2 Stars – Violent
The seventh film in the Fast & Furious series is directed by James Wan and continues the ensemble cast that was assembled over the previous six films. Written by Chris Morgan, as were all the films since Fast & Furious Tokyo Drift, this film increases the action and the complexity within the relationships of this loyal family of characters.
Building on previous events of the most recent Fast & Furious 6, we enter the story as the cruel Deckard Shaw (Jason Stratham) is taking revenge upon the team who killed his younger brother. A British special forces trained rouge assassin, Shaw has combat skills that are beyond belief as the opening scene implies. He is a master villain who is able to raise the level of action both with the cars and the violence.
The leader of the team is Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and his beautiful wife Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) is struggling with amnesia. The story returns to the romantic tension and drama of their developing relationship and forgotten past since she doesn’t remember that she loves him. Another couple is Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker who died during filming) and his wife Mia (Jordana Brewster) who are attempting to have a domestic life together with their son. The CIA investigator Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) continues in the tale and the ensemble cast includes the addition of “Mr. Nobody” (Kurt Russell) of special ops, Jakande (Djimon Hounsoun) as an international terrorist, and Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel) as an unparalleled hacker.
Woven into this tale of revenge is a new computer capability of weaving together every computer and every camera throughout the world. Called “God’s Eye”, this capability cannot be allowed to fall into the hands of Jakande. But for various reasons, the governmental agencies can’t take action but depend upon the independent team of Torettos.
The importance of family is a central theme of the film and weaving together images from the entire series, the film takes time at the end to honor Paul Walker. Although an action revenge film, this emphasis on the humanity of the characters helps the story keep a balance that lifts it from only being a violent film. Obviously intending to make more sequels, the story leaves the door open as the tale is not complete. For the Fast & Furious fans, that is a hopeful implication.
- The implication that a team of people can become a loyal family is inviting. Do you have a group of people with whom you share life at a deeper level than others and whom you consider as your “family”?
- The action spans several continents and cultures. Did you think the treatment of the United Emirates was respectful or stereotypical? Why do you answer as you do?
- Did you find the plot believable or of spiritual or social value? Why or why not?