Furious 7 Review

Review #108

Furious 7 movie posterSynopsis
After the events in London, Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) seeks revenge for his brother against Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel). A government agent calling himself Mr. Nobody (Kurt Russell) makes an agreement with Toretto to help him if Toretto and his crew rescues the hacker Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel) from a group of terrorists led by Jakande (Djimon Hounsou).

Review
I have been anticipating Furious 7 for some time. Not because of Paul Walker, but because I’m a fan of the direction the series has been moving since Fast Five. While the franchise started out as a guilty pleasure, over the last several entries, it has become a series with a lot of heart mixed with the mindless action it started with. Furious 7 keeps the action going and is a great farewell to Paul Walker.

For the most part, each of the previous Fast movies have been located in one spot. Furious 7 on the other hand, breaks the mold and goes to several locations throughout the course of the film. Each one even more beautiful than the last. This change in scenery every few scenes makes the movie’s pace feel quicker. Not to mention it gives a variety of different driving set pieces. Scenes include, but are not limited to, winding mountains, city streets, desert, and even buildings.

Some of my favorite scenes from the series since Fast Five are the ones that display the relationship between Tej and Rom. Chris Bridges, better known as Ludacris, and Tyrese Gibson have such great chemistry. They are always poking fun at each other that always bring a smile to my face. Kurt Russell’s Mr. Nobody is a fun addition to the cast. He is no Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) when it come to witty government agents but he still offers some good humor.

Over the course of the franchise, we have seen Brian O’Conner grow and evolve. He went from cop to fugitive to FBI agent to bank robber. This movie showed him dealing with the next step: building a family while at the same time missing the excitement of his old life. His growth to building a family in this movie was the direction the series was already heading anyway, so his exit feels organic and not something that was forced due to the passing of Walker. There is a tribute to Walker at the end that is beautiful and emotional.

I have mixed feelings when it comes to Furious 7‘s action. On one hand the chase scenes are thrilling and exciting. With actors like Jason Statham and Ronda Rousey, the fight sequences are top-notch. And there were some cool camera effects, like the camera spinning with the characters getting thrown around (there is an example in the trailer involving Statham). But on the other hand, there is a lot of shaky cam. It is not as bad as most action movies but is still bugs me.

Another problem I had with the film is how long it took to set up. The movie spent the first forty minutes or so bringing the different groups together before it really took off. The franchise’s flimsy timeline didn’t help either. A lot of the set up had to deal with the Shaw brothers, Han (which included used footage from Fast and Furious 6 and Tokyo Drift), and the fallout of Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) losing her memory after Fast & Furious. It was necessary in order to finally bring all the pieces together but may make it more difficult for viewers who haven’t seen some or most of the previous films to follow.

Taking the series’ core theme of family into overdrive, especially in the wake of Walker’s death, Furious 7 is the most heartfelt of the series. Of course there are also exciting action scenes, a variety of beautiful locations, and good new additions to the cast to keep it in line with previous Fast films.

Rating
4/5

Favorite Quote
Dominic Toretto: I don’t have friends, I have family.

For the rest of the Fast & Furious franchise, check out my reviews for The Fast and the Furious, 2 Fast 2 Furious, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo DriftFast & Furious, Fast Five, and Fast & Furious 6.

Trailer

Cast & Crew
James Wan – Director
Chris Morgan – Writer
Brian Tyler – Composer

Vin Diesel – Dominic Toretto
Paul Walker – Brian O’Conner
Jason Statham – Deckard Shaw
Michelle Rodriguez – Letty
Tyrese Gibson – Roman Pierce
Chris ‘Ludacris’ Bridges – Tej
Nathalie Emmanuel – Ramsey
Jordana Brewster – Mia
Dwayne Johnson – Hobbs
Kurt Russell – Mr. Nobody
Djimon Hounsou – Jakande
Tony Jaa – Kiet
Ronda Rousey – Kara

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14 thoughts on “Furious 7 Review

  1. Great review! I actually didn’t notice much of the shaky cam in the action here. That might be because I’ve seen movies where it’s just horrible. Here I thought everything was pretty good. I agree that the set-up was a bit weird. I kind of expected the Tokyo Drift tie in to feel flimsy especially since it’s taken sooo long to get there. But it was still cool to finally see that. I really hope that Sean Boswell kind of takes Brian O’Connor’s place in the next couple of movies though, being apart of Dom’s crew.

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    • Thanks, Dave! Ever since a few years ago when I read an article about how shaky cam has grown in popularity but is getting used poorly, I almost always notice it. It can be done well and used to great effect, but now it always stands out to me. I guess ignorance is bliss. I agree, it would have been nice to see more of a connection with Tokyo Drift but then that may have convoluted it more than it already was.

      Liked by 1 person

      • At least from now on they can move forward from Tokyo drift.
        And yeah I honestly hate shaky came. The Bourne series is still one of the very few to do it properly.
        But as I said I didn’t find it too bad in this. I could at least tell what was happening. What’s more annoying sometimes is the use of too many jump shots to make it look like all this stuff is happening. That’s a huge problem with taken 2… I haven’t seen the 3rd yet but I hear it’s not much better

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Great review! I’m still working on mine 😉
    Furious 7 was one of my most anticipated for 2015 and it certainly did not fail. The camera didn’t bother me and I actually thought after it ended that the action sequences might have been the best throughout the series. I actually had more issues with the storyline trying to get too many things in. By the end, I started forgetting about Jason Statham (for example) while everything else was blowing up..haha!

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    • Thanks, Kim! Can’t wait to read yours. 🙂

      I think I have gotten too picky with the camera. I miss the camera style from older action movies where the camera was still and the scene relied on its fight choreography. I should probably just stop bringing it up unless it *really* bothers me because, yea, it wasn’t too bad here. I’d agree, some of the action pieces were so way-over-the-top they were cool The storyline was pretty convoluted, which may be a first for the series!

      Liked by 1 person

    • I’m not surprised. 😛 The entire series has been a guilty pleasure for me. At what point does a movie stop becoming a guilty pleasure if everyone says it’s their guilty pleasure? *insert philosorapter here*

      Thanks for commenting, Jay!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Great review Drew. It’s not one of my favourite Fast & Furious movies but it did have some great stunts! I’m not as keen on the way the franchise is shifting towards increased fight sequences – I much preferred the street race angle which seemed a bit more niche. It’s interesting to see how the franchise is evolving though.

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    • Thanks, Natalie. The series has definitely changed over the years, but I like that it started embracing its ridiculousness and just ran with it. The car sequences are still there but you’re right, it has taken more of a backseat to the fight sequences. Personally, I like heist movies so I’ve enjoyed how it has evolved.

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  4. Hey! Sorry, I haven’t been around. My email notifications either send all the blogger posts to my spam folder or there’s been a glitch the past 1.5 months. Great review! 🙂

    Like

  5. Pingback: Anniversary Week 2 Conclusion: My Fave Five New Movies I Watched During Year 2 | Drew's Movie Reviews

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