Movie/TV Gossip

Fast & Furious 7 is Here to Make the Cars Fly

o one’s going to claim that Fast & Furious 7 deserves an Oscar. After all, this is a film that has one character say to another, “Don’t use linguistics to make it sound like you know what’s going on,” halfway through its over-the-top climax.

It’s a nice in-joke to the film’s many plot strands that sees the reassembled Fast crew veering between Abu Dhabi, mountainous desert ranges and the mean streets of Los Angeles as they track a hacker called ‘Ramsay’ (rising Game of Thrones star Nathalie Emmanuel) in a bid to defeat ultra-baddie Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham).fast-furious-7

Likewise, no one’s going to claim any of its many action stars – Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, The Rock, Ludacris, Tyrese Gibson and the late Paul Walker – deserve any acting awards. Lets just say they’ve come a long way since their wooden efforts in the 2001 original – and there’s still some way to go.

Director James Wan (The Conjuring) and the returning cast wink at the audience with self-mocking one-liners, delving deeper than ever into fantasy with jaw-dropping car stunts.

On the gentler side, the movie offers a lovely, lump-in-the-throat tribute to the affable Paul Walker, killed in a car accident in November 2013.

Lines of dialogue and plot points can be painful reminders of Walker’s death at age 40. As Brian O’Conner, he talks about yet another funeral, and his wife Mia (Jordana Brewster) urges him not to say goodbye, as if he will never see her again. These scenes simultaneously take the viewer out of the movie, make it even more poignant and underscore life’s fragility.

Fast-and-Furious-6-Group-PhotoSome of those – a funeral, O’Conner telling his wife Mia to “move on”, anything involving Walker in or near a fast car – certainly tug at the heart strings. And with a weighty closing tribute, be warned: the way this Fast film wraps up might leave you – like many at Wednesday night’s Auckland premiere – wiping tears from your cheeks.

Yes, Fast 7 delivers exactly what fans want: a high-octane thrillride that’s a fitting tribute to its late star. Just remember to buckle up and drive home slowly afterwards. It’s what Paul Walker would have wanted.