15 years and the franchise is churning out blockbusters at an average of one every two years. One would think that by now the series has lost its charm. One would be wrong. Fast & Furious 7 (aka Furious 7) is possibly the biggest installment in the franchise, both in terms of budget and action. And has now become the highest grossing of the entire lot. In fact, Fast & Furious has become one of the most profitable franchises in movie history.
The underlying plot for the globe-trotting is thinner than the latest iPhone 6. But then again, we don’t go to watch a FF movie for the plot. Although the fifth installment is to date the best flick (followed by the very first FF) where the plot was truly engaging and well thought out. The movie is one big adrenaline charged testosterone fuelled action flick. They’ve left absolutely no stone left unturned to amp up the car infused action throughout the movie. True that some of the action sequences seem to defy the very laws of Physics and human biology. But then again, who cares!
An article postulates that FF7 is not a car chase movie like its predecessors, but in fact a super hero movie. How else would you explain the characters escaping near death stunts and explosions with minor bruises and absolutely no pain! The action is toned up several notches since the first movie came out way back in 2001. But in fairness, they have a tough time now. With the amount of fast paced action that television series deliver, movies today have to provide a bigger bang for your buck. Hence the larger than life stunts and action sequences with minimal casualties.
Apart from the returning ethnically diverse ensemble cast, FF7 sees some new faces who are likely to stick around for the next installment (more on that later). Prime among them include the antagonist, played by Jason Statham and mysterious government agent, played by Kurt Russell. Another familiar face who is likely to become part of the crew is from Games Of Thrones fame, Nathalie Emmanuel who forms the crux of the plot and the entire globetrotting action. Bangkok action super star Tony Jaa makes an appearance, albeit as a rather lackluster lackey to the main antagonist. Female MMA superstar Ronda Rousey plays a bodyguard to a Middle Eastern tycoon and gets to flex her muscles in a spectacular girl on girl fight with Michelle Rodriquez. The cast even features an Indian actor, Ali Fazal, although he is portraying a Middle Eastern character.
A complaint that I have with the movie (and many others recent ones) is that the trailers reveal almost all of the WOW moments. Every major stunt and action sequence of the movie is shown in extended clips and flashes in the rushes. This steals the thunder from the actual movie. I understand and appreciate that audiences today need truly compelling snippets before they will head to a cinema hall. But I’m sure there is a way to simply tease and not give the complete goods upfront.
For all the action-packed testosterone filled mayhem that FF7 offers, there is a truly heartfelt ending which very few movies in the recent past have been able to deliver. Paul Walker’s tragic and untimely demise shocked fans. But his loss was felt even more by the team at FF7. Numerous interviews with them have shown the love and admiration they shared for the late Paul. Translating that emotion into a truly heartfelt tribute on-screen was a challenge. But one that the team at FF7 have lived up to and beyond. Unless you’re a heartless robot, you will definitely get misty eyed during the last 10 minutes of the movie.
Vin Diesel has confirmed that the franchise will still carry on and in fact have even bigger stars and action attached to it moving forward. For this fan, that is pure music to the ears!