Furious 7 (2015)

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After wrecking half of London trying to track down and subdue Owen Shaw (Luke Evans), Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and his crew head back home to the states to return to their lives. Brian (Paul Walker) and Mia (Jordana Brewster) have a son and Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) is starting to remember more. When Han (Sung Kang) is killed by Owen Shaw’s brother, Deckard (Jason Statham), the gang realize that they’re being hunted and they need to do something about it. With Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) coming in and out the picture, new orders come from Mr. Nobody (Kurt Russell) about how the group can solve their problem.

Dom and Brian share a moment.
Dom and Brian share a moment.

Furious 7 picks up exactly where Fast & Furious 6 left off and attempts to up the ante even higher. Now seven films into this series which started with street racing, the films are self-aware of the franchise and its absurd nature. The need to one-up every major stunt each film makes for an amazing time for the audience, but each stunt also finds itself further and further away from reality. People who go to see this film know exactly what they’re going to get and that’s exactly who this film is catered towards. While this film is a ton of fun, it’s not as good as the last two films in the franchise.

With its self-awareness, this film isn’t afraid to go over-the-top to create some ridiculously awesome stuns. As Tyrese Gibson mentions at one point in the film, they’ve already broken into a police station and dragged a tank throughout Rio and have also taken down one of the world’s largest planes. Now, we have skydiving cars and cars that fly between skyscrapers and it’s freaking unbelievable. There are missiles, .50 cal Miniguns, drones, and even war helicopters. The action is intense and well choreographed and the one-on-one fight sequences are just as thrilling.

Dom and Letty share a moment.
Dom and Letty share a moment.

At this point in time, we know these characters well and their chemistry says it all in every scene. The bond these actors have displays wonderfully on-screen and helps with their reinforcement of family in the film. Michelle Rodriguez smiles more in this film than I have ever seen her smile and her relationship with the characters is really great. Jason Statham comes in as the new bad guy in town and he’s a total badass, as expected. Ronda Rousey gets some time to shine in a fist-fight with Rodriguez and Ludacris comes back with even more brawn than before. Tyrese Gibson is Tyrese Gibson, cracking pretty funny jokes at all the worst times.

Now, the most important relationship in this film and the major curiosity surrounding it is that of Vin Diesel and the late Paul Walker. Since the beginning of these films, the two have shared and off and on-screen bond that always elevates their film. Walker, who died in a car accident during the shooting of the film, had two brothers who stepped in to play him after his death and the CGI is almost unnoticeable. The brothers are worked in seamlessly and despite knowing that something has to happen to Walker’s character, the film always has him smiling and doing what he loves. There’s a very special treatment at the end of the film which digs up footage from each film and highlights the effect Walker had on the rest of the cast. It’s a very bittersweet ending that brought most everybody to tears.

Deckard Shaw is on the hunt.
Deckard Shaw is on the hunt.

As easy as it is to see this film without fault because of how it deals with Walker’s character, this film could have benefited from a lot of editing. At nearly two-and-a-half hours, this film goes on way longer than it should and it simply doesn’t have enough mind-blowing action to counter all the fist fights and car chases. The Rock is hardly in the film and his presence is sorely missed. Some way or another, Statham’s character always manages to find the crew in the most impossible of situations and Vin Diesel sets a record for the most inaudible dialogue in the film. There’s also a bonkers sub-plot involving Kurt Russell which only adds time and action to the film. Is it fun? Somewhat. Is it necessary? No.

Furious 7 isn’t nearly as good as Fast Five, or Fast & Furious 6, but it does share a lot of what makes those films so great. When it’s at its highest level, the action in this film is nearly unparalleled and you’re in constant disbelief of what’s going on. The cast always have such a great time together and they work in Statham and Russel surprisingly well. The film’s soundtrack will have you wanting to party in your seat and the film comes to a close with the song “See You Again”, performed by Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth. The song is beautifully written and couples well with the last shot we see of Paul Walker. This film is not the last Fast and Furious film, but it does end on a perfect note.

Furious 7 Trailer
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yISKeT6sDOg

3.5 STARS!!!

3.5 / 5 stars     

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