Thursday, 8 October 2015

Furious 7 (2015)

Yeah alright Toretto we get it! family, family, family, sheesh! How is this still going? seriously how?? they're even starting to run out of movie title ideas for Lord's sake. Number seven, following on from the previous movie in some kind of large Marvel inspired universe (groan!). The movie continuity is all over the place, characters have been popping in and out of each flick, they've added new bigger stars and now finally we have our new look fast car heist flick. I simply  call it 'The Expendables: In Fast Cars', or a better one would simply be...'G.I. Joe: In Fast Cars', you getting my drift?

Yeah so the plot involves Toretto having to retrieve some hi-tech gizmo from some nasty mercs for the (US) fuzz, in order to get the lowdown on Jason Statham's character (Shaw) who is trying to kill Toretto's family because of the events of the last movie...deep breath! Some how this is all gonna involve using souped-up cars, as if you hadn't already guessed. Just a warning, as if you didn't already know, these souped-up cars will come and go, they will appear out of nowhere in virtually every scene. Toretto and co might smash up some lovely highly modified cars in one scene, but sure enough, he'll have a brand new one ready for the next scene, outta nowhere, we've all come to expect it.
But wait! this time its not just Toretto's family that have a constant stream of souped-up cars on hand, oh no. The villain (Shaw) has even more expensive cars on hand for every scene, we're talking super car shit here boy...the expensive kind. This guy doesn't think twice about ramming his massively expensive Maserati Ghibli head-on into Toretto's Plymouth Road Runner, a collision that both parties walked away fine from I might add. Also amusing to note that Statham is playing an undercover ex-special forces guy who is basically a ghost...a ghost that drives around in amazing super cars that will draw lots of attention.

How can I put this, this film ain't too subtle about anything it does, but again, we all knew this. In previous movies the action has been wild and the stunts outrageous, but there was always a certain degree of realism. The stunts would generally be real, the action would generally be acceptable and overall everything was grounded enough that you could engage and immerse yourself in this world of fast car hi-jink. Unfortunately this all ends here, this movie has stepped over that line into the ridiculous and there is no going back, this movie is officially a dumb CGI cartoon.

Don't get me wrong, it all starts off OK with a good strip racing scene where a crappy Audi gets taken down, seriously these German wannabes make me laugh. You want an image, you need a fast car, you want a fast car, you need either a ricer or at least American muscle (Italian as a last resort). After that we get a great fight between Statham and Dwayne Johnson, it all looks good, everything so far is fine in movieland. Eventually we get to the funeral sequence for Han (from the best movie in the Franchise, number 3), this is where things start to go down hill. Right in the middle of this funeral, Toretto has some kind of Jedi super sense moment and notices Statham's Maserati (quite some distance away), before you can say holy coilovers! he's in his Plymouth and we're in a car chase.

This is but a mere quibble compared to the rest of this monstrosity...oh yes. This movie goes above and beyond any kind of remote levels of realism you might have ever expected. They parachute cars out of a plane managing to land them precisely on target, on a road, in the middle of a mountainous region, bang on time. All these cars get wrecked during this eastern European adventure, but fear not, they have a whole new set of cars for their Arabian adventure, including a flippin' Veyron!

Statham is easily the best thing about this poor movie but alas he's not involved too much. Nevertheless his character does manage to pop up virtually everywhere, briefly, somehow, but always fails to kill his targets. In the Arabian adventure section he has Toretto and Brian in a car, in his sights, point blank range with a machine gun fitted with a grenade launcher. Yet he fails to hit them, much of the car, the tyres and even fails to hit them with the grenade launcher, special forces you say? Dwayne Johnson is absent for most of the movie until the finale where he rips off his broken arm cast and tools up in his hospital room. always keep multiple weapons, body armour, ammo and assault clothes in your recuperation room in hospital. He then manages to drive an ambulance off a walled bridge, to precisely land on top of a speeding jet propelled drone that was passing underneath it...seriously.

Speaking of that drone, how much fucking damage and destruction was caused during that chase sequence?! How many people were injured or killed, admittedly its not quite as bad as the previous antics involving a tank and a massive vault, and this time its not been carried out by the good guys, but still. How long would it take for fighters or police choppers to scramble and intercept this rogue chopper firing guns and rockets in downtown LA? We have car jousting between another of Shaw's super cars, an Aston Martin DB9, (he just has them on tap apparently) and Toretto's Dodge Charger...which comes out unharmed. Dwayne Johnson taking down an armoured chopper with a minigun from the crashed drone, in the middle of the street, managing not to get hit by return fire and a whole load of other bollocks that just made me cringe and yawn.

This entire exercise was completely pointless, there is nothing to engage you here, everyone is invincible, you know no ones gonna die (well not in the movie at least...did that tragic event help with the box office for this? hmmm), what's the chuffing point?! The bit at the end where Toretto is seemingly dead and everyone is crying was so utterly stupid I almost switched it off...for about the fifth time. Crowbar in the butch-ugly Ronda Rousey for an aimless fight (Rodriguez looking like mutton dressed as lamb), wasting Tony Jaa and then trying to make up for everything by utilising the cult Kurt Russell is little too late I'm afraid, Kurt is better than this.

The dialog is absolutely dreadful from everyone, such unbelievable, over the top, macho bullshit quips. The humour is also pitiful and predictable, how can anyone say any of this stuff and try to bring it across as serious is beyond my comprehension. But the main issue is this movie isn't just a goofy videogame-esque movie, you can see they have taken it seriously, it is suppose to be a semi-serious action flick. Look at the overall tone, the emotion, certain scenes of dialog, the action, the way cast members like Vin Diesel act, its all very serious, Vin Diesel takes this all very seriously, its his baby. Plus much of the fanbase will take this all seriously too, to many all this hip-hop, bling and swagger is the epitome of cool, they actually think its genuinely cool. The movie doesn't really help women in movies either I feel, surprised this hasn't got any backlash considering the recent attitude in modern society, just saying.

This franchise has always been a guilty pleasure for me, mainly for the Jap super saloons (ricers), as with other similar fast car flicks. There is nothing wrong with a popcorn action flick, just pure escapism and thrills, but you still need a reasonable level of realism you can relate to, you need the human laws of gravity and physics. If there is literately no limit to what the characters can do with or without cars (or whatever) then the whole affair becomes a pointless joke, a completely absurd pile of nonsense. This movie takes the biscuit, completely idiotic and brainless (and that's just the main characters), to say you need suspension of disbelief is an understatement.