Tuesday 21 April 2015

SPOILER Discussion - Furious 7

There are two things that are less than spectacular...the plot, and the villain...



One Shaw is better than the other...

          Let's start with the villain. The main baddie, Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) has been teased since the last film, and Statham's a great guy...but his character here is a major disappointment. And this is in direct comparison to the baddie in the previous film, Owen Shaw (Luke Evans), which ironically is his on-screen brother and the reason behind Deckard's motives in this film.

          However, despite his cool posture and badass fighting skills, he never really felt like an intense villain. He appears all of a sudden to cause trouble, but never really threatens. Most of the time, he only fights with Dom. And it only takes Dom (and a crumbling street) to take him out. The others didn't even had a lot to do with Deckard.

          In comparison, Owen Shaw's first appearance in Furious 6 was that of a calm and cunning villain. And throughout, his intelligence & commitment to the battle was clear and the rest of the film felt more like a chess game between Dom's crew and Shaw's gang. That's how impactful Owen Shaw was, and comparatively, I never really feel like Deckard Shaw was doing anything substantial aside from fighting Dom. Instead it feels to me that his story arc and the thing with "God's eye" is an entirely separate plot.

Messy plot...

          Easily, this leads to one of the reasons the plot doesn't work. Initially it feels as if Shaw was going to be the hunter, but then Dom seeks out "God's eye" to hunt him down. And then this is where it gets stupid: Deckard Shaw is there in the bus chase, and again in Abu Dhabi - all the while when Dom was trying to find the device...which again, is supposed to be used to find Shaw. I mean...what the hell? 

          Realistically, Dom should be seeing his real target there, right in front of his eyes. And yet, Shaw could be a more deadly villain by really being invisible...not appearing everywhere Dom is and simply adding a little more trouble to the scene. It just doesn't really work as a plot. It's stupid...and messy, too. Deckard could have been removed from the scene in Abu Dhabi, and it will be much better in terms of plot.

          It's just the fact that Deckard always appears in the middle of something else...and never has the team really doing things solely in the purpose of taking down Shaw. (Maybe they paid Statham too much to not be using him sparingly). A very disappointing villain from a franchise that brought me one of my favourite villains ever in Owen Shaw.

          The plot got messy to accomodate Deckard Shaw and some cooler, next-level, action sequences. Take both away, and I'll find a film with a more natural plot that works.

Touching Tribute

          As an additional note, I still remain glad to find the tribute as the most memorable part of the film for me. When I saw it, I find myself realizing how much Paul Walker/Brian O'Conner is quite the center and the heart of this franchise. Along with Vin Diesel (Toretto), he had been there from the beginning...shaping the franchise from a street racing flick to a car heist/family drama blockbuster. And he's such a nice fellow that I always adore, both on and off screen. The final shot of the separating roads struck me hard, realizing we will never get to see him again - as if the roads could never connect again. No shame in saying that tears came out at the time, and I will forever admire the man that is the heart of this wonderful franchise.  


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