Film Review: Fast & Furious 7

by Sami Ho

Rated M. Starring Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Dwayne Johnson. Directed by James Wan.

Seven movies is a lot for the Fast & Furious (F&F) franchise, especially for a series that wasn’t originally based on a book or TV show. But what an impact it has had – with multi-million dollar revenue expected within the first few weeks, the whole world seems to be in love with it. Even those who weren’t fans of F&F noted the death of Paul Walker (playing Brian O’Conner) as a tragic loss – for friends and family, but also for the continuation of the franchise.

Fast & Furious 7 follows the trail of Dominic Toretto (Diesel), one of the Furious crew being hotly pursued by Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham), after previously leaving his brother in a comatose state. At the same time, a random appearance of U.S. government official, ‘Mr. Nobody’ (Kurt Russell), recruits the crew along with captured hacker Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel) to obtain the ‘God’s Eye’ device, away from the hands of Somalian terrorist Jakarde (Djimon Hounsou). This technological weapon would allow full surveillance and destruction of anyone under the sun. The main problem for Toretto, however, is that Shaw is out to get revenge on him and his family. What Shaw doesn’t know is that there is more to the family than he realises.

Now, I’m no car techie. Originally, my suspicions of a glorified car show were confirmed. Spiffy car models with even more skimpily clad lady models – could a movie like this really have any substance apart from revving engines and ego? Thankfully, as even Toretto noted, ‘This time, it ain’t just about being fast.’

The action scenes are well-shot and exciting, which only slightly covers up the semi-ludicrous plotline (why would a government agency ask these guys to use cars in a mission?). Despite all this, the movie contains some real gems in terms of loveable characters, surprisingly witty dialogue, and significant themes.

‘You want to know how to kill a shadow? Shine a little light on it.’

This light, in Furious 7, comes from the love and sacrifice that the team have for one another. It’s a ‘bro’ world. “Salute mi familia” says Toretto – one of the heart-pounding mantras of the crew.

It reminds me of the brotherhood that Christians share with Jesus himself, whose mission it was to give up his own life for his family. God became man so that we might have life, and share this God-given friendship to all of humanity. John 1:1-5:

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”

Cheesy, immature and predictable at times, I couldn’t help but roll my eyes at Fast & Furious 7. But the bonds between the F&F crew were so warmly presented that I couldn’t help but shed maybe a tear or two, at the emotional ending.

I’m giving Fast & Furious 7 three stars out of five.

Fast & Furious 7 is screening now in cinemas everywhere.

For more film reviews from a Christian perspective, connect with Reel Gospel on Facebook and Twitter.

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