It would be very easy to write a review for Furious 7 that said “Cars go fast. Things go boom.” That would have been me five years ago. I always thought the Fast & Furious films were nothing more than a Point Break ripoff where the surfboards were traded in for fast cars. The franchise reinvented itself after the silly and out-of-place Tokyo Drift, something happened. The films stopped taking themselves so seriously and turned into over the top, ridiculous action films with a wink to the audience that became a guilty pleasure for movie-goers – and guess what? With some help from The Rock and the ridiculous popcorn cinema stunts, I have taken a 180 like a speedster on the freeway. I’m all-in on Furious 7.
Furious 7 starts out with the family being hunted by another member of the Shaw clan for their actions in London. This time around it’s Jason Statham as big brother Shaw who is a one man wrecking machine. Statham is a welcome addition to the franchise and fits right into the bombastic action and proves to be a formidable foe for Dom and the gang to take on. Statham helps prevent Furious 7 from not being all about the cars and has some nice hand to hand throw-downs with Dwayne Johnson and Vin Diesel. Statham helps keep the adrenaline tank on full.
As for the late Paul Walker, I think the filmmakers handled his passing off-screen very well within their story. I was wondering in every big scene involving Walker whether his character Brian was going to make it. It sounds morbid, but it kept my attention and I imagine other patrons had the same mindset. I’m not going to spoil anything, but I believe they did the right thing for Walker’s family, fans and the Fast and Furious franchise.
Even though Walker will be gone from the F & F series, it’s still firing on all cylinders heading into the future with most of the onscreen Torreto crew still intact with some help from franchise reviver Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson). Plus Furious 7 introduces Statham as a big new evil to deal with heading forward and gives us Kurt Russell as the scene stealing Mr. Nobody. I imagine we’ll see more of them as the franchise is moving into a James Bond type territory with fast cars under the direction of the mysterious Mr. Nobody and his agency. Great name by the way.
Furious 7 also ups the ante by making cars fly. Yes, you heard me right. I’m not spoiling anything you haven’t seen in the trailers, but the cars of Furious 7 take flight numerous times during the film. Is it ridiculous? Yes. Did it make me sit on the edge of my seat and make me smile when it’s happening? Abso-freaking-lutley and that’s why we’ve all come to endear these movies. They’re not trying to be Shakespeare and if you complain about the script in this movie, then you’re an idiot. We’re there to see cars go fast and things go boom. End of story.
Overall, Furious 7 earns 3 out of 4 brain vacation stars.