expecting their second child, urges him to retire from the crew after this mission.
We also have Letty (Michelle Rodriguez), still suffering from amnesia and who’s struggling to remember her past life with Dom, putting a big strain in their relationship.
Unlike its predecessor, the plot is much bigger this time as it not only focuses on the action, but on the story as well. And with regards to the story, there’s actually a lot to behold here.
Like I said, this film is an improvement in every way, even the dialogue has surprisingly improved.
Jason Statham’s Deckard Shaw is one formidable villain and possibly the crew’s biggest threat to date.
The only issue with Fast and Furious 7 is Dwayne Johnson’s minimised screen time which is too bad, due to the fact that he’s always been a welcome addition to the franchise. But at least he gets in on all the action being the first member to go up against Jason Statham and getting trigger-happy during the climax.
Getting back to Paul Walker, Universal announced that they would retire instead of killing his character off. And that’s what we get during Walker’s tribute which takes place after the climax. Not to worry guys, Walker was honoured respectfully.
Final Verdict: Big on story, big on action and even bigger on stunts; Fast and Furious 7 continues to keep the franchise going on a high pedestal and is an absolute blast to watch.