It’s not often that the seventh instalment of a film franchise triggers so much anticipation and success, but Fast and Furious 7 has certainly exceeded its predecessors. After just 10 days the film earned an enormous £26.25 million, beating the popularity of this year’s Fifty Shades of Grey which stood at £25.24m at the same 10-day stage.
The Fast and Furious films have always been extremely popular, the sixth instalment also broke Box Office records, but this film certainly sits closer to the hearts of the fans and the actors. Paul Walker’s death in 2013 called for a hiatus on the filming until both of Paul’s brothers—Cody and Caleb—stepped in to continue their brother’s part with the help of CGI, making sure Furious 7 became Paul Walker’s legacy.
The chronology of the Fast and Furious franchise sometimes difficult to follow. This film, although set after Tokyo Drift, does find the gang where we left them in Fast and Furious 6: having successfully hospitalised the British baddie, brother of character Shaw (Jason Statham), and in turn creating a new enemy seeking vengeance and justice for his big brother. Also with the creation of a mass surveillance gadget ‘God’s eye’, the gang must protect creator Ramsey and stop the gadget from falling into enemy hands. This along with the usual: fast cars, far-fetched stunts, chases and fights create the premise for the film.
The films have certainly swayed their original focus from fast cars to a more emotional standpoint into the characters’ lives and stories. The stunts are no longer bordering on the realms of reality but instead firmly cemented in the extraordinary. The writers continue to find reasons for the characters to rob moving enemy vehicles and jump from moving cars, and now have added flight into the mix. While a little fantastic at times, the film as a whole isn’t ridiculously absurd; it simply pushes the limits of reality.
The films continue to remain popular and still manage to keep the audience intrigued: Furious 7 includes Michelle Rodriguez fight scenes, flying cars and extreme stunts. The majority of the fighting comes from the clash of the bald men! Vin Diesel and Jason Statham go head-to-head in primitive brawls and car crashing both for revenge and for their family’s justice—the prominent theme throughout.
The ending’s tribute to Paul Walker certainly tugs at our heart strings, and seeing the teary eyes of the actors on screen only makes the reality of Paul Walker’s untimely death more pertinent. The emotions on screen are those of true friends looking to a man they deemed a brother. Vin Diesel’s speech alongside Wiz Khalifa’s (ft. Charlie Puth) ‘See You Again’ insured there wasn’t a dry eye in the cinema. It was the perfect way to say goodbye to a member of the Furious family and could not have been done in a better way—the simple forking of a road says a final farewell to Paul Walker. May he rest in peace always.