Reviews

‘Furious 7’ Review: A Perfect Farewell

‘I live my life a quarter mile at a time, you do to, that’s why were brothers. No matter where you are in this world, whether it’s a quarter mile away or half way around the world, we’ll always be family. You’ll always be my brother.’

Synopsis: Deckard Shaw seeks revenge against Dominic Toretto and his family for his comatose brother.

Image of 'Furious 7'

It’s hard to imagine a cast and crew going through with a marketing campaign and premiere of their movie following a death of a beloved cast member, just imagine how hard it was for the cast and crew of Furious 7 to finish filming following the tragic death of arguably the franchises most important member, Paul Walker. When the news broke of Paul Walker’s death, Furious 7 wasn’t the first the thing to cross my mind, but it was up there. Over the years, Walker has become a personal favorite of mine, outside of Fast & Furious, too. So the heartbreak I felt for not just his Fast & Furious family, but his real family was tremendous. As for the movie and the decision to go on, it became ‘For Paul’ for everyone involved. And even with the incredible amount of pressure to send off their beloved friend the right way, as a huge fan of this franchise, it couldn’t have happened a more perfect way.

Furious 7 is the first entry into the franchise that is almost a direct sequel to the previous movie. Everything that went down in Fast & Furious 6 has a direct impact on what happens in Furious 7. And me being a huge fan of this franchise and just enjoying the hell out of them, I love that it’s a direct sequel. It fit the story very well, even though it could’ve been used a bit better. Owen Shaw (Luke Evans), the big baddie from Fast & Furious 6 has an even worse brother, Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham), who wold’ve thought? And he really is worse, a ghost as they call them, a guy with a black ops background, but black ops on steroids. Although I thought the character could’ve been used much better, Deckard Shaw is a formidable foe for Dom, Brian, and the crew.

Let’s face it, this franchise isn’t story based, it’s not. It’s all about fast cars, sexy females, and gigantic action. Which is completely okay, it is! But unfortunately while watching these movies, sometimes I lose interest in bits and pieces of the story here and there. I’m not saying I hated it or wish it would’ve been better, but that were a few moments where I did lose interest. With that said, every plot point was weaved into each other pretty damn well. That freaking badass car skydiving scene made sense, traveling to Dubai made sense. Sometimes these outrageous, over-the-top action movies lose people when they travel here or do this, but this franchise has done a very good job in making sure that what happens and where they go fits the story and just, makes sense.

Image of 'Furious 7'

One thing that these movies have always done well that is very surprising, specifically with this crew, is the character development. You wouldn’t think that a big action franchise wouldn’t focus on characters as much, but man do they. The relationship between these characters is fantastic. The Dom and Brian one is obvious, the growth these characters have gone through with each other is amazing. These two have grown into what they are with each other and truly are brothers. Off topic here, those final words from Vin Diesel to Paul Walker were cry worthy, the feels…

But other than those two, each character has their moments and purpose. Since this franchise made the great decision to bring Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) back, her new arch has been very interesting to see. The Last time we saw her she had no memory, but throughout Furious 7 we see her start to remember who she is and where she comes from. She is starting to remember LA and the DR, starting to remember Dom, Brian, and everyone else. She’s always been an asset because of her driving skills and what she’s capable of, but it’ll be very interesting to see where her character goes and how much more of an asset she becomes now that she is the Letty we all know and love.

Jason Statham & Vin Diesel in 'Furious 7'

Surprisingly, Furious 7 had a good amount of comedic relief, most of it coming from Roman (Tyrese Gibson) and Tej (Ludacris). Those two around everyone else is flat out fun. The timing and one-liners coming from them is perfect, it adds to that huge amount of fun these movies have. But then you put them together and it becomes comedy show. Roman talking is enough funny for me, but putting Tej into the mix and having him joke on Roman, it’s just hilarious. As for Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel), her character was very smart. Adding a woman Tej into the mix was a cool idea, and yes, she may not been much of asset on the car or action side, but she’s a huge part of this movie. Essentially, she’s the reason why Dom, Brian, and the crew win. But from here on out, it’ll be very interesting to see if her character is brought back and how she’ll be used. I personally would be okay with bringing her back, I’m always down for another female character, especially now that Mia (Jordan Brewster) more than likely won’t be back.

What can I say about the action? It’s outrageous, it’s over-the-top, it’s crazy, but it’s completely awesome. It’s the perfect amount of fun, insane, popcorn action. Once again a Fast & Furious makes the unbelievable, believable. Skydiving cars? Yeah, I believe it now. Jumping a car between three of the world’s biggest buildings? Very hard to believe, but I believed it in the moment! The car action is insanely awesome, it is. But director James Wan adding something very cool to these movies in the hand-to-hand combat. The fighting scenes were just unbelievable in every way possible. The Rock vs Jason Statham. Paul Walker vs Tony Jaa (x2). Michelle Rodriguez vs Ronda Rousey. Vin Diesel vs Jason Statham. The time and work put into making those fight scenes were so flipping great. From the choreography to the camera work, it was so engaging and exciting. It added something completely fresh and new to these movies, which worked out very well in their favor.

Paul Walker in 'Furious 7'

All in all, Furious 7 was exactly what we were expecting, hoping, and more. It was as action-packed and insane as advertised, continuing the rise of this franchise. But it was more than just a big budget, popcorn fun blockbuster, it was a dedication. It may have been big in every way possible, but overall it was about sending their brother off into the sunset the right way, giving him the farewell he deserved. Whether it was in the beginning, the middle, or that heartfelt ending, they succeeded. Even though it’s going to and has made a butt-load of money, it doesn’t have to because it left its mark. The dedication, the passion, and the love put into this movie shows, and it truly is the perfect farewell. #ForPaul

Rating: 8/10

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