Few would have imagined in 2001 that The Fast And The Furious franchise would be going almost fifteen years later and that the franchise would be one of the most lucrative in cinematic history. Fast & Furious 7 (also known as Fast 7) grossed over $1.5 billion globally, making it not only the highest grossing film in the series, but the fifth highest grossing film of all time.
Financial success is one thing – but scoring a truckload at the box office does not always a good movie make and Fast 7 had a lot stacked against it. The film was originally meant to be released in the summer of 2015 but the untimely death of star Paul Walker meant that director James Wan and Universal Pictures had to regroup and figured out the best way to complete the movie and work around Walker’s absence, or scrap it completely. They persevered and ended up making a hugely enjoyable summer blockbuster as well as one that honours the memory of Paul Walker.
Fast 7 sees Vin Diesel’s Dom and Walker’s Brian O’Conner go head-to-head against Jason Statham’s Deckard Shaw. Statham’s Shaw is the brother of the character played by Luke Evans in Fast 6 and he’s angry that our petrol heads left his little bro in hospital. He’s out for Statham-style revenge – and that means there’s going to be a lot of destruction. Along for the ride is Dwayne Johnson’s hardass DSS agent and Kurt Russell’s mysterious government agent and a host of franchise returnees like Tyrese Gibson, Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster and Lucas Black.
The shadow of Paul Walker’s death looms large over Fast 7 and there are a few moments where he’s clearly been created within the confines of a virtual world. However, you can tell that all involved wanted to give the star an impressive send-off and in a few years it might be difficult to spot the joins in Wan’s film. Even the most hardened of action buffs will feel a sense of sadness by the time the end credits start to roll.
Over the top and gloriously far-fetched, Fast 7 delivers action thrills and spills on an epic level. CGI enhanced set pieces sit side-by-side with old school stunts and there’s enough going on to keep viewers interested over the course of the film’s 2 hour running time. The stand-out is a chase sequence across the Caucasus Mountains in Azerbaijan that will have viewers on the edge of their seats.
Fast & Furious 7 of course will never be regarded as Oscar bait but it’s an enjoyable actioner with a charismatic cast and excellent action sequences. Roll-on Fast 8.
The blu-ray comes with a short documentary that crams a lot of information into its running time. It looks at the impressive stunts, worships Kurt Russell and deals with Paul Walker’s unfortunate death.