Furious 7 - This Movie Butt-Rocks
Dir: James Wan
Starring Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Paul Walker's brothers, Jason Statham, MIchelle Rodriguez, Kurt Russell, Ludacris, Jordon Brewster, Dwayne The Rock
“I used to think this was all bollocks” says Jason Statham, the second line in Furious 7. Well, so did we Stath, but then it started getting good with Fast Five.
Number 7 is here to up the stakes of ridiculous (Ludacris anyone?) even more. It’s also, strangely, a sort of porn movie (without the porn). It’s always been about car-porn. Add in fight-porn. Stunt-porn. And considerable arse-porn. Seriously, if a woman has an arse on her in this film, you can guarantee it will be objectified.
Yet, despite all its excesses – or more likely because of the sheer blatant nature of all its excesses - Furious 7 is for the most part a hoot, a franchise that has decided outlandishness is its stock in trade and while it continues to top itself, it never manages to kill itself off. (Paul Walker excluded – who is touchingly paid tribute here.)
Continuing the notion that Tokyo Drift was a movie that at the time was set in the future – Statham showed up at the end of number 6 which was sort of the end of number 3, which is sort of somewhere into the first act of number 7 - seeking revenge before the events of 6 created the need for revenge. (Yes, us as well..) With all that on board (!) this number 7 kicks off with the British action-God having laid waste to what seems to be an entire London hospital, just to visit his now out of the game brother. (He then goes back in time to enact the end of number 3 – as shown in number 6? – oh we don’t know!)
Needless to say he blames Dwayne the Rock and Kojak the Iron Giant for everything and sets out to be impossibly butch around them. Each of your heroes get to go mano a mano with the Stath but you can’t help but feel they’d much rather just have a threesome. Feel free to scream “Get a room” at the screen.
Then Kurt Russell shows up – literally playing Basil Exposition (albeit a cool one) - and sets our team off on a word-wide hunt for some maguffin or other - doesn’t really matter – and Statham keeps showing up.
This would have been better as a pure revenge flick but Russell’s strand is there to provide the set pieces, and The F & The F series is about nothing if not its set pieces. And some of them here are genuine jaw-dropping doosies – the building jump alone is enough to send Tom Cruise back to Dubai muttering “I can do better!”
Director Wan does tend to play every action sequence at exactly the same over-edited pace however, which allows little room to gasp, and plenty to be pummelled, and the characters remain determinedly one-dimensional – one newbie even goes round the room labelling them “Alpha”, “Mrs Alpha”, “Joker” and so on.
(As for Walker's sad absence, it's covered well - you only notice a few CGI and you-can-only-see-the-back-of-his-head moments in a handful of later scenes.)
But the bigger and sillier the F&F franchise gets, the more fun it has become. This is not as out there as Fast 5, better than 6 and benefits greatly from the presence of Statham, who despite being something of a global action star, rarely appears in such a high profile movie as this, which is destined to make more money than God.
Already in a cinema near you – you’ll have a good time if you go
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