I must say, I don’t know why I keep coming back for more of the same, but I admit that I’m a sucker for The Fast and The Furious franchise, mainly because it delivers every single goddamn time. The mandatory car races, brimming with reckless youth and scantily clad women; the proverbial exotic cars, destined for the usual explosive obliteration; and the outlandish action sequences send this once loosely grounded series to high-rise levels, making Furious 7 a welcomed addition.
Dom (Vin Diesel) is forced to gather the crew once again, presumably for the last time, on a globe-trotting action-packed adventure, when his not-friends-but-family “friends” are attacked by a former black ops mercenary madman (Jason Statham). The stakes are high as Jason Statham’s character, Deckard Shaw, brother of the recently crippled, Owen Shaw (badguy from Furious 6), promises Dom that he will have his revenge for what Dom and his team did to his brother (the aforementioned crippling thing). Director James Wan delivers a worthy sequel to The Fast and The Furious franchise, and this is amazing when considering that Wan had brought us horror films like Saw, Insidious, and The Conjuring. One wouldn’t expect a master of the horror genre to effortlessly adapt to this testosterone soaked mustache-with-fists action movie.
Unlike most of the previous films, Furious 7 offers a bit more drama through two subplots, one more or less forgettable than the other, involving Dom and Letty’s (Michelle Rodriguez) disintegrating relationship and Brian (Paul Walker) and Mia’s (Jordana Brewster) struggle to lead normal lives. The weak dialogue and clichés are entirely forgivable during most of any FF sequel, but during these particular moments, are almost as unnecessary as the usual horribly-acted celebrity cameos these films employ. The plot is pretty straightforward — you know, kill this guy before he kills us — which allows for the action sequences to take precedence, but as I mentioned before, the stakes, although high (people die a lot), aren’t believably compelling, considering that Dom “flew” a little bit in the last movie. I was pretty sure that he’d make it through whatever ridiculous life-threatening situation he’d find himself in, and this movie is chock full of those moments. I mean, Dom, Brian and Letty are either extremely lucky meta-humans or master stunt drivers with an incredible grasp on the laws of physics. I don’t know, but either way, the action in Furious 7 goes out of its way to out-do its predecessors while becoming utterly predictable in execution.
At one point, while Dom and Shaw were in an epic mid-collision slo-mo, I half-expected Vin Diesel to look at the audience and wink, but he didn’t — and, in all honesty, I would not have been upset had he done that. There was a moment when asked what drink he would like, and he replied with, “Corona.” He got his Corona — matter of fact, he got a frosty product placement-y bucket full of Corona. I wanted a Corona. Anyway, we’re all in on how campy the Furious franchise has become, and I think that’s what we’ve come to expect each and every time. All of this self-awareness helps greatly with retiring the character of the recently deceased actor, Paul Walker, something gracefully handled by director, James Wan. In my opinion, Furious 7 wasn’t as invigorating as Fast Five, but it is an action movie that has fully realized what it has become, and hopefully, continues doing.
Furious 7 Review: Photos courtesy of www.furious7.com and www.forbes.com