With the seventh instalment of the Fast and Furious franchise, director James Wan has created a montage of mechanical masculinity bursting at the seams with testosterone like a 1993 Toyota Supra sprinting through a mad world where cars can fly, girls can dance naked in the Middle East and cockney British blokes can survive Rock Bottoms through glass tables.
The familiar group of burly bald men return as usual, with Johnson stealing all the best one-liners while Statham’s character, Deckard Shaw, sparks Ludacris action sequences, destroying every city he steps foot in. Amongst the crisply cut, swiftly moving scenes from fast cars to dancing women, the relationship between Diesel’s Toretto and Rodruigez’s Letty checks the romance box. Amnesia grips Letty almost as hard as it grips the audience. Trying to identify the status of this now central relationship seems daunting, but thankfully, Wan spells it out for us in the end.
Of course, it is Paul Walker’s tragic, untimely passing that overshadows the movie. Fans of the franchise will undoubtedly be looking for body doubles and CGI, or imagining how the original story was supposed to go. Yet Wan pulls it off brilliantly. Some will spot the stitches but many will be thoroughly immersed in the ride, with a sensational soundtrack for company. In essence, the movie is exactly what it says it is. It is fast. And it is furious. And it’s jolly good fun because of it.