Furious 7

Fast and Furious 7

The seventh installment of the outrageously enduring Fast and Furious franchise isn’t the series best but it’s a perfect send-off to one of its late leading men, Paul Walker, and has still enough juice to give both fans and non-fans alike a kick out of watching its preposterously entertaining car exploits served with an overdose of team camaraderie.

No one reading this should care about a story but if you do, here’s what it is. Dominic (Vin Diesel) and his crew are hunted by English badass Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham, the Transporter himself), brother of the previous films baddie Owen, who is seeking revenge over what happened to his brother. In order to succeed in stopping Deckard (who is essentially a lethal phantom, slippery as an eel but seemingly omnipresent) the Furious gang team up (one last time, again) with a covert US government agency led by Kurt Russell who offers his help in exchange for a job they must first perform for him. The particulars of the job are unimportant; it is classic, inconsequential McGuffin and Kurt Russell fills in for the Rock role, who spends the majority of his onscreen time recuperating from a first act injury.

Like every entry into the series before this, the real reason you pay and sit through the expositional macho dialogues, the over-emphasis (gratingly so this time) on family, the downright silly script, is for the over the top, applause worthy stunts and action. In that branch, the film does not disappoint, especially in the stunning mid-section where cars improbably skydive out of a plane into the harsh Caucasus mountain range in Azerbaijan, quickly followed (and nearly topped) by cars jumping and racing between skyscrapers in Abu Dhabi. If you’ve not had a problem lapping up any of this before, you won’t start now. Expertly put together by incoming director James Wan, the sight of cars freefalling from the sky is imaginatively conceived and despite the light-hearted comedy that precedes this, never detracts from the sense of foreboding urgency and drama that the scene leads to.

Sadly, the depiction of UAE’s capital is as fantasy as something out of Prince of Persia. A laughable mixture of bling, cliché and debauchery it continues the silly representation of the country as a hotbed of excessiveness amid stock shots of slick cityscapes rising from the desert sand and a country where women readily prance around in skimpy garbs. But the frenzied vehicular fights and the high action quotient work just fine, even with a frenzied and cluttered third act. Dumb or not, all of the flaws are easily overlooked if not completely forgivable because of how earnestly this film (and the series as a whole) treads on its ridiculously entertaining path.

Rating: ★★★½☆

About Faizan Rashid

A veteran Dubai based film critic, Faizan has been reviewing movies for nearly a decade. His work has been published in local newspapers such as 7days and on prestigious online websites such as MSN Arabia and wearethemovies.com