And so the first of this year’s MANY mega blockbusters has been released. I never really loved the Fast and Furious flicks. They seemed to follow the Transformers method of production: bland and/or annoying characters, ridiculously simplistic plotlines that try to sound complex, and non-stop action and explosions. However, I saw Furious 7, and had more fun than when I watched Kingsman: The Secret Service (and that was fun).
This (hopefully) final entry into the franchise is directed oddly enough by James Wan. He directed Saw, Insidious, and The Conjuring (see a pattern here?). If you ask me, James is probably the best director this franchise has had so perhaps this will result in a great movie. You know who stars in this film (but for no reason I’m going to name them anyway): Dwayne (The Rock) Johnson, Paul Walker (R.I.P.),Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Jason Statham, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris, and Kurt Russell (heck yeah!).
I’ll begin with the negatives. Because this is one of those movies that has a cast full of celebrities (like Expendables or The Avengers), I have to go over their performances. With the exception of Dwayne, they are all ridiculously over-the-top and overly dramatic, and (unlike Expendables 3) that makes this all the more hilarious for me. Secondly, the dialog. I usually don’t mention things like this, but I have not seen lines this cheesy since Die Another Day! Seriously, every other sentence is a corny one-liner. Third, did you notice how Dwayne is one of the first people credited in the trailers? By that logic you’d assume that he has a large role in the movie, but no, he does not. He is in the film for 15 minutes at the beginning and appears at the last 20 to be awesome and provide trailer footage. This tells me that he was literally cast for this movie just to boost the sales. And if you’re going to argue that since he is part of the Fast and Furious storyline, he doesn’t have to contribute as much as the other actors, then allow me to obliterate that statement by saying that because he was in the last two of these movies and is one of the first people credited, if anything he should have more involvement with the story because of that. Finally, the vulnerability of the characters. I kid you not, the characters in this movie are INVINCIBLE! I am not joking. In one scene, two characters fight with metal bars. They hit each other multiple times and when they miss, the surface they hit (it’s usually concrete) breaks. So tell me, how in the heck, are these characters bones not breaking in half when they get hit? This is probably the least of the outrageous scenarios that the characters somehow survive. My suspension of disbelief was annihilated by the end of the first act.
Now the positives. For one, it is directed and shot well (save for a few odd or nauseating angles), the action is mostly cool to watch, some of the stunts are amazing, the story here is actually semi-well thought out (which is more than I can say for some other action films) and at the end of the movie, there is a very heartwarming sequence that will make your day. However, the one thing I want you to gather from this review is that despite its flaws, it is just plain fun. Even the bad stuff makes this all the more enjoyable and I think you all should see it. Definitely a worthy film to be the last entry in Paul Walker’s career, and an enjoyably stupid movie that is worth your time and money. This gets Guy’s Guru Grade of a B.