“This time it ain’t just about being fast… This time it’s about setting Jason Statham loose in the F&F universe and letting him kick ass for 137 minutes straight!”
Oh, if only. That little mid-credits scene at the end of FURIOUS 6 promised so much. Here was Jason Statham (whose every film I’ve seen and enjoyed to some degree, except all the ones where he does the voices of CGI garden gnomes), revealing himself as the villain of the next movie. He’s just killed Han and now he’s calling up our man Vin, letting him know he’s coming. We instantly know what that means: part 7 is gonna feature a Diesel/Statham showdown and probably a fight with The Rock as well.
Promises like that, they give me goosebumps. Sure, the film would no longer be directed by Justin Lin, but that guy was never holy in my eyes. He has a real gift for staging massive action scenes while keeping things clear enough to follow, but movies 5 and 6 did feel bloated and were excessively corny in places. I had faith in his replacement, James Wan, mostly based on my appreciation of DEATH SENTENCE. It helped that Wan was saying all the right things: “I’m looking at it like a gritty, ’70s revenge thriller, but one that still fits into the ‘Fast and Furious’ series.” It couldn’t have sounded any better to me. I imagined Statham rampaging through this movie, trying to get revenge on the people who put his little brother in a coma, while Diesel and his crew were doing the same for their lost brother Han.
Turns out that’s not what FURIOUS 7 is like. At all.