"One last ride."
So finally watched the 7th installment in the popular Fast and Furious franchise. Its amazing how this franchise has increased its popularity and success, be this long, and not be based on a book or something. Directed by James Wan, who previously was known only for famous horror flicks like The Conjuring and Insidious, did a great job delivering a full on high budget action film and a great send off to Paul Walker, gotta give him kudos for this.
The passing of Paul Walker had an overall presence throughout the movie. And it only got more potent as the movie went on. This is the last film of his, and the movie gave him an amazing send-off. The tribute at the end was truly beautiful. In fact, this marks the first time that I was brought to tears in a cinema. I did a full re-watch of all the previous parts prior to watching this, so everything was fresh in my mind and while watching the tribute, I Just couldn't hold it anymore. Knowing that this will be the last we ever see of Brian/Paul Walker, it just got to me. THE FEELS WERE JUST TOO MUCH!!
The film takes right after Fast and Furious 6 and finally ties into events in Tokyo Drift and moves on from there. The main antagonist this time is older and more badass brother of the villain from previous part, played by Jason Statham. He was a great addition in my opinion, brought in proper badassness to the villain side. The rekindling of Dom and Letty continues in this part, and the team now gets together to find a way to hunt down the new baddy, which came in terms of a computer/hacking plot point, which was neither bad nor good, but it worked for the movie.
Story and flow of the movie felt disjointed. It felt like many of the scenes were just put in sequence without much thought given into how they'll fit and flow. I guess a much of this had to do with the passing of Paul Walker and they had to re-write the script and stuff. The movie retained the essence of the previous parts, especially the last two. Stuff like a lot of cheesy scenes, dialogues, action film cliches etc, but hey, that's a part of this franchise, so it's all good. Humour again was focused mostly on Tyrese Gibson, and it really did make me chuckle and even laugh a few times, even if it was stupid mostly.
Now, the action in this film is awesome. This is genuinely a great action film all round and the thing that made it really EPIC was that there wasn't just one kind of action in it. It had car/vehicle warfare, shootouts, hand to hand combats all mixed in nicely. And if you thought that previous parts were over the top, you ain't seen nothing yet. This movie takes ridiculous action sequences to a whole new level. Plenty of amazing sequences that will surely be a talk of action film fans for years to come.
Most of the CGI was great. Lots of awesome stunts and stuff. The movie also did a great job of using body doubles, CGI etc to fill in the scenes of Paul Walker as I didn't notice most of it. The soundtrack was good.
Some stuff that I didn't like was that while the action was great, I do think they went a little too overboard this time. You can only suspense your disbelief to a certain level. Heroes were not only surviving, but almost walking away unscathed from impossible situations a little too often. Also, some of the characters almost felt like superheroes to be honest, it was that ridiculous at times. Another thing that I didn't like was The Rock only had a few scenes, he is easily the biggest addition to this franchise, figuratively and literally. And that letty and dom romance stuff got a bit too much screentime and became annoying.
All in all, another great addition to the franchise, and since it is the 7th installment, it is only meant for the fans of the series. If you're a first timer, you better watch the previous parts first. Great action movie, great send off to Paul Walker. R.I.P