Fast and Furious 7 Review

Fast and Furious 7

‘Appetiser’, a term which became widely used in both England and America in the mid-nineteenth century, is the Anglophone equivalent of what the French originally referred to as Hors d’Oeuvres.

The general purpose of the appetiser was to whet the tastebuds and give diners a foretaste of the meal to come.

By the way, yes: you are reading a review for Fast and Furious 7, but I’m going somewhere with this. Trust me.

The point I’m making is, even if you had lived in a cave for the last fifteen years and had somehow never heard of the Fast and Furious franchise, the first ten minutes of the latest installment serves as a more-than-adequate appetiser for the rest of the film: there are explosions, car races and gyrating bikini models.

Yes, all in the first ten minutes.

In short, if your palate is offended, it would be wise to leave the restaurant at this point.

The latest film picks up from the characteristically unsubtle set-up which closed the last entry in the franchise.

Jason Statham is Deckard Shaw, older brother of Fast and Furious 6’s Owen Shaw, and he’s out for vengeance against Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and his crew.

The elder Shaw is your standard black ops type: a master assassin with a penchant for grenades and a tendency to improbably pop up when the plot demands it.

Meanwhile, Toretto is still trying to restore Letty’s memory, whilst buddy Brian is uneasily sliding into domestic life.

The death of one of their team, plus some ostentatious attempts on their own lives, lead Brian and Toretto to cross paths with a government agent called Mr Nobody (Kurt Russell).

Mr Nobody promises to help Toretto and his crew find Shaw, provided that Toretto’s crew help him first.

What ensues is basically an excuse to string together three large, exotically-staged setpieces with some hokey exposition about a McGuffin called God’s Eye.

Fast and Furious 7 seems to have taken on a Mission-Impossible-style structure albeit with a lower IQ and an even more flagrant disregard for the laws of physics.

Sure, it’s dumb, loud and amounts to little more than The Expendables meets Top Gear, but never shies away from the fact.

And it’s hard to critically skewer a film with its tongue so far in its cheek that you’d swear it was undergoing major dental surgery.

It’s also hard to ignore the layer of poignancy generated by the untimely passing of Paul Walker. You can’t help but question the film’s glorification of the very brand of high speed antics which resulted in Walker’s death, but the filmmakers’ affection for the actor is unquestionable, as is their desire to give him a proper send-off.

For fans of the increasingly outlandish franchise, there will basically be little disappointment with this outing. It’s bigger, badder and balder than ever, once more boasting countless gratuitous shots of gears being changed and accelerators being stomped.

If Fast and Furious is your cinematic food of choice, odds are you will clean the plate.

Conor Brennan

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Dates ‘n stuff

April 2015