I had been contemplating watching this film for a while, ever since I heard about it being made. I got a chance to see it and so… here are my thoughts.
Just to clarifyn, I have only seen the first three films of this franchise and I’m not into cars. Yes, I know it’s hard to believe, a guy that isn’t mad on cars. Don’t get me wrong, I still get a thrill from looking at cars and watching them race and so on, but I just don’t get as ecstatic as some car enthusiasts would. In my opinion, the second instalment from the series is the best. That street race at the start is incredible.
Fast and Furious 7 is a high octane thrill ride and cannot be compared to any other (non-furious) film. The fast paced action, the ridiculously insane stunts, the cars that have been buffed to perfection and the model perfect women that in this film seem to take over every scene with extras in it, all add to the atmosphere that makes the Fast and Furious films what they are. For me, one of the only major differences in this instalment, was the knowing that this was the very last film that Paul Walker was in. The sad passing of a massively loved actor has helped bring millions of people together and has also added a strange feeling to the seventh film. Throughout Paul’s scenes, you keep thinking about it all. For me, every word that was said about family and the future, seemed to hit home more. That being said, this made the ending so much more emotional than it was originally filmed to be. I’ll speak more on that later though.
The whole film revolves around Owen Shaw’s brother, Deckard Shaw, avenging him. If you have no idea who Deckard is, I’m talking about Jason Statham. You might be thinking “Wait… isn’t he Ian Shaw?”. Well, the answer is no. I’m not entirely sure what happened, but somewhere along the line, the name was changed. ‘Ian’ may have even been a rumour. It seems to be plastered everywhere though, without much correction. The credits even state him as Ian Shaw. From what I can gather, it may be due to ‘Ian’ sounding a little like ‘Owen’. Personally, Deckard Shaw sounds a lot better and more like a villain’s name.
Anyway! The film revolves around Deckard avenging his brother and about a super computer program that can basically track anyone down, within a few hours to even a few minutes.
Throughout the film, various stunts take place, which seem impossible. Apparently they really did drop cars from a plane and really did crash do some of the ‘driving a car through the Abu Dhabi towers’ though. Obviously a lot of CGI work was done on the towers one, but they tried to be as non-CGI as possible. Yes, even the cars attached to parachutes was really done. The most impressive of all the stunts though, has to be the bus falling off the edge of the cliff, whilst the car drifts mere inches from the edge and Paul’s character, Brian, runs up the bus and jumps through the air, grabbing the back of the car. It’s the most impressive, daring and most implausible stunts of the film… and yet was created without any CGI work. Apart from the fact that it was filmed in a quarry and not on a beautiful winding road, as depicted in the film.
Despite the efforts to make this film incredibly entertaining, I was finding myself getting fed up with the constant action. I know it’s something that always happens in this series, and maybe it was just an off day for me, but after a while I just found it all a bit repetitive. I could go on for hours about the rest of the film, but I won’t. I do, however, want to mention the ending. I don’t want to give it away though, as it is sublime and definitely the one of the best scenes in the film. Shot on a beach, I’m assuming that it was originally filmed with Paul Walker as a ‘holiday’ scene, presumably with only himself and his family. From what I could see, it seems as if they shot more footage of the other cast members at the beach at a late date, splicing together all the shots and superimposing Paul’s face into the shot of him standing and walking away. The emotion you see in the faces of the cast is real, as they remember Paul, their brother. The scene that follows this also contains a flashback montage of Paul in the films and also showed the brotherly love beteen Vin Diesel and Paul Walker. Altogether, along with the final shots of the film, which are perfect and also accompanied by a beautiful song, the film rounds off the franchise in perfect way and also sends off Paul Walker in one of the most beautiful tributes I have ever seen.
If you haven’t already, I recommend seeing this film. Even if it is just for the ending!