An interesting fact, acclaimed screenwriter David Ayer (Fury/End of Watch) contributed his writing talents to the original The Fast and the Furious back in 2001. What is glaringly lacking in the seventh instalment is a script and storyline that makes sense. Chris Morgan’s dialogue is full of cliches, though Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson absent for a large chunk of the pic is afforded the opportunity to mouth some crowd pleasing one liners, such as telling his adorable young daughter ”daddy’s gotta go to work.” The cinema audience almost rose out of their seats and broke into rapturous applause at this point, as the Rocks pectorals get bigger with each instalment of the franchise.
Aussie Director James Wan, known for the Saw films and the impressive 2013 horror pic, The Conjuring, invests most of his energy in orchestrating a series of extraordinarily absurd action sequences. After an awkward opening sequence that has Dominic and Letty suffering from the impact of her ongoing amnesia, with dialogue lifted from ‘The Bold and the Beautiful’ the film gets down to business.
The story picks up from Fast & Furious 6, we discover that Deckard Shaw (Statham) older brother to the chief baddie of Furious 6 Owen Shaw is on the warpath with the goal to kill the furious family. The last film concluded with the disposal of Han (Sung Kang) in a fiery crash. The ghost of Paul Walker hangs over proceedings and whenever he appears a tinge of sadness follows. Apart from the revenge theme that permeates the narrative, a subplot involving terrorists, who want to get a hold of a computer program labelled “God’s Eye”. The designer of the program Nathalie Emmanuel looks great in a bikini, as Wan pays homage to Michael Bay’s penchant for up-skirt voyeurism.
One action sequence, tops the other until the film climaxes on the streets of LA. One set-piece has the crew parachute out of a cargo airplane with their cars into the Azerbaijani mountainside range to rescue the computer programmer from the clutches of the bad guys, led by oscar nominee Djimon Hounsou. This scene is brilliantly orchestrated and is a triumph of direction, editing and stunt work. Credit must go to stunt coordinator and second unit director Spiro Razatos for this and other breathtaking sequences. The major action set-piece in Abu Dhabi is less impressive, not so much for its technical brilliance but for the absurdity of cars flying between buildings. Whilst Diesel and Walker are gliding between one high rise to another, Rodriguez and female UFC champ Ronda Rousey are destroying a hotel room in a bruising fight. The film impresses with its capacity to execute multiple action scenes simultaneously. The films editors include Christian Wagner (Furious 6), Kirk M. Morri (The Conjuring), Dylan Highsmith and Leigh Folsom Boyd.
The franchise of seven films to date has been remarkably successful. Furious 6 alone made $788.6 million at the worldwide box office and is in the top 50 of the most successful films of all time. The total franchise has recorded over 2 billion in worldwide box office gross.