‘Fast and Furious 7’
Reviewed by Mitch Burns
Directed by: James Wan (Saw, The Conjuring, Insidious)
Starring: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Michelle Rodriguez, Jason Statham, Jordana Brewster, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris, Dwayne Johnson, Nathalie Emmanual, John Brotherton, Gal Gadot, Tony Jaa, Djimon Honsou, Ronda Rousey, Sung Kang, Luke Evans and Kurt Russel.
The Fast and Furious films have quickly become superhero movies, the differences are few and far between. These characters may as well be wearing capes and tights, and if you note the scene in which they are dressed up to go to a party, walking in slo-mo towards the camera, wind blowing their hair and dresses, to music, they pretty much are. Let’s take away the capes and tights for a second, what other similarities do these characters have to superheroes? Money, gadgets, gorgeous vehicles, otherworldly skills in cars, and computers, and basically the strength and invulnerability of Superman, oh, and super-villains like Lex Luther to boot.
I’m not upset with where the franchise has gone, it’s a tad over the top, but I’ll get into that a bit more later. These films started out as (Fairly) simple racing movies, and have turned into something immensely bigger. It seems to have been a necessary route for these films, go big or go home, and go big they have.
It’s difficult to remember what ‘Furious 7’ was about, there definitely is a story in-between the explosions and car chases, right? Yes, The Fast and Furious crew aren’t so Fast and Furious any more as they are acclimating to their quiet life in America. Brian O’Connor (Paul Walker) and Mia (Jordana Brewster) are raising their son Jack, while Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) is doing anything he can to bring Letty’s (Michelle Rodriguez) memory back.
Meanwhile, Owen Shaw (Luke Evans) is in a coma due to the events that took place during ‘Fast 6′ and his older brother Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) is not happy. Shaw shows up at the office of Luke Hobbs’ (Dwayne Johnson) and Elena Neves (Elsa Pataky), Hobbs and Shaw brawl, and Hobbs is ultimately sent to the hospital.
Dom is later tracked down by a special ops team led by Frank Petty (Kurt Russel), Petty asks Dom to get his team together and help him rescue a computer system called “God’s Eye” and it’s creator Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanual), from mercenary Mose Jakande (Djimon Honsou). “God’s Eye” can be used to hack into every camera or digital device in the world, and track any person down. Petty promises Dom, if he retrieves Ramsey and “God’s Eye”, he will help Dom and his crew to capture Deckard Shaw. Dom, Brian, Letty, Roman (Tyrese Gibson), and Tej Parker (Chris ‘Ludacris’ Bridges) all band together again to rescue Ramsey, retrieve “God’s Eye” and ultimately bring down Deckard Shaw.
The Fast and Furious movies continue to be some of the most fun you can have at the movies, hands down. I salute the franchise for evolving into something that has exceeded anyone’s expectations. If the franchise wants to remain viable, it will need to evolve and adapt some more, or maybe it doesn’t, I’m not sure. All I can do is point out my issues with the film, while at the same time praise it. I really enjoyed ‘Furious 7”, but I can’t deny it has gaping issues.
Every single character in Furious 7 should be dead. That’s my main complaint. If not dead, they would at the very least be comatose, wheelchair bound, or no longer have the use of their neck. Civilians suffer extreme whiplash from fender benders, the characters in ‘Furious 7’ are rolling down cliffs, smashing through buildings, and driving head on into other cars, and just walking away unscathed! For this fact alone, you need to check all logic at the door, just DO NOT think about it.
The plot involving “God’s Eye” and Ramsey is not the driving force behind the movie, the plot we care about is between Deckard Shaw and Dom. Obviously the “God’s Eye” plot was wedged in to fill the running time, I only wish they expanded on the Deckard Shaw plotline instead of shoehorning in this far out plot. What actually seems more egregious is that Deckard Shaw and Mose Jakande (Djimon Honsou) end up joining forces, and it doesn’t make a lick of sense, and it’s never even properly explained.
The “Gods Eye” Storyline gives us something great, Ramsey, or Nathalie Emmanual, who I really liked and would like to see as part of Dom’s Family in more Fast & Furious movies. I am quite sick of Tej Parker, Ludacris’ character, he’s not funny, and his acting is the worst of the bunch, I’d be happy to see him go. Tyreese’s Roman is quite possibly the best character in the films, he’s hilarious and genuine.
Dom and Letty are the central focus of the film, and I love seeing them on screen together. Their storyline, Dom trying to help Letty get her memory back, is overly emotional and I felt like it was mostly covered in ‘Fast 6’ but it’s not overly bothersome. Dwayne Johnson was left out of most of the film due to his commitments on the atrocious ‘Hercules’ film, but due to Walker’s death and the film being pushed back, Johnson was able to come back for the end of the film. It feels like his character is much needed in these movies now, and it was weird going for so long without him.
And now for the elephant in the room, Paul Walker. I’m glad I had an idea of how they handled his absence before seeing the movie, because there were several scenes during the film where Paul Walker’s Brian O’Conner could have met his demise. I’ll admit to not knowing which scenes of Walker were CGI (Besides the end sequences) after doing some reading I’ve now realized that Walker had filmed a lot less than I thought he had. Paul Walker looked so young in Furious 7, he had a youthfulness about him that really shone through, and his smile was infectious. I will actually miss him in this franchise, as he was a great opposite to Vin Diesel’s Dom.
The ending of Furious 7 is a tearjerker, and the tribute to Paul is wonderful, It’s obvious the love the cast and crew had for Paul.
I spent a lot of my review griping about issues I had, but I’m still giving ‘Furious 7′ a B-. It has issues, some of which I didn’t bring up like laughable dailogue and quotes, but it’s still some of the most fun you can have watching a movie. I also have to say, it’s above average film for the directing, stunt work, and car chases alone. I said to my wife upon leaving the theater that I wouldn’t want to be the one directing some of those scenes. Maybe my untrained eye wouldn’t have noticed the flaws, but the scenes of some cars racing through busy city streets seemed flawless.
Overall, ‘Furious 7’ isn’t perfect, but if you’re a fan of the franchise, you’ll enjoy it.
Thanks for Reading!
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