This week we were treated to the Fast & Furious 7 premier and in a cinema packed full of automotive junkies we embarked on 140 minutes of adrenaline fuelled madness. In this film, Deckard Shaw played by Jason Statham is out for revenge against Dominic Toretto played by Vin Diesel, and his crew following the death of his brother in Fast & Furious 6. So ensues pure madness filled with smiles, laughs and probably a few tears towards the end when they give Paul Walker who played Brian O’Connor a fitting send off. The film marks the final appearance of Paul Walker, who died on November 30, 2013, with filming only half-completed.
After Walker’s death, filming was delayed for script re-writes, and his brothers Caleb and Cody Walker were used as stand-ins to complete his remaining scenes. The director chose to retire him from the franchise and not kill him off as his character takes a different road to a family life rather than the fast paced battles and bullets that are now common in these films. For the seventh instalment in the multi-million dollar franchise, the emphasis was on real stunts which we found hard to believe but it turns out that they damaged or destroyed some 340 cars used in the film. Only 10% of the action sequences in the film were generated by computer, which is an impressive figure by any films standards.
If you feel ready for cars skydiving out of airplanes or witness a daring mid-road rescue sequence where two cars drift and exchange a passenger not to mention Paul Walker running alongside the side of a massive bus as it prepares to tip off the side of a cliff then this is the film for you. It’s a great couple of hours of escapism and if it is to be the final film in the franchise then it could be argued that it is the best. One thing is for sure the film is still very much about the cars. Over the years not just the characters have grown up but also the cars they drive. This new film featured heavily modified american muscle cars, superscars and even a few hypercars.
Take for example the Lykan Hypersport. This Middle Eastern supercar, made by the Beirut-based company W Motors, is the most expensive to feature in a Fast & Furious film. There are only seven models of the car in the world, with each one priced over 3 million a piece. The film destroyed 6 replicas in the making of the film, non of which featured the cool headlights that are illuminated with white gold, diamonds and sapphires on the real cars. There is also plenty of eye candy for both male and females as the good looking cast seem to age exceptionally well and even after the roughest of fight scenes still manage to look good.
We won’t elaborate to much on the film or show you clips that take the surprise out of certain sections of the movie. Instead we urge you to attend your local cinema and take it all in as it happens. We would like to thank Universal for this opportunity to go see the film and in particular for inviting us to see what it takes to be a stunt driver in the run up to the film. As previously mentioned we got to drive a purpose built slalom course under the stop watch and preformed various handbrake turns, drifts and precision moves to give us a feeling of what it might be like to be a stunt driver on the set of the Fast & Furious. Universal and Mondello park made us feel most welcome and we now appreciate the driving behind these films even more.