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Furious 7

Furious 7

Movie
Studio(s): 
Director(s): 
In Theatres: 
Apr 03, 2015
Grade:
B
Running Time: 
137 minutes

Fast & Furious 6 took the intensity of the Fast & Furious franchise up to level 11 and left fans wondering how in the world it could be topped. Situations don’t get much more ridiculous than blowing up tanks on the highway or taking down an entire airplane, right? Wrong. Furious 7 may ditch the Fast moniker, but it continues to put the pedal to the metal and delivers one of the most ridiculously entertaining films of the franchise yet.

 

At the end of Fast & Furious 6 it was revealed that the death of Han was no accident but was directly caused by Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham), the older brother of Owen Shaw, who is now out for revenge against Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and his crew for what they did to his brother. An ex black ops soldier, Deckard isn’t going to go down easy and Dom begrudgingly accepts the help of government agent Mr. Nobody (Kurt Russell) in order to gain access to a secret spying program called “God’s Eye” that can locate any person in the world in the matter of hours. The only problem is that they have to recover the program from a hacker called Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel), who has been captured by militants who are after it as well. For Dom and his crew, nothing is ever as simple as a drive in the park.

 

The opening scene really sets the tone for the entire film as Deckard visits his brother in the hospital and vows vengeance on the ones responsible. It’s only when he leaves that we see all the bodies of police officers and SWAT lying all over the hospital. He finally leaves the hospital but not before pulling the pin off a grenade and shoving it into one of the remaining officers, confirming that he is not the kind of guy you want to mess with as he walks away against a backdrop of explosions. It’s outrageous and over-the-top, and it’s only just getting started.

 

There is nothing subtle about Furious 7. The previous film turned everyone into invincible superhumans, and that trend doesn’t appear to be stopping anytime soon. Driving a sports car atop a skyscraper and then jumping it through two others high above the streets of Abu Dhabi is all in a day’s work. Because we’ve already seen how outrageous the franchise has become, stunts like these don’t have the same impact they once had one or even two movies ago. It doesn’t make them any less ridiculously fun to watch, though.

 

Kurt Russell and Nathalie Emmanuel aren’t the only new additions to the Fast family. Djimon Hounsou, Tony Jaa, and MMA fighter Ronda Rousey all make their debut, and we even see a brief return of Lucas Black’s Sean Boswell from Tokyo Drift. The franchise has succeeded where The Expendables has failed; it's the perfect combination of ridiculous action and campy one-liners.

 

Furious 7 does get serious at the end of the film as it pays tribute to Paul Walker, who tragically passed away in a car accident in November 2013. There’s always been an overarching theme of family to the franchise, and it hits hardest in this latest installment. Brian O'Conner has become a father, switching out souped-up sports cars for a minivan, and plans to retire from the death defying madness after this one last ride with Dom and the crew. The final moments of the film act as an amazing send off and tribute to Walker, who’s been integral to the franchise since the start. I couldn’t imagine a more fitting end. That being said, things are left open enough for the franchise to continue sans Walker.

 

Furious 7 doesn’t make as big an impact as we saw between the fifth and sixth instalments, but it doesn’t need to. The film keeps the intensity high and can still deliver a heavy dose of adrenaline. Even though we’re now seven films deep, there’s still plenty of gas left in the tank. Granted I’m not sure how much more grandiose the stunts can get but am excited to see them prove me wrong.

Matt Rodriguez
Review by Matt Rodriguez
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