While none of these movies are great works of art that are destined to stand the test of time, they are extraordinarily entertaining action flicks that manage to get bigger, louder, and more fun with every film, which is surprising considering how many sequels lose momentum after one or two movies.
“Furious 7” is the latest outing for Dominic Toretto and his crew, and with the tragedy of losing Paul Walker it becomes all the more touching to see how far this group of actors and filmmakers go to thrill moviegoers.
After the events of “Fast and Furious 6” Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) looks to get revenge for his brother by taking out Toretto (Vin Diesel) and his team. In an effort to avenge the deaths of those Shaw has already come across, they team up with a mysterious government agent called Mr. Nobody (Kurt Russell) to get ahold of a device that can trace the location of anyone at any time. With this technology they can track down Shaw and stop him before he crosses another name from his hit list.
One thing that is imperative to understanding the success of these films is that everyone involved is aware of the lack of substance and illogical fun. These are good looking people driving fast cars and doing insane stunts.
To critique a work like this based on story and its innovativeness would be fruitless because it is all about the action, the production value, and the stars.
What separates these movies from something like “Transformers” is that it treats its audience seriously, with everyone involved giving it their all. These performers care about making these chase sequences suspenseful and exciting, the big confrontations as epic as they can possibly be, and their characters to be fun and relatable.
This movie was made for fans and not for suckers willing to spend ten dollars to watch robots fight for three hours.
The unfortunate passing of star Paul Walker has been the subject of much discussion and speculation on how the franchise would be able to continue filming despite losing a major player in mid-shoot. There is an added emotional element to the film that results from such a tragedy, watching the last work of an actor on screen, but the film itself does not lend itself to sentiment. This film was to be a rip-roaring showdown between Jason Statham, Vin Diesel, and Dwayne Johnson, who is fantastic as the hulk like Hobbs, but there is simply too much going on that detracts from the enjoyment of what was a very simple set-up.
Walker is given a fitting exit that will satisfy viewers, but the story itself ultimately does not know how to handle any of the other plotlines. Statham is built up to be a major adversary but the way his character is handled seems rushed and disappointing, Russell is likeable as always but his part amounts to nothing by the finale, and there are too many balls still rolling when the credits come up.
The fights and stunts are well done, the performances are enjoyable, and the fan service is amped up to incredible highs. “Furious 7” is not going to win any major awards and will not make any top ten lists at the end of the year, but it is a good time at the movies.