Full Disclosure: I have not seen any of the Fast and Furious series prior to seeing Furious 7. Based on the events of the previous Fast and Furious movie, the Furious crew is up against a former special operative, Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham). Shaw is the brother of the previous villain in Fast and Furious 6 seeking revenge on Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and his family.
Release Date: April 3, 2015
Writer: Chris Morgan, Gary Scott Thompson
Director: James Wan
Cast: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Michelle Rodriguez, Dwayne Johnson, Ludacris, Tyrese Gibson, Jordana Brewster
The movie starts with the plot of revenge as Shaw looks to end the lives of Toretto and his family. Shaw is basically
But to complicate the plot further is a global threat, when a terrorist organization is about to get its hands on a device called the God’s Eye. This device enables the user to access every surveillance device in the world, including security cameras and cell phones. The terrorist organization led by its leader, Jakande (Djimon Hounsou) has possession of the device and the sexy hacker, Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel), who created it.
Secret government agents, Mr. Nobody (Kurt Russell) enlists the help of Toretto recover the device and Ramsey. In return, Toretto can use the device to find Shaw. What is interesting is that there was never a discussion of whether or not God’s Eye violates privacy rights and laws.
When it’s all said and done, Furious 7 is an action movie with several amazing set pieces strung together by a thin plot. There’s nothing wrong with that, as long as audiences get good action. The first set piece is in the Russian Mountains. With the help of Mr. Nobody, the secret operation drops the team on a lone mountain highway. First, the team drops in with parachutes attached to their cars. Second, they neutralize the cars guarding the transport vehicle. Third, Ramsey is rescued.
Furious 7 is a visually stunning action movie. The problem with the action is that it employs a combination of practical, real stunts and computer generated imagery. The effects are so well done that it is hard to tell what is real and what is created. For example, when Toretto jumps a car from one skyscraper to another, you know full well that none of that is real. The problem is that rather than feeling real, it feels fake. Furious 7 is essentially a realistic cartoon.
When you have a great deal of Universal’s money behind you, the cartoon leans toward the real side, but its still feels fake. The final set piece takes place on the streets of Los Angeles. It involves cars passing Ramsey from one to the other at high speeds. It involves a military helicopter with smart missiles, and it involves the destruction of various building and parking structures in downtown Los Angeles.
Furious 7 may be an action film, but it is also a tribute to Paul Walker. Walker managed to film the movie prior to this death. Cast and filmmakers felt it was necessary, rightfully so, to say goodbye to his character, Brian O’Conner. Small scenes, added dialog and a touching ending were added to the movie as a tribute. This tribute is effectively poignant, assuming you know what happened. If you’re unaware of Walkers death, the scene may feel a little heavy handed.
Furious 7 is a movie that succeeds thanks to a cast that you can tell is close like family and to a studio that made all if its movie-making resources behind it. But there is something to be said about returning to good old fashioned action movie making.