FAST & FURIOUS 7 (aka FURIOUS 7)
Dom (Vin Diesel) tries desperately to reconnect with Letty (Michelle Rodriguez), while Brian (Paul Walker) struggles to acclimate to suburban life with Mia (Jordana Brewster) and their son. But Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham), a cold-blooded British black ops assassin with a score to settle, is systematically hunting down those took out his little brother during their last mission. Our heroes’ only hope is to get behind the wheel again and secure an ingenious prototype tracking device for the U.S. government. In return, they’ll use it to locate the ghost that is Shaw before he can kill again. And as they form a tighter band than ever: The Fast & Furious 7—Dom, Brian, Hobbs, Letty, Roman, Tej and Mia—they will face their greatest threat yet in places as far away as Abu Dhabi and Azerbaijan…and as familiar as the streets they call home.
Review by Louise Keller:
Nothing is impossible in his no holds barred thrilling actioner in which cars leap from planes, skyscrapers and cliff-tops as stunts accelerate to levels that almost break the sound barrier. Like the previous six films of the franchise, speed, audacity, smarts and brute strength are the drivers, but the importance of family grounds the narrative, never more so than here, following the tragic death of Paul Walker in an accident before filming was completed. While the shadow of Walker's death hovers, the film is a joyous and unadulterated celebration of the essence of the franchise and in particular the brotherhood between Vin Diesel's Dominic Toretto and Walker's Brian O'Conner.
It takes a while for the film to get going, as the storyline concentrates on the return of Dominic's amnesiac squeeze Letty Ortiz (Michelle Rodriguez with attitude) and Brian's difficulty adjusting to his new role as a family man cordoned off behind a white picket fence. It's the bullets he misses, he says. But then a new assignment comes along, involving Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham, compact and deadly), a special forces assassin bent on revenge, a mercenary called Jakande (Djimon Hounsou, enigmatic), and an elusive (and extremely shapely) hacker called Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel, delightful) whose highly sought after God's Eye app allows every camera and audio device to be tracked. Kurt Russell's Intelligence Officer Petty cleverly puts them all together.
The sequence in which the cars drive out of the back of a plane thousands of feet in the air to hijack an armoured vehicle in remote Azerbaijan is the craziest thing ever, complete with team members strapped into drivers' seats. There are countless heart-stopping moments as the souped-up vehicles bounce as if on a trampoline on the rough and perilous mountain roads. Another highlight is the Abu Dhabi party scene complete with a punchy girl-fight in which elegance plays no part, despite stilettos and long gowns. And there is the incredible moment when Vin Diesel drives his car through a skyscraper glass window and landing.... well, you will have to see the film to find out. Cars crash, spin and fly; buildings crumble while bullets pelt and grenade explode... I sat on the edge of my seat throughout, flinching, wincing, gasping and ultimately sighing with relief.
Director James Wan has done an extraordinary job pulling everything together, with credit to the editing team and the music that keeps the adrenalin beating. The cast all delivers as expected with Statham a convincing baddie whose philosophy that 'My enemy's enemy is my friend (and I have a lot of friends)' pays off. Dwayne Johnson is there, too - larger than life and there are some wry humour thrown in here and there. As for Diesel, he continues to mumble in that deep gravelly baritone and it's a fitting and moving farewell for the charismatic, blue-eyed Walker, who will be missed but not forgotten.
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FAST & FURIOUS 7 (aka FURIOUS 7) (M)
CAST: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Jordana Brewster, Lucas Black, Elsa Pataky, Michelle Rodriguez, Ronda Rousey, Kurt Russell, Djimon Hounsou
PRODUCER: Vin Diesel, Michael Fottrell, Neal H. Moritz
DIRECTOR: James Wan
SCRIPT: Chris Morgan
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Marc Spicer, Stephen F. Windon
EDITOR: Leigh Folsom Boyd, Dylan Highsmith, Kirk M. Morri, Christian Wagner
MUSIC: Brian Tyler
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Bill Brzeski
RUNNING TIME: 140 minutes
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Universal
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: April 2, 2015