While short, this review does contain spoilers for Fast & Furious 7 both in the text and in the video accompanying it. If you haven’t seen it yet, this isn’t the review for you.
I loved the original premise for the F&F franchise. Dom, Lettie, and Brian up against the world was my thing. I liked the idea that the characters existed in this morally gray area where they were on the run from the government as well as the actual bad guy in the films.
The shift from car thieve/drag racer centered franchise was a bit unexpected but okay, it works. It really works. And in Furious 7, there’s a really good blend of the dynamics where you have the whole “these guys are doing illegal shit” but they’re also the good guys. I loved how we did get some racing scenes in (the beginning with Lettie was fabulous both because she was back behind the wheel and because we saw her dealing with the trauma caused by her injuries and having flashbacks). I also loved how this starts setting up the stage for the crew to do bigger things and to interact with crime/criminals on this larger scale.
Ugh it’s so good!
This movie really amped everything up to like a hundred. I wasn’t expecting the intensity of some of the scenes and was literally on the edge of my seat the entire time. But it wasn’t all explosions and ass-kicking. There are seriously humanizing elements to the film and plenty of laughs (like actual laughs and not the uncomfortably tense laughs you make when you’re worried about the path a film’s going to take).
Speaking of humanizing elements, I didn’t cry at the wrap up/tribute for Paul Walker and his character Brian but I thought about it and even teared up a bit. It was a very well done set up and I didn’t feel as though it was in any way disrespectful to the actor and his family. The look back at Brian’s evolution as a character and at his place in Dom’s family over the years was so touching. I like that they didn’t kill Brian off in-universe. He’s going to live with Mia and their kids and he truly gets a happily ever after. I mean I was terrified that they were going to kill Brian off while I was watching but in hindsight I absolutely understand why they didn’t go that way. It wouldn’t have been respectful and this way the character is kind of immortal, you know?
Okay so let’s get into high and low points for me for this film.
- The Rock as Luke Hobbs. I love that his character is becoming more and more integral to the franchise. He’s getting fleshed out and getting related side character (like omg he has a daughter!!) so I’m hoping that means that we’ll get more detail for him when/if the series continues.
- Realistic portrayals of PTSD and trauma-related mental health issues with Lettie. I love Lettie to pieces because I think she is one of the best portrayed female action heroes out right now and this movie added layers to her character.
- Nathalie Emmanuel as Megan Ramsey. Okay so it took us seven films but we finally have a black woman as part of the team and I am pleased! Emmanuel is cute as heck and I like that her character is a hacker (a traditionally unattractive film role) but not desexualized like whoa. She better become a regular part of the franchise.
- I can’t decide if my favorite action sequence in the film was with Lettie vs Kara and the bodyguards in Abu Dhabi or Hobbs and everything that has to do with the drone. Geez. Both scenes were killer and I love them to bits!
- So much T&A. I get that car movies are typically seen as guy movies on top of that but was there a reason for all of the ass-shots of women? In most of the scenes, women were window dressing. They were wearing little clothing and the camera zoomed all the way in so that we could see every curve of their lower halves. It’s not something that is particularly welcoming because it reinforces this feeling that these movies aren’t for people who aren’t dudes. And considering how I’m seeing people saying how this film had a 50% non-dude audience (on top of the 75% POC attendance)… that’s messed up.
- Tyrese’s character was the comedic relief in what could’ve been a very tense film and normally, that wouldn’t have been so bad but there’s this one scene that really messed me up with regard to women and their objectification in the film. Not only did Roman call “dibs” on Ramsey (and what is he, like four?) but then he and Ludacris’ Tej get ready to play ‘Rock, Paper, Scissors’ over her like she’s a thing to be won. Um. Hella gross, much?
- It took us seven movies to get to one where we have a black woman on the cast. That’s… that’s really messed up. It’s like a serious misstep and weird because this movie is otherwise great for POC rep. But okay, now that we’ve got Ramsey as a character that looks like she’d fit in well with the crew, maybe they’ll keep using her and she’ll show up more (instead of being written off as dying or something between the 7th and 8th films)?
- Why don’t they ever have guy vs girl fights in these films? Is there a reason?
Things I want in the future of the series
- Lettie going toe-to-toe with one of the dude bad guys for a change because seriously, she can so hold her own against any dude out there
- More of Kurt Russel’s Mr. Nobody being creepy but awesome as hell
- Kara kicking more ass. I need her to team up with Shaw and kick all kids of ass. Like she was so buff and beautiful. I’m still swooning over her.
- More women in the series over all.
- Equal opportunity eye candy. If we’re going to have half-naked women all over the film to appeal to the dudebro contingent, I’m demanding eye-candy for every one else. Two seconds of The Rock shirtless do not count. Got that?
Overall, I loved this movie. It had heavy hitting fight scenes, a bad guy who was suitably terrifying in his ruthlessness, and characters that remain really fun to watch. I think that if you like action movies with a world-traveling bent to them, you’ll enjoy Fast & Furious 7.