Furious 7

Furious-7

2015

Universal Pictures/Original Film/One Race Films/Relativity Media/Media Rights Capital

Directed by James Wan

Produced by Neal H. Moritz/Vin Diesel/Michael Fottrell

Screenplay by Chris Morgan

Based on characters created by Gary Scott Thompson

I have a lot of admiration for “The Fast and The Furious” film series. The first movie “The Fast and The Furious” was little more than an unofficial remake of “Point Break” substituting street racing clubs for surfers. Gradually the movies changed and developed into crime thrillers, teenage coming of age dramas and heist movies. With “Fast & Furious 6” and now FURIOUS 7 they’ve become full tilt boogie action-adventure spectacles with international locations, larger-than-life villains, breathtaking fight scenes and mind-boggling stunts that easily match and yes, sometimes top what you would expect to see in a James Bond or Mission: Impossible movie. There a scene in this movie where silky smooth spymaster Mr. Nobody (Kurt Russell) tells Dominic Torretto (Vin Diesel) “This is the world you’re in now, like it or not.” Which I interpret as a sly hint that this type of globe-trotting espionage capers is where the franchise is heading now. And if we’ve got more movies as good as FURIOUS 7 coming, then I eagerly await them.

It seems as if life has finally settled down for Dominic and his family. He’s helping Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) try and regain her lost memories. Ex-cop/Ex-FBI agent turned professional criminal Brian O’Conner has resolved to become a family man with his wife Mia (Jordana Brewster) and their son Jack even though he reveals to Mia that he misses the jazz of his dangerous life.

None of them have to worry about being bored. Dom’s house is blown up and he’s informed by his ally Luke Hobbs of the Diplomatic Security Service (Dwayne Johnson) that Dom and his crew are being hunted by Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) the older and definitely meaner brother of Owen Shaw (Luke Evans) the villain from the last movie who is now in a coma. Deckard is out for revenge and has already killed Han Lue (Sung Kang)

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Dom is contacted by Mr. Nobody who offers to help Dom catch Deckard if Dom and his crew will help him stop a vicious mercenary named Jakande (Djimon Honsou) from getting his hands on God’s Eye. It’s a frighteningly sophisticated computer program that can use any digital device in the world to track any individual (think of it as the little sister of the Big Brother-ish Machine from “Person of Interest’) and Jakande has the creator of God’s Eye, Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel) After rounding up Roman Pearce (Tyrese Gibson) and Tej Parker (Chris Bridges) the band is back together and they set out to rescue the hacker, recover God’s Eye and save the world.

Well, maybe not save the world, but there certainly is that kind of feel as our heroes race around the globe from the Caucasus Mountains to Abu Dhabi and back to Los Angeles. And in each one these locals there are jaw-dropping action sequences that are insanely preposterous but I couldn’t help but watch with a goofy grin on my mug because dammit, that’s the reason why I go to see movies of this type. Give me the insane and the preposterous every time.

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What’s even more amazing to me is that all this astounding action is served up by James Wan, who as far as I know has directed mainly horror movies. Who knew that this cat had this kind of action movie in him? And now that we know, he should be given nothing but action movies to do. Seriously, FURIOUS 7 would be an impressive piece of work from a seasoned action director. But coming from Wan, who hasn’t done this genre before…well, he gets a standing ovation from me.

By now, everybody knows their characters inside and out and in a way, we all do as well. The team just isn’t a team. It’s a family as well and while that aspect may feel like it’s being beaten to death at times, it’s such an essential element of these characters that there’s no way a “Fast and Furious” movie can do without it. Especially not when the story has these kinds of stakes, what with Torretto & Co. being hunted by Deckard for personal reasons. James Wan isn’t afraid to slow down the action to develop emotional scenes between his characters and that gives resonance to the story in-between the cars flying through buildings and parachuting out of planes.

There’s a lot of great fight scenes in here, more elaborate than I can remember being in the other movies. Paul Walker and Tony Jaa as Jakande’s Oddjob go at it. Michelle Rodguez and Ronda Rousey have a memorable throwdown that while I enjoyed the hell out it also had me wondering since when did Letty become such an accomplished martial artist that she’s able to take down three other opponents at the same time before her main bout with Rousey’s character? We also get Johnson vs. Statham and Diesel vs. Statham. There’s your money’s worth right there, partners.

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So should you see FURIOUS 7? What, are you kidding me? YES. It’s a non-stop action extravaganza that’s not afraid to show heart and emotion, especially at the movie’s end which is both a truly moving tribute to Paul Walker and a sendoff for Brian O’Connor. If they never do another “The Fast and The Furious” movie, FURIOUS 7 is a more than satisfying way to end the series. This is the rare film series that has has gotten bigger and better with each new entry (I won’t mention “Tokyo Drift” if you won’t, okay?) and I hope it only continues to get bigger and better. Highly Recommended.

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137 Minutes

PG-13

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9 thoughts on “Furious 7

    1. THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS: TOKYO DRIFT is the third in the series and is universally acknowledged to be the worst entry in the series. watch at your own risk.

      But this is the movie that introduces Han into the series and even though he dies at the end of this movie, he was brought back in the fourth, fifth and sixth movies by the simple movie magic of those movies being later retconned as prequels to TOKYO DRIFT.

  1. I agree with you on this. I actually love the direction this franchise is going in. It knows exactly what it is and that’s silly-ridiculous-all-out-high-octane action… and people love it. Can’t wait for the next one. When I noticed Kurt Russell was in this I was a little unsure as to why but as soon as I saw his character and the charm he brought I loved it. I actually thought he was on of the best things about the film. What was your thoughts on Mr. Nobody?

    1. He’s a great character to take the franchise to the next level if the producers decide to continue in the vein of globetrotting action/adventure mixed in with international espionage. I can easily see THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS series becoming a blue-collar version of “Mission: Impossible”

      And I liked how the writer didn’t go for the oh-so-tired-of-it plot twist of having Mr. Nobody double cross the team after he got what he wanted. How refreshing was it that he actually kept his word?

      And now I can see why Kurt Russell turned down “Expendables 3” for this. Why be just another face among many for limited screen time when you can be a pivotal player in a franchise that looks to go on for at least another three pictures?

      1. Totally agree. I’m so glad you said that cos the whole time I was watching it I was expecting him to turn and I was so happy that he kept to his word. Agreed! Very refreshing.

        He was very right to turn down the Geriatric highlight reel for this very successful franchise.

        Do you think they’ll look to replace Walker with another baby-face main character? If so who would you pick? I’d actually like to see either Tyrese or Ludacris with more game time but I have a feeling they’ll pull someone else out of the hat.

  2. They showed the character that they’re going to use to replace Paul Walker/Brian O’Connor. Remember the scene where Dom goes to Japan and gets the cross from that guy? That’s Lucas Black who played Sean Boswell in TOKYO DRIFT, which everybody universally agrees in the worst of the FAST AND FURIOUS films.

    I don’t think it was a coincidence that Lucas Black was brought back for this one as they’re going to need a new female to replace Mia and they did that with Ramsey. My guess is that in F&F8 we’ll see Ramsey return along with Sean Boswell to replace Brian O’Connor.

  3. Hmm I thought the actress playing Ramsey was ok but I think Lucas Black replacing Walker will be a pretty terrible move. Walker was no thespian but I think he was a much better actor than Black. I’m sure you’re right but I don’t think it’ll work… We’ll see.

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