Furious 7 (2015) Review
Furious 7 AKA The Fast and the Furious 7 AKA Fast 7 AKA The One Where We All Know That Paul Walker is Dead And We’ll Be Looking More Intently Than We’ll Admit Which Parts Are “Him” And Which Parts Are Digitized.
Running time- way too long for a movie with the word “Fast” in the title. Written (and rewritten and rewritten) by Chris Morgan.
Directed by “Insidious” James Wan (an Asian director replacing Asian director Justin Lin who replaced black director John Singleton who replaced white director Rob Cohen who replaced my pants with some shorts).
For a few glorious moments, Back to The Future Part 2 will be proven correct as we will see flying cars in the year 2015. If you’re fan of the Ludacris-ly entertaining Fast & Furious franchise, you knew it was just a matter of time before flying cars would be added to the menu.
Also: Paul Walker is brought back to life for, as the tagline movingly addresses, “One Last Ride”.
Wow, there’s a lot of dust in this room. My eyes seem to be tearing up.
Yes, the shadow of Paul Walker’s death looms large over the entire production, from the shots of Brian looking at his family, to the slightly incomprehensible plot due no doubt to the rewrites brought about by the halt in production, to the touching final shots, Walker’s death makes Furious 7 the most poignant of the series, all while delivering the over-the-top silliness the franchise’s fans have expected over the past 14 years.
As I wrote, the “plot” as such, is the most nonsensical of the franchise, but that’s easily forgiven because you know why, and if you’re willing to fork over money to Fast’s 7th installment, you’ve already proven you don’t give a flying (cars) f*ck about plot.
FF7 opens where 6 left us, with Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham, trading one in-the-closet franchise – The Expendables - for another) has just blown up the Asian guy in a nod to the franchise low point, the awful Tokyo Drift. You see, he’s Owen Shaw’s (Luke Evans) brother, the bad guy from the previous movie.
Wait, this is just like when Jeremy Irons was Alan Rickman’s brother in Die Hards 1 and 3. They’re even British too.
Now Deckard is pissed because his brother was mangled by the FF crew and he’s on a mission of revenge.
-He killed Asian Guy.
-He blew up the Toretto house just as Brian was about to take his son Jack to school in their new pimped-out minivan
-He put Agent Hobbs (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson) in the hospital. Does this mean we won’t see The Rock for most of the movie? Yup.
Side Note: Furious 7 proves that every once in a while Jason Statham and The Rock can accidentally appear in good movie. What are the odds they can appear in the same one? About the same as cars being able to fly.
Dom (Vin Diesel) is sad that his token Asian friend is dead and that his house just got blown up. Agent Hobbes tells him that he and the entire drive fast crew are being hunted by Shaw and that they’d better get out of town because Shaw is a professional killer. He is Groot.
Oh yeah, and Dom’s girlfriend Letty (Michelle Rodriquez) is still trying to regain her memory. You might remember that Letty died and then came back to life but just has amnesia. Happens all the time.
So Dom, Brian, Letty, Tej (Chris “Ludacris” Bridges), Roman (Tyrese “Fast talking black guy because it‘s been a whole week since we saw Kevin Hart as a fast talking black guy in Get Hard” Gibson) get out of LA.
Brian’s wife and Dom’s sister Mia (Jordanna Brewster) and their son Jack -Brian and Mia’s son not Dom and Mia’s son because this isn’t Game of Thrones- are safely ensconced somewhere and not going along because Mia has just found out she’s pregnant with a second child but she doesn’t want to tell Brian…yet.
Now this is the part in the movie that gets pointlessly convoluted due to the stoppage in production, but they involve
- Dom and the crew hunting for something called the God’s Eye, and once you hear what it’s supposed to do, you’ll realize it’s a MacGuffin that only exists in the movies. At least we hope.
- Kurt Russell, appearing for no reason at all other than having Kurt Russell in a movie is never a bad thing. We can assume he plays a bigger role in the next set of sequels.
- Djimon Honsou, appearing for no reason at all other than having you ask, “What the hell is Djimon Honsou doing in this movie?”
And all of this will revolve around expensive cars going fast…
What Works With Furious 7
- James Wan steps in and stages the best action sequence of the FF Franchise, despite being barely more realistic that Fast 6’s jet takedown. You’ve seen parts of it in the trailer, and yes it’s as corny as anything you’ve seen in the 6 previous movies, but that doesn’t mean that, despite yourself, you won’t be sucked into the action (“Too Slow”).
- The Rock Vs. Jason Statham- it’s the best fight scene in the movie. Unfortunately, it happens in the first 10 minutes and nothing Vin Diesel does can compare.
- An ending that brings a close to Paul Walker’s character as well as humanly possible and makes you wonder how big a hole will need to be filled in future sequels. There’s such a shortage of blond white guys.
What Doesn’t Work With Furious 7
- Jason Statham- after making an impression in the first 15 minutes, Statham’s Shaw is waylaid to the background and only appears just to remind you that he’s still in the movie. With such a great setup, you’re genuinely surprised that Deckard Shaw is such a weak villain.
- Rapper Iggy Azalea is inauspiciously added to the “rappers who can’t act” list. Granted, she has just one line, but she reads it like it’s on a cue card in small print. We can just attribute it to nervousness. Maybe she just remembered you can’t drive from LA to Tokyo.
Like you need a review to decide whether to see Furious 7 or not. But, let’s put 7 as the 3rd best movie of the franchise behind the 5 (the best) and 6. Does it work best as a movie or as a tribute to Paul Walker? When 7 is at its best, it works as both. RIP (to Paul Walker, not the franchise).