Fast & Furious 7: A befitting farewell to Paul Walker

 “I don’t have friends. I got family.”

– Dominic Toretto, Fast & Furious 7

This quote sums up the entirety of Fast & Furious 7’s plot. And of course, life isn’t just about cars, muscles and guns. It’s about friends, family and relationships. The perfect farewell to the star who left us too soon, Paul Walker’s last ride is nothing short of a blockbuster. With the franchise’s trademark muscle cars, over-the-top action sequences (seriously, someone drove out of one building and landed in another) and complete disregard for physics, it never has a dull moment. Though the film has its fair share of flaws,Fast & Furious 7 excels at striking a seemingly impossible balance between gut-busting action and poignant emotional moments.

The Fast and Furious, with its seventh film since its inception in 2001, pushes the limits with ‘beast’ like cars and death-defying stunts. In the previous film, Ian Shaw (Luke Evans) was killed but it doesn’t seem so. He appears to be in a coma, with his elder brother Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) out for blood. After killing one of Dom’s (Vin Diesel) crew members, he comes after the whole team. They ride across the Caracas Mountains to the dunes of Abu Dhabi.

They rescue a hacker named Ramsey (Emmanuel) who has created the ultimate tracking device, God’s Eye. With a mercenary Jakande (Djimon Hounsou) out to grab the device, they are assisted by a beer connoisseur cum government official (Kurt Russell). They ride across the Caracas Mountains to the dunes of Abu Dhabi, with the air-drop scene getting a special mention. The movie is a delight due to the return of notable cars from previous films and characters. The story is set after the events of Tokyo Drift (2006), after which Dom visits Sean Boswell (Lucas Black). However, the action sequences are far too long and the director hurriedly goes through personal relationships, focusing more on action sequences.

You cannot expect much acting from the trio of Diesel, Statham and Johnson, but surely watch it for the action sequences between them. Surprisingly, Tyrese Gibson steals the show with his comic one-liners. This film bid adieu to the character of Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker), with Paul’s brother Caleb and Cody completing his scenes. Dijmon Hounsou’s lines are forgettable, and it seems as if he was given an impromptu role.

Locales have been used to great effect, but there is an odd disconnection between the viewer and movie. The mumbo-jumbo of cars flying in air, through rooftops (yes, that happens) is unrestrained and loses the charm of the 5th and 6th installments, where the storyline settled in. The last scene is touching for everybody, and after a decade and a half, Walker races off into the sunset.

The question is: are we over the ever expanding arsenal of cars complemented with smart manoeuvres? Had the series reached its zenith under previous director Justin Lin? This will only be answered in the eighth installment, which will be set in New York, after an announcement by Vin Diesel.

Why you should watch it?

Watch it for Paul Walker, who leaves behind his legacy and a part of us. The cars are in a league of their own, outdoing the ones from the previous films.

Here’s what the people think about FF7!

– Shlomoh Divekar

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