One of the most popular action sagas in history returns with its best chapter so far. Because if something is clear to me is that the series can still improve and offer even more spectacular movies in the coming years, with new additions to the cast, despite the huge loss involving the death of Paul Walker in a terrible car accident. A fact that is incorporated into the film with great visual talent (the moments that Walker has been replaced with double or CGI are barely noticed) and with great taste. Fans of the series will feel that the actor has the farewell he deserves, with dignity and without being distasteful. And yet, it remains very emotional for everyone. They have done it very well. We wandered from the sad death of the actor how they will manage it in the movie, and the result can not be better in that regard. The fans will be delighted with the solution found and in the way, for sure they will drop a tear knowing what it means for a franchise that, lest we forget, has now seven films. The following, if any, will be without Paul Walker. Here is a perfect farewell.
The film is not perfect, far from it, but neither wants to be. Not looking to revolutionize the history of cinema, and win prizes. Despite declarations of Vin Diesel, which stated that action films are limited when winning awards like the Oscars come, the film is certain about what it offers and it does so without complex and enormous complicity with the viewer. Fast and Furious 7 knows its strength is in the action scenes, each more impossible than the last, in the charisma of its characters and its sense of humor, to prevent the viewer think that the film can be taken seriously . And it’s not a bad thing. It is a virtue of the film that lets you get away from stuff where other films would be criticized mercilessly. From the fifth film, the series has been increasingly spectacular, more fun and less serious. Sometimes it’s just what we need, enter a room knowing that all you will find is pure and simple fun and entertainment. And much better served than in products such as Transformers, seeking the same goal.
Maybe it’s the fact that here the sense of humor really works. Maybe it’s that the characters have real charisma. Maybe it’s just that we have grown fond of Fast and Furious. But it works better than other products. And it works much better than in the previous films. Especially the first four. Fast and Furious was a film without luster and strength in reality, no matter how popular it is. The second was closer to the festive spirit of these new deliveries (forget the boring third one), while the fourth was a new beginning but did not reach the level that was achieved in the last three films. From the fifth we have new characters, new locations that are closer to a spy movie than a street racing film, which is where it all started. Now it seems like a satire of Mission Impossible. The key word is satire, because the action scenes are so disproportionate as wildly impossible and fun, turning the adventures of Ethan Hunt and company in a walk in the park.
There are two sensational additions to the cast of the film, Jason Statham’s a perfect villain, and Kurt Russell, a leading security agency of the government willing to do anything to help Toretto and his family. Both actors add to the festive nature of the film, but that leads us to a couple of problems in the development of history. Elsa Pataky makes only a cameo. Lucas Black is not even that. Dwayne Johnson disappears for much of the film, and it is a pitty. Tony Jaa and Ronda Rousey are wasted in several sections (similar to what happened to Gina Carano in the previous film, but in this case Rousey makes even less and, let’s face it, she doesn’t have the physical presence nor the potential of Carano). To forget those little details, the film shows us the most spectacular action scenes of the franchise. With fewer explosions, but more spectacular. The assault on the convoy, the Sheikh party, the fight between Statham and Johnson or between Statham and Diesel. The end… Everything is exaggerated to levels never seen before, which is saying a lot. Except for this franchise. From cars flying between buildings to people falling from the third floor. Or how to destroy a drone when you have no weapons … you will applaud, laugh and jump into the chair, because the film deserves it.
Much credit is to the new director, James Wan, who gives continuity to the visual style of the series and bring some new tricks. Meanwhile the plot does not matter to anyone, it’s an excuse to get us from one place to another and from one action scene to another. Paul Walker has, twist of fate, some of the highlights of the film in his «face to face» with Tony Jaa. It almost seems that we are watching a superhero movie with no powers, where the characters are faced with forces that overcome them, but with that feeling of family that makes them stronger and that is shared by the public, that also feels part of this particular family. If the saga continues at this rate, I don’t want to think what it can offer, perhaps in the the eighth installment. But please, do not forget to count again with Jason Statham and Kurt Russell, who have now become essential for the series with their presence in this film. Maybe then we can forget the absence of Paul Walker. If they are fans or sensitive, with kleenex to spare. And enjoy.
Miguel Juan Payán
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