Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Fast & Furious 7 (4 Stars)

I skipped a couple of films here. More than a couple. I watched "Fast & Furious" on television about ten years ago, and this is only the second film in the series I've seen. The films in a franchise like this are usually suitable for standalone viewing, but in this case I think I've lost out slightly. Supposedly "Fast & Furious 6" was split into two films, because it was decided the story was too big for one film to do it justice. In the first 15 minutes of "Fast & Furious 7" there were repeated references to things that had already happened, probably in the previous film.

I didn't watch the film when it first appeared in the cinemas six weeks ago. The hype surrounding the film, combined with having missed the previous five parts, made me stay at home. But I was aware of the praise being heaped on the film, so I was getting more and more curious, and it's already become the fourth highest grossing film ever. This week is the last week it's playing in my local cinema, Cineworld Broad Street, so I thought I would go to see it while I have a last chance.

If I understand the Fast & Furious franchise correctly, after reading a brief summary online, it's gone through a slow shift in style from the first to the seventh film. It began as a sympathetic portrayal of lawless road racers, but the emphasis has shifted to being about good guys taking down bad guys. What links the films, rather than the plots, is the reliance on breathtaking car chases. That's what impressed me today more than anything else. Was it a good story? Who cares? The action was incredible. It's all about fast cars and gunfights. That's what makes the film a joy to watch. After seeing it today I want to go back and watch the first six films. I need to catch up on what's been happening so far.

An eight instalment of the film series has already been planned. There are differing rumours whether the complete series will contain eight or ten films. However many there will be, let's hope they keep getting better.

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