Fast & Furious 7 is the fifth highest grossing movie of all time. Yes, you read that right, not the fifth highest grossing Fast & Furious movie but the fifth highest grossing movie ever. How did we get here? To the point where a franchise, which originated as essentially a beat for beat remake of iconic actioner Point Break, which at various points has seen its stars come and go, could last this long and only increase in popularity. The fact is it will probably remain one of the few examples of a franchise that gained fans the more outlandish and ridiculous it got. Normally things go the other way round, see any horror franchise as a prime example or, if you need something a little more high octane, see The Matrix movies or The Transporter franchise.
This time out the Fast & Furious team are living normal lives. Brian (Paul Walker) is doing the soccer-mom thing, Dom (Vin Diesel) is trying to help Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) figure out her way back into the world. But when one of their crew is killed in Tokyo the team find themselves targeted by the brother of Fast 6’s villain in the shape of Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham). With Shaw closing in Dom finds himself offered a deal by a shady government agent known as Mr. Nobody (Kurt Russell) to help rid him of Shaw if the Furious team help him capture a precious piece of computer tech known as God’s Eye. So, as always, Dom and Brian put the band back together and set off on another insane adventure.
Of course the Fast films gave up trying to be original a long time ago, these days it’s simply about one-upping the previous films. So this time there are cars skydiving, cars leaping through buildings, drone attacks, and enough rubber burnt to smell out your living room. Does it all make sense? No, did you read the bit about cars skydiving? Instead what it does is take you on a stupidly enjoyable rollercoaster which refuses let you pause for breath. It’s not quite a case of being so good it’s bad but it has been, for a while now, the more stupid and outrageous the stunts the more the fans bay for more and cheer at the screen. It’s rare to witness a film franchise that evokes such fandom interaction as this.
But with it being more of the same shenanigans from the plot there is a cloud hanging over Fast 7. The tragic death of star Paul Walker could have easily derailed other films. But such is the sense of family unity that has been present from the first Fast film until this one that, rather than kill off his character, the film takes an entirely more devoted and heartfelt route.
Stupid, over-the-top, endlessly fun and with a genuinely heart-string-pulling climax Fast & Furious 7 is fuelled by adrenaline and emotion.