“One last ride.”
A decade or so ago, a mate had The Fast & the Furious on DVD and insisted we watch it. It turned out to be exactly what I predicted in all the worst ways. Refried action movie clichés, macho bullshit, terrible dialogue and nonsensical set pieces built around an even less coherent plot. Years passed, sequels kept on coming and I successfully ignored them. Until Fast Five. Reviews and ecstatic reactions from people whose opinions I generally trust just kept on coming. So I caved in, watched it, loved it.
Fast Five took the refried action movie clichés, macho bullshit, terrible dialogue and nonsensical set pieces built around an even less coherent plot, and it blew them all out to obscene proportions. This kind of self aware, but not sarcastic approach, reinvented the franchise and took it to whole new level of brilliant insanity. Fast & Furious 6 upped the anti once again and was another brain snapping, glorious mess of chaos. Which is why I have been pretty excited to see what bat shit craziness they have come up with for Fast & furious 7.
Hobbs (Dwayne ‘the Rock’ Johnson’) is working late in the office at his job as some sort of government agent. He’s paid a visit by Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham), that ends with a fist fight and explosion. Later, Dom (Vin Diesel), Brian (Paul Walker) and his wife (Jordana Brewster), narrowly escape an explosion at Brian’s house
From his hospital bed. Hobbs reveals Shaw’s Identity. He’s the brother of the bad guy that Hobbs, Dom, Brian and their merry gang took out in the previous installment. Hell bent on revenge, Shaw represents your classic Gruber brothers situation, as personified by Hans and Simon in Die Hard and Die Hard: With a Vengeance respectively. So now, wanting their own revenge for Shaw’s attempts at revenge, the Furious crew drive lots of cars fast, kit them out with silly gadgets, and drop awkward lines of terrible tough guy dialogue on the regular.
I had little to no idea what was happening for the vast majority of Fast & Furious 7. That’s not to say that it’s complicated or doesn’t make sense. It’s just that I don’t care what’s happening in a movie like this. The plot is so secondary and superfluous to the action. I’m happy to just assume there’s a story line and that it makes sense, because I just have no interest in paying attention to it.
The Stathe really is a perfect addition to this world. His Crank movies are the first time I remember being award of this approach to over the top action, and loving it. So he slots into this world effortlessly, violently and with just the right amount of gravelly, almost whispered approach to every single line of dialogue. His addition is much like the movies in the series themselves. I’m sure they’ll eventually reach a tipping point and crumble under the weight of their own excess. But for now, Fast & Furious 7 is proof that when it comes to this particular franchise, more really is more.