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).
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.
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 Drift, Fast & Furious, Fast Five, and Fast & Furious 6.
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