The ingredients of any ‘good’ F&F movie has always comprised of the following: heart-pounding action, mouth-watering machines and bikini clad women parading around said mouth-watering machines. Well, I’m happy to report that the latest instalment delivers this and more, yet for the most part I felt somewhat underwhelmed. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not a die-hard fan of the series – more a casual admirer – so I obviously wasn’t expecting Citizen Kain. Still, I’ll do my damnedest to be objective.
Picking up directly after events of the last film, Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and his loyal gang of street racers, or should I say family, find themselves facing the wrath of Deckard Shaw (Jason Stratham), who is hungry for revenge after finding his brother comatose in hospital. Plot-wise, I think I’ll leave it there because what ensued leapt above and beyond the realms of ridiculousness. But then these films have always been less about plot and more about action, and boy is there plenty of it!
The first act of the film brilliantly showcased some jaw-dropping set pieces – notably a scene involving a hyper car being driven through – count them – THREE high-rises! I sat in my seat mindful of the sheer absurdness of it, yet felt oddly mesmerized. Another standout moment was the tense fight scene between Shaw and The Rock.
From the get-go, the film literally catapults you directly into a whirlwind of bullets, screeching tires, and fisticuffs aplenty. But these standout moments are ultimately diluted by a generally weak plot, awfully cheesy dialog and routine video game style action that grew tiresome to watch. In fact as the film neared its climax I was actually bored. Too much of anything is bound to become tedious, and with Furious 7, the action just dragged on unrelentingly. There were however brief attempts to deviate from the carnage in the form of a little comic relief, provided by Tyrese Gibson – but this proved so self-conscious that it induced much cringing.
So, a bit of a mixed bag then but I’ll wager that I’m in the minority of sharing this opinion. The film has already proven a monster hit at the box office, but does box office success really equate to quality? I think not, personally. Still, fans of the series are in for a treat as there is much to enjoy. But probably the most poignant moment of the film was the much discussed tribute to the late Paul Walker. In a film awash with mind-numbing mayhem, it was refreshing to observe a nuanced, heartfelt send-off that genuinely tugged at the heartstrings.