The Fast and Furious franchise is the gift (or curse) that keeps on giving. I personally thought it would die a natural death after the third instalment, Tokyo Drift, but that was not to be.
Someone should apparently have told me that they had opened up a bottomless Pandora’s Box of street racing movies.
It may seem I’m rambling senselessly, but I merely want to show my disdain for these kinds of movies, it’s similar to all the instalments of Taken.
The storyline always has a basic foundation, a few twists in the building blocks but ultimately you know what to expect from it and how it will end.
They bank on the unwavering loyalty of their diehard fans and those who are generally just fans of action movies. Don’t get me wrong, I understand the appeal.
The adrenaline rush as you are kept on the edge of your seat watching the protagonist escape from an impossible death trap that would have killed any other man.
Naturally, I was apprehensive about watching the film, but my curiosity on what they did with the late Paul Walker’s character got the best of me.
I could already tell from the first fight scene that the director had over-indulged in implausible fight scenes. I am yet to hear of someone thrust from the fourth floor of a building by a high explosion, land on a car on their back, used as cushion to break someone else’s fall and walks away with only a broken arm, leg and fractured collar.
However, I revelled in the camera work, because it was the best I have seen all year.
I’m no expert, but I am certain they used 360 degree rotating cameras or a rotating set or both, either way the alternating directions of gravity effect it created was breathtaking.
It was at this point that I decided to set my prejudices aside and enjoy the movie.
If Need for Speed and the 007 franchise had a love child, it would be The Fast and Furious 7. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but this film felt different from the other six. They definitely pulled out all the stops.
I can actually say I let myself enjoy the ridiculously impossible fight scenes, going so far as believing a car can sky-dive out of a plane and a man can survive a crash from a high cliff without so much as a protective helmet.
I have followed the interaction between the cast of the film in the media since Walker’s death, and it became evident that the hurt they illustrated after his passing was not merely a facade. It’s the same both on and off screen; it is authentic.
The selling point of any film is the chemistry between the actors, and this cast had it down to the letter.
However, none of this compared to its ending, their farewell to Walker, it caused shivers down my spine and I felt tears well up behind my eyes.
Seeing him look so full of life, and Domenic Torretos’ (Vin Diesel) monologue were enough to make a grown man cry.
However, my mild enjoyment of the film does not necessarily mean I will bother watching the 8th instalment, scheduled for release in 2017.
In fact, I would encourage them to retire the franchise while they are still ahead.