Saturday 28 March 2015

Fast and Furious 7 ... Stuck in 1st gear

THE Fast and Furious franchise is back for the seventh time, but without Paul Walker, who
died in a car crash (ironic, isn't it?). It was nice of Vin Diesel to name his newborn daughter Pauline in honour of his former friend.
   The film carries on with the theme of family. It's not every man for himself, but it's every man for this multiracial family.
  Furious 7, however, gets stuck in first gear and never gets going. I felt bored and restless in the first few minutes and hoped that the action scenes would rev me up. However, despite all the hullabaloo happening on screen, I never felt aroused by it.

   One reason could be that viewers would have seen all the action before. The prerequisite implausible car scene, involving freeing a beautiful hacker, is more than viewers can hope for, but a voice inside them will tell them that science fiction films are more believable than this.
   Furthermore, the film let the cat out of the bag by showing this scene in its trailer, thereby removing any iota of excitement.
   Diesel, who's also a producer of the film, is still the glue that holds this motley crew together. His tough-guy persona is wearing thin, as is his ability to take hits from bad guy Deckard (Jason Statham)  and the number of times he survives car crashes.
   His Dominic Toretto is as gruff as ever but I didn't empathise with him as much as I did in the sixth film of the franchise.
   Walker, who died two years ago in speeding-car accident, is gently pushed aside as Brian. Dominic tells Brian that the bravest thing the latter ever did was to be a father to his family. Such a sombre scene requires time for it to sink into viewers, but in the next scene, we see bikini-clad women strutting their stuff in Abu Dhabi.
   Has anyone noticed that this franchise's preferred way of filming sexy babes is something that I call below-the-butt eyeline?
   Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) looks hot wearing a red gown and duking it out with another babe.
   Roman (Tyrese Gibson) cracks jokes and Tej (Ludacris) provides the necessary IT support. They briefly fight over sultry hacker Ramsey (British actress Nathalie Emmanuel) and just when you thought that they'd argue over her intellect, Malaysian-born director James Wan lets viewers ogle her in her black bikini at the beach.
   The film's preposterousness reaches a new level with a sports car flying through three high-rise towers. Even if you had wanted to gawk at its silliness, the film took that away by showing it in its trailer.
  The ending, which takes place in downtown Los Angeles, is the final nail in the coffin for the film. An armed helicopter can wreak havoc with nary a sight of US jet fighters intercepting it. The police, meanwhile, are inept because they can't stop the accidents caused by car chases.
   By this time, however, I just wanted the film to finish so I could get out of the theatre.
1 out of 5 stars


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