One word; Finally! I know it seems kinda harsh to say but with the passing of Paul Walker, the yearning for this film grew to exuberant proportions and i couldn’t help but hope that they got to finish the film as soon as possible. As you all know, it took some time but we finally have it, and of course I saw it as soon as I possibly could. So, without further ado, I present to you, Furious 7.
Once again, the Toretto crew is ripping through the streets in their own special way, waging vehicular warfare on anyone standing in their way. This time around, it is Deckard Shaw, the disgruntled older brother of Owen Shaw, the antagonist of the previous film Fast & Furious 6 (or Furious 6, if you prefer). The running theme of the film is ‘Family’ and it definitely shows us how far one would go for his family and in this case, it’s Vin Diesel’s Dominic Toretto that takes charge, cocking guns, throwing punches and throttles engines over cliffs and more to do what’s right by his “family”. The action of this franchise is breathtaking to say the least but they keep upping the ante with every installment and Furious 7 is not in the slightest an exception. A lot of movies these days seem to take the action to such absurd levels that we the audience gets bored with it toward the end, but this is where this film stands proud. Yes, there is A LOT of action in this film, but they managed to give us enough story in between action sequences to keep the movie interesting all the way through, and that couldn’t have been easy, considering the amount of action they actually propped in there.
The crew from the last two films are, more or less, back, with the exception of Han and Gisele and taking the reigns as the bad guy Deckard Shaw is none other than the oil-sliding, swift-kicking, knife throwing Jason Statham. Some might say that Statham has peaked in his career, doing the same thing over and over and over. Others are even dubbing his movies “Transporter 4,5,6” and onward, and I don’t blame them. Most of his films are the same in so many ways it’ll give you a headache trying to pry them apart. This time around however, we see a completely different side of him than we’re used to. Sure, he does a lot of his Statham-esque stuff too, but as a villain, I got the feeling that he had a lot of fun on set, working in characteristics to his Shaw that wasn’t really supposed to be there. He’s charismatic but efficiently brutal, always being a thorn in the Toretto crew’s side, popping up where you least expect him to be, sabotaging their missions from start to finish and it gave me a little chuckle every time. Brilliant villain, for sure. More bad guy-parts for Statham, plaese!
As or the rest of the crew, Tyrese Gibson’s Rome is probably the best comic relief I have ever seen in an action film of this quality and paired with Chris ‘Ludacris’ Bridges’ Tej, with their usual back-and-forth rapport, had enough humor to keep the movie light, a great buddy-cop duo for sure. Michelle Rodriguez’s Letty feels a little overworked at times with her amnesia but it works out perfectly in the end so no real complaints there either. Plus, her smile has got to be the best smile in Hollywood, hands down! We also had the handsome Son’bitch (his words) Dwayne Johnson returning as Hobbs. Oh yeah, he’s just as awesome in this as he is in everything. I have both heard and read critics saying that he wasn’t in the movie as much as the last two and that he didn’t deserve a top-billing but as far as I’m concerned, his part in this film was more than enough. He whoops as and takes names like it’s just another Tuesday and I definitely hope he’ll be back for the next one as well!
And then there was Paul Walker’s Brian O’Conner, the blonde Mr. blue-eyes Everyday-cop man that keeps the franchise somewhat grounded. Paul’s demise in late 2013 came as a shock to many of us and it left the franchise in limbo. Thankfully for us fans, the cast and crew completed the film and I have to say, they did a magnificent job honoring him. The film gave his character arc a beautiful touch, showing him as a family man in the beginning and on through an immense volume of fist- and gunfights, car chases and explosive action and back again to family man in the end. Paul did his job as Brian O’Conner just as brilliantly as always and the way they completed his scenes using his brother(s?) and CGI was amazing. I would be lying to you if I said I was able to spot the scenes they shot after his death. In short, everything surrounding Paul and his character was just fantastic and the narration given by Vin Diesel in the end…. I teared up, to be honest, because you know full well that when Dominic speaks about Brian, it’s Vin saying those words to Paul. A truly heartfelt moment and I applaud them for it!
This seventh installment of the franchise delivers on everything it promised. It was intense, it had humor, it had amazing over-the-top action, it had heart and it was made with love. Epic on all accounts and I gladly award this, the best of the franchise, the Tango’s ‘Platinum Stamp of Approval’. With honors!
I’m gonna end this review with those words, but I’ll be back soon enough with other goodies for you to read. Maybe I’ll do a run-down on the entire franchise, who knows. They may even be featured in a webisode down the line. Whatever the case, it’ll be worth the wait, but until then….