If you’re looking for a film that provides a thoughtful experience that leaves a lasting mark on the viewer, you should keep looking.
If, however, you’re looking for a 2-hour escapist movie full of beautiful women, even more beautiful cars and tons of gratuitous violence, then look no further.
In Furious 7, Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and his crew become the prey of a vengeful brother, Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham). A master assassin, Shaw appears to be the greatest foe our Fast and Furious friends have faced yet. However, with the help of some shady new CIA friends, Dom and the gang fight their new assailant with more vigor than he expected.
Furious 7 makes it clear that the masterminds who brought us the previous 6 films have thrown caution to the wind and are trying to shove as many action film clichés into one movie as possible. One could say that the audience is visually assaulted with endless car chases and action sequences. They could also say that it’s awesome.
Where else can you find the Rock wielding a Gatling gun or Vin Diesel driving a Dodge Charger out of an airplane? Can you find me a film where a $3.4 million sports car is jumped from one building to another? I didn’t think so.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with cheesy action flicks meant to appeal to our baser movie tastes. Anyone who has experienced the cheap drive-in horror movie or silly rom-com can attest that we’re not always in the mood to participate in a heavy cinematic experience. Some of the best movies that we all love are also the hardest to watch repeatedly. Movies can be silly and excessive and still be fun and entertaining.
This is what makes the Fast and Furious series so fun. All of our guilty-pleasure movie elements are represented: gratuitous violence, sex, and heart-pounding action sequences. This has been the hallmark of the last six Fast and Furious movies and continues into the latest sequel.
However, what sets Furious 7 apart from the previous installments is the partial departure from the standard Fast and Furious plot formula. While there are still a few drag races and NOS usage, the film seems more like an amalgamation of Ocean’s 11, John Wick, and Mission Impossible. Rather than just engage themselves in drag racing and crime, the stars of Furious 7 deal with global espionage, revenge-seeking psychos, and complex heists…while also engaging in drag racing and crime.
It’s true that flat dialogue, looming plot holes and impossible action sequences are movie sins frequently committed by the cast and crew of Furious 7. However, beautiful cinematography and gloriously choreographed fight scenes demonstrate that Furious 7 contains stylistic aspects that more than make up for its shortcomings.
Perhaps the most dramatic moment of the film is the touching tribute to Paul Walker in the end that left many theatergoers fighting back tears. However, despite the tragic passing of star Paul Walker, it is still possible that there will be another installment in the Fast and Furious franchise. After Furious 7 generated more than $384 million in ticket sails during the first weekend, it would certainly be a smart business move to make another sequel. However, I believe that the series will never be the same without Walker. While the other characters have potential for growth and development, Walker’s role was far too fundamental to the soul of Fast and Furious to warrant another film without him. His wit and charm are irreplaceable, and his romantic relationship with Mia was a central plot point for the series. Without him any sequel will feel hollow. For the integrity of the franchise, I hope that they end with this latest installment. After all, Furious 7 is a worthy ending to the highly lucrative action saga.