The latest installment in the Fast and Furious franchise is out now with Furious 7! Does it do the series justice? Should you watch it? Read on!
It's been a pretty timultuous endeavor for the Fast and Furious team since Paul Walker's passing. However, despite this tragedy, they still managed to make a film that honors his memory and making an exciting, edge of your seat thriller. Furious 7 begins right where Fast & Furious (6) ends. Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) stands over his brother's unconscious body and vows to take revenge on the team that did this to him. We are then transported to California where Dominic Teretto (Vin Diesel) is trying to help Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) regain her memory by going back to the drag racing site from the first movie. Meanwhile, Brian O'Conner (Paul Walker) is adjusting to family life but isn't doing too well at it. When an attack by Shaw threatens the people Teretto holds dear, a worldwide war begins.
Despite initial reports from Vin Diesel that this movie would be in Oscar contention, Furious 7 won't be getting any awards anytime soon. However, that doesn't mean this isn't a good movie. Furious 7 is an intense thrill ride that is sure to entertain audiences from start to finish. That's about all it does, though, entertain. Furious 7 has a plethora of plotholes from Letty leaving Dominic and coming back about 10 minutes later to the US Government's unnecessary help in finding Shaw when Shaw is literally everywhere the team goes. That's not all though, as there were a few moments that forced you to dispel your belief of reality. For instance, Teretto lifting up the bumper of a car up to his chest, grunting for a bit and then acting like it's no big deal, since apparently he's always been a human tire jack. Furthermore, we are forced to listen to some of the cheesiest, ear-cringing dialogue in movies to date. So, I'm sorry Vin but you won't be receiving any gold statues for Best Picture anytime soon. Now that I've laid out everything that is wrong with the movie, let's talk about the many things Furious 7 does right.
Fast & Furious movies are well known for performing some of the biggest action sequences. A few titles ago on Fast Five, the team pulled a bank vault through the streets of Brazil. Then, in the previous title, the team fought a tank and Teretto learned that he could fly with just the right amount of speed and impact from his car. Furious 7 takes all the action sequences from the previous films and pushes the envelope completely off the table. Skydiving with cars, jumping a car between three buildings, and unleashing an Apache helicopter in LA are just a few of the amazing sequences that come to mind. However, there are far more incredible feats this movie has to offer. Many times I sat in my chair, gripping the arms, gaping unknowingly. It's moments like these that make this movie arguably the best in the franchise.
Another feature that I don't think gets enough credit in this series is the fight choreography. The previous films had some pretty great fight scenes. Especially between the Rock and Vin Diesel. However, the fight between Hobbs (Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson) vs Shaw (Jason Statham) might just take the cake. The back and forth between the two and how the fight ends are some of the most entertaining parts of this movie. Plus, Teretto vs Statham was also pretty good. I wish they would've given more time to it as it seemed like an afterthought during the helicopter scenes. Although, the scenes they dedicated to it were still pretty entertaining. Another fight that may be a bit undervalued was the one between Letty and Ronda Rousey's character. This one was pretty technical and just fun to watch. I still think Ronda would've won no problem but it is a Fast and Furious movie so once again I must dispel my knowledge of reality.
In each installment, Fast & Furious movies always bring in a new big actor. This year, they brought in Kurt Russell and Jason Statham. Both provided a ton of excellent moments. The hunt between Statham's character and the team was incredibly entertaining. While it started to become predictable, it never got stale. It actually made the movie amusing and exciting. Meanwhile, the addition of Kurt Russell, while at times unnecessary, made for a really nice cameo. He was this eccentric black ops director who is just crazy enough to allow the team to do whatever crazy stunt they think will be effective. Plus, he does get a pretty nice moment when he plays secret agent badass and takes down a bunch of enemies. These additions made for a really fun movie. Although, we can't forget about the others. While I wish Dwayne Johnson was in it more, the rest of the team wasn't bad. Ludacris and Tyrese's characters were funny but at times predictable and bland. Paul Walker's character wasn't very engaged, however we can't really knock them for that. I feel like at times they forgot about Letty and really had no idea what to do with her. Then there is Vin Diesel's character who was the main in this movie, as well he should be. I think Vin did a terrific job with his character. Always fighting, mentally, physically, and emotionally. He made me wonder if the guy ever gets a break to just sit around and watch Game of Thrones or something.
The end of the movie is arguably the best part of the film. The team with Fast and Furious produced a wonderful tribute video, honoring Paul Walker. It was narrated by some powerful words from Vin Diesel and it had the whole theater in tears. It was the first time I have ever seen a movie do something so moving for a man who did so much for a franchise. The video proved that this cast really was a family. Paul Walker will forever be remembered in the movies he entertained us with and the people he touched.
Also, I'll point out that the absence of Police/Military presence in DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES is interesting considering that things are blowing up because of a dangerous terrorist/mercenary who somehow has a super advanced military attack helicopter and drone is chasing around cars speeding through the streets.