Starring: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Jason Statham, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, Kurt Russell, Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster, Gal Gadot (Rated M – 137 min).
Forget any kind of logic during ridiculous plot strands that literally take a back seat through high octane ‘business as usual’ action and flagrant disrespect of physics for this seventh addition to the Furious franchise. With no sequel planned or high expectations for the 2001 original, it was practically a Point Break rip-off anyway replacing surfing and skydiving with fast cars. Massive box office followed as street car culture returned to the silver screen not seen since the antics of Smokey and the Bandit. The rest is history.
Delayed a year due to the passing of regular Paul Walker, progress was halted for rewrites to a change of outcome to his character which unravels to be quite the rare sombre moment or two. Chrome-dome Vin Diesel returns as main man troupe leader Dominic Toretto. He thinks his crew has seen the end of avoiding the law and high rolling risk of mercenary life. Wrong. Trouble brews with the return of a disgruntled brother of a former adversary intent on revenge (hardcore new addition Jason Statham) and a shady Government official (legend Kurt Russell) hoping to steal computer technology that can turn ordinary electrical goods into weapons of mass destruction.
This is all a juvenile mind-numbing join the dots screenplay to piece together outrageous frantic vehicle stunt work eager to stun an audience, who rightly have come to expect such dangerous unrealistic feats. Part of the fun is fuel injected one-liners and sight gags throughout including The Rock busting out of a plaster arm cast simply by flexing.
Australian music popette Iggy Azalea has a cameo while many past cast members have often returned in the series. It’s fantastic to see, soon to be seen as Wonder Woman, Gal Gadot make an appearance and to my surprise a cool Lucas Black from the most unpopular third installment, Tokyo Drift.
Loud, dumb, pointless, it is slick popcorn cinema entertainment of the highest order.
Shane A. Bassett