In my review for Furious 7, I briefly touched on what I thought made that film the best in the franchise. For the sake of the review itself, I didn’t want to go too in depth about these things, so I decided to dedicate a separate blog post on the things I loved about Furious 7.
1. The Antagonists
I thought this film by far had the best ones in the franchise. For a film that needed a bigger and badder villain, Jason Statham was a perfect fit for just that. Djimon Hounsou was also a great addition as a viable threat against Toretto’s crew. His acting chops and onscreen persona make the terrorist group more than just another threat for our heroes to fight through.
Tony Jaa is someone I have been waiting to see hit the blockbuster mainstream since the Ong Bak films. As a fan of Jaa, I appreciate Director James Wan allowing Jaa to show off his fighting skills and real parkour stunts. Then there’s Ronda Rousey, who, lets be honest, doesn’t have the best acting skills, but is great at kicking ass. How do you top the fight between Michelle Rodriguez and Gina Carano in Furious 6? By making her fight Rousey of course!
2. Kurt Russell as Mr. Nobody
Its one thing to have Kurt Russell in your franchise, but its another to have his character be so awesome. Mr. Nobody ended up being one of the highlights of this film. What made him so fun to watch was seeing Russell be so relaxed and just having fun with his character. His back and forth talk with Toretto about beer preference was one of the funnier dialogues.
Russell also proved to be a total bad ass with his night vision shades and dual wield hand guns. Russell’s character was written to be also included in future films, so I’m excited to see where he and Toretto’s crew go next.
3. Camera Techniques
When talking about the action sequences I have to mention specific camera techinques. When Director Wan decided to implement his signature camera rotations into the scenes is when I was convinced this film had the best action. One example was one when The Rock slammed Statham to the ground, and the camera does a complete 180. There were also some quick cuts and close up shots in that sequence which made the fight more intense. The camera work was far from perfect, but these particular decisions worked effectively for me.
4. Call Backs
Talk about a blast from the past with Race Wars. While this scene also features an unusual number of camera shots at girls asses (not a bad thing), we got to see a bit of street racing which has been missing from the franchise. They even included a cameo of Hector, who decided getting punched by Letty is worth a paycheck.
I also have to mention the scene of Toretto in Tokyo. While I don’t mind them recycling footage of Tokyo Drift, I would have liked to see more of Lucas Black as Sean. It was nice to revisit the underground drift world of Tokyo (briefly), but it also felt like kind of a waste. Maybe we’ll see more of his character in the next film (along with Hobbs), as the team could certainly use some new and/or returning members.
5. Paul Walker Tribute
Its been long speculated on just how the writers would handle the Brian O’Connor character. Do you kill him off or somehow retire his character? Director Wan and company did an excellent job handling this task. If the last 10 minutes of Furious 7 didn’t have you feeling some sort of emotion, then you simply don’t understand what this franchise is all about. Credit must be given to Caleb and Cody Walker for standing in during their brother’s scenes and doing the best they could in honoring their brother. Also to Weta Digital, who provided CGI work for Walker’s character. Such a perfect ending that fit perfectly into the story.
What are some of the things in Furious 7 that stood out to you? Be sure to let us know!