Saturday, 4 April 2015

REVIEW: Furious 7 (Sending Off)

"One last ride," Vin Diesel's character, Dominic Toretto  has been saying this quote for the past iterations of Fast & Furious for years, even though there are sequels coming. For this time, Furious 7, it is one last ride for a character, in particular.

Back to work

I'll talk about that in a moment, but first let me talk about what I think of Furious 7 as a whole. It's difficult to find a franchise that grows in popularity in subsequent entry of the series. From a small budget flick to a must-watch blockbuster is no small feat.

Transporter is here!

The new movie saw Jason Statham, the new villain for the series, as Deckard Shaw, who is out for revenge for his brother, Owen. Jason Statham fit into this movie easily, as he is one of the most recognisable action star out there, I like him after I saw the American adaptation of The Italian Job and subsequent movie. In Furious 7, Jason Statham is just being Jason Statham, and I like it.

The action sequences, visual effects and the ensemble of casts are the main draw to the series. The crew (family) is better than ever, delivering their own witty one-liners to one another and the chemistry between them is still there. Tyrese continues his usual comedic relief role, Vin Diesel and Paul Walker being the frontmen, Letty be the female version of Dom, Ludacris be the IT guy, Nathalie Emmanuel from Game of Thrones join the fray, The Rock be the cop and some familiar faces return, which is a welcome sight.

The visual effects are detailed as well, I appreciate what they have done with all the ridiculous stunts they managed to pull off by doing it practically instead of doing CGI when they have the liberty to do that. The plane drop? It's real.

However, on the action sequences side, it's a bit of overdone. I'm not saying that the action sequences sucked or whatsoever, just that the fight scenes between characters have been overdone. The face-off between Dominic Toretto and Deckard Shaw is just plain ridiculous, the cars' chassis were damaged beyond recognisable, yet both the characters exited the car unscathed from injury, WTF?! Metal bars hit on concrete, the concrete disintegrate instantly yet done absolutely no damage on their faces.

I know this movie is over the top, but this scene is bullsh*t!

Not to mention there are some elements are unnecessary. Kurt Russell's character, Frank, doesn't seem necessary at the first place, and the military thing is not helping as well, although I might be wrong when the sequel comes to play. This resulted in the movie being bit too long.

In the end, none of these acclaims and criticisms matter as Furious 7 is all about one man, Paul Walker. His tragic death in 2013 caused the film to do some rewriting to give a proper farewell & retirement to his character. As Fast & Furious being the franchise started in my generation and continued to be successful, Paul Walker is the man I grow up watching, so it's bittersweet to watch this film, as his character, Brian O'Connor, continues to kick ass, yet towards the end, you know he will be retired. It is a "one last ride" for him.

The dialogue shared between Brian and his wife, Mia, it's touching and give so much emotion in the movie. The ending tribute and goodbye to Paul Walker, as he gave a one last drive toward the horizon is unbelievably emotional moment as well, tried to hold on to my feelings all the time while I watched it. The theater I was in, gave a respectful standing ovation, as they know it is the best way to say goodbye to the man who made this franchise at the first place.

Despite the overlong runtime and way too over the top sequences, Furious 7 managed to keep audiences engaged in its usual adrenaline pumping action sequences, stunts and the ensemble casts. Yet, none of these matter anyway, it is about Paul Walker and Brian O'Connor. It is about them giving their respective "one last ride".

Rating: N/A

One Last Ride