Review: ‘Fast and Furious 7′ delivers crazy action and amazing stunts

Marcus Goh
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Brian (Paul Walker) and Dom (Vin Diesel) look at the fastest car in the world. (Universal Pictures)

Marcus Goh is a former Singapore television scriptwriter. He’s also a Transformers enthusiast and avid pop culture scholar. He Tweets/Instagrams at Optimarcus and writes at marcusgohmarcusgoh.com. The views expressed are his own.

Secret ending? No.

Running time: 137 minutes (~2.25 hours)

"Fast and Furious 7" (also known as "Furious 7") is the seventh instalment in the "Fast and Furious" series. This movie sees the brother of the previous movie’s antagonist coming to take revenge on our heroes, even as the government enlists the crew for a covert recovery mission. It boasts a star-studded cast of Vin Diesel (Dominic Toretto), the late Paul Walker (Brian O’Conner), Dwayne Johnson (Luke Hobbs), Michelle Rodriguez (Letty Ortiz), Tyrese Gibson (Roman Pearce), Chris "Ludacris" Bridges (Tej Parker), Jordana Brewster (Mia Toretto), Djimon Hounsou (Mose Jakande), Tony Jaa (Kiet), Ronda Rousey (Kara the bodyguard), Nathalie Emmanuel (Megan Ramsey), Kurt Russell (Frank Petty), and Jason Statham (Deckard Shaw). It is PG-13.

"Fast and Furious 7" has perfected the "Fast and Furious" formula and wastes no time in getting to the parts which everybody wants to watch, and cutting the boring but necessary parts to a minimum. That doesn’t mean the story suffers for it though - there’s a touching tribute to Paul Walker at the end of the film, and the story still follows a proper structure and evokes emotional resonance. But the movie highlights the stunts and action that it’s become famous for, delivering the kind of high octane adventure scenes that you’ve come to expect.

Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) gets a feel of the party. (Universal Pictures)

Highlights

Creative stunts and action pieces

To use a well-worn cliche, there’s never a dull moment in “Furious 7.” The stunts get more and more outlandish, but entertainingly so. Not even the simplest action scene in the film would be plausible in real life, but the film knows itself well enough to not even bother with the feasibility of the physics involved. Instead, it focuses on glamourising our heroes as they execute impossible but exciting vehicular stunts.

Moments are milked properly

The movie knows what you’re here for, and opens with a memorable fight between Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham. Every confrontation and set piece in the film is carefully shot and edited to make sure that you savour the colourful action and conflict that makes up this modern day adventure film. It lingers long enough on such scenes to let you enjoy it, but just short enough to leave you always wanting more.

Each protagonist is given a moment to shine

Whether it’s by providing a suitably formidable villain or an equally Herculean task, “Fast and Furious 7” shows us just why the heroes are so sought after in their world - they’re experts at what they do. Each protagonist is given his or her moment of awesome, so regardless of your favourite character, you’re going to be pleased with their screen time.

No cheap deaths

Unlike the previous instalments which had characters die and come back and die and come back, ad infinitum, there are hardly any cheap deaths that you know will be undone by the next movie. Perhaps the producers have wisened up to the fact that if any character is popular enough, he or she will be back, so why bother writing a death for them?

Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) vs Shaw (Jason Statham). (Universal Pictures)

Letdowns

Cringingly awful dialogue

If there’s one thing that “Fast and Furious 7” doesn’t have, it’s smart and witty dialogue. Corny one-liners litter the film like explosions. But then, you didn’t come to watch this film for Shakespearean monologues, and the dialogue serves to deliver exposition and humour, so it’s a forgiveable flaw.

Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel) catches a breather. (Universal Pictures)

For a film that’s the seventh in the its franchise, “Fast and Furious 7” shows no sign of jumping the shark. In fact, it has honed its own series into a surprisingly fun and entertaining body of films. There’s no stopping the “Fast and Furious” juggernaut, and if this movie is anything to go by, we’ll be seeing their cars in outer space soon.

Should you watch this at weekend movie ticket prices? Yes.

Should you watch this at weekday movie ticket prices? Of course.

"Fast and Furious 7" opens in cinemas 2 April, 2014 (Thursday).