Fast and Furious 7: One Last Ride , But a Lackluster One

More stories from Andrew Sosanya

The ‘Fast and the Furious’  franchise has spawned numerous sequels since its 2001 debut and has returned for the seventh installment. However, it’s fast-paced action and lovingly cheesy dialogue almost came to a permanent halt when lead actor Paul Walker died in a car accident in November 2013. With the use of of Walker’s look-alike brothers as stand-ins and digital effects, the movie was able to be finished and released.

With all that hard work tied in to the movie for Walker’s last appearance, you would think the directors and producers would make a better movie this time. But they didn’t. The same thing happens all over again.The same over-the-top action and eccentrics that spawned six sequels were still there. It was the same theatrical sequel formula all over again.

It all goes according to schedule: Reflect on events of last movie, bad guy has a diabolical plan. hero and heroines must somehow thwart the bad guy’s plan with the use of cars, insert standard action movie fight scenes and explosions. And add some cool car scenes and you’ve got yourself a  “Fast and Furious” movie. So enticing. When I sat down in the theatre seats with fellow staff critic Olumide Ijandipe, we began predicting exactly what would happen. We expected unoriginality.

The plot is straightforward. At the start of the movie, good ‘ol Jason Statham acts as the badass villain Ian Shaw ( as he should in every movie) and seeks vengeance on Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) because he crippled his brother.To stop him, the main cast from the last movie returns as Torletto’s crew (Ludacris,The Rock, Tyrese, Paul Walker,etc.). A hacker named Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel) joins the crew this time around. To complement this mission, Toretto also helps out a covert ops commander take out a mercenary to prevent an omnipotent tracking device from getting into the wrong hands. Conveniently, that mercenary happens to be linked to Shaw.The plot only serves as a reason for the crazy action. It acts as the buns to the burger; you don’t really need them but it holds the burger together.

The one standout returning actor is Jason Statham. Known for playing an antihero in most of the movies he stars in, he plays the role pretty well. It can be argued that he is the sole saving grace in the film. My attention was riveted everytime time he appeared. It feels as if he is the only guy who actually fits his role.

Action Action Action. There’s plenty of it. But it’s what keeps fans coming back. Death defying scenes coupled with jaw-dropping moments make it memorable. It’s not just frantic car chasing scenes but also more than enough hand-to-hand combat. But without action, there is no Fast and Furious. However, the action acts a double-edged sword. Sure it may be great, but it’s the only good thing in this movie.

Even with a tribute to Paul Walker in the end, this movie is superficial at best. It felt as if it was made to only quench the thirst of the action-addicted audience. Yes, it’s visually stimulating, but not stomach filling.

Rate : 6.0/10