Fast and Furious 7 is, as you’d expect, a loud and bombastic brain freeze of a movie. It’s big on action and stunt work; utterly devoid of sense or logic. It follows the same framework that did numbers for the franchise in Fast 5, which built on the action, stunts and expanded the storyline into general action and heist movie. In many ways this seems like the third part of a new trilogy which that film began. And that’s clearly how this film started out. But since the tragic and somewhat ironic death of Paul Walker, who died in a car crash when his friend was speeding behind the wheel, the film has clearly grown into a tribute to the late star of the series. Now, two films on from the series’ high, the action is ramped up even more and the plot even crazier and the cars are starting to feel as though they’ve been drifting for too long. But where it does succeed is in its celebration of Paul Walker. Bombastic and dumb as the film is, it’s a fitting ode to its lost star.
It’s standard, ridiculous Fast and Furious fare but on even more steroids than usual. Cars fly and parachute out of planes, Brian jumps off a bus falling off the edge of a cliff before latching onto a car miraculously drifting in at just the right moment. The Rock ‘Rockbottoms’ Jason Statham through a glass table and Vin Diesel flies a car through three consecutive skyscrapers. Slowmos on cars, pecks and jiggling T & A assault the senses at every turn to hip hop beats. Love it or loathe it, this is Fast and Furious at possibly its most fast and furiousy. It’s utterly ridiculous. With the most convoluted plot holed plot yet.
But there’s no sign of this franchise dying, even when its hero has. In fact, perversely, in many ways, Walker’s passing has almost breathed new life into the series. It’s done something for the franchise that would have otherwise been impossible. It’s made it mean something. For a long time, the staple street code of ‘Family’ has been the emotional trope of the franchise. But it’s always seemed mostly irreverent in a series that has cars parachuting out of planes. Now, with Walker’s death, the emotional connection of these characters feeling like a family and caring for one another, has become tragically relevant. It’s still dumb. But it feels honest. And as ridiculous as Fast 7 is, the film tackles the loss of Walker in a surprisingly smart and sensitive manner.
Daft as arseholes, but enjoyable enough and surprisingly heartfelt; Fast 7 works as a fitting goodbye to Paul Walker.
Fast and Furious 7 is out this Friday