Any time a car movie hits theaters I make it a priority to go see it, but with the “Fast Franchise” it’s more than that. They’re an event all unto their own. I remember seeing the first Fast & Furious in theaters when it came out in 2001, I was a Senior in High School. Now fast forward (no pun intended) 14 years later, I’m married, have a son, and a career. Every time I see one of these movies I feel like I’m visiting an old friend that I don’t see very often, we catch up, have a good time and BANG before you know it it’s over. F&F is a lot like that old friend because throughout the course of the series I’ve become emotionally invested in the characters and their relationships with one another. This franchise has carved out a prominent niche in cinema history, most movies franchises don’t make it past the first sequel let alone six with the possibility of up to nine! It’s become one of the most successful movie empires of all time and is one of the only to make more money as each successive movie is released. With that being said I had a chance to see Furious 7 last Thursday evening and with all of the buzz surrounding the movie I tried to go into the showing with an open mind. So how is it? How does it stack up against the rest? Do they do Paul Walker and his character justice? Read on…..
WARNING: POSSIBLE SPOILERS FOR THOSE WHO HAVEN’T SEEN IT YET
If Ghostbuster’s started the audience in reality and worked it’s way up to making you believe that a 100 ft marshmallow man could exist then Furious 7 is definitely the 100 ft marshmallow man of the series. You kind of have to leave reality at the door and just enjoy the ride. Physics and what the human body is capable of are stretched to the limits of believability. Makes you think that these guys could go up against the Avengers and stand a fighting chance of winning lol. I’m making fun of it only because I truly love the series but did find myself being taken out of the movie at times when things got a little too unreal. The story is pretty straight forward with Jason Statham playing the older brother of Fast Six’s main villain and seeking revenge for what Dom and his team did to his sibling. Notice I didn’t refer to the younger brother posthumously though. (Spoiler) Walker’s Brian O’Conner is found struggling to adapt to domesticated life. He “misses the bullets” (yea cheesy I know but that’s their words not mine) The gang is thrown back into the fold when Shaw (Statham) kills one of their own in Han (seen after the credits in Fast Six and tying Tokyo Drift into the Fast timeline) putting Hobbs (The Rock) in the hospital and attempting to blow up Dom, Brian and MIa. The rest of the movie is a collision course between Dom and Shaw (literally)
with a kind of silly secondary subplot that finds the gang rescuing Ramsey a computer hacker who invented a program known as “God’s eye” that can find anyone anywhere in the world. And of course we couldn’t have this technology falling into the wrong hands so enter Mr. Nobody played by Kurt Russell who’s a government agency guy that hires Dom and the crew to help track down Shaw and find “God’s Eye” in the process. Let me introduce you to villain B Mose Jakande who’s only role is to scowl at the camera and shout orders. This leads to a climactic ending that see’s a drone chasing our beloved characters thru the city while switching between Vin Diesel and Jason Statham beating the crap out of one another atop a parking garage. This all ends in a silly but epic conclusion with Dom’s band of rebels once again pulling it off. The movie then trails off into a place where movies seldom ever go. How do you say goodbye to a lead character and the actor who portrays him when the two are such an integral part of the series and nearly one in the same? I won’t ruin this one for ya folks, you’ll have to see it yourself but not only does it do Walker and his character justice it’s probably the most touching tribute to an on screen character ever. The actors are not only saying good bye to the character of Brian O’Conner they in their onscreen roles are saying good bye to their friend and brother but doing so within the context of the movie. And while Vin’s scene at the end comes close to breaking the fourth wall it does so gracefully and in the right way.
I walked out of the theater very satisfied with the film and though it’s not my favorite of the franchise (5 holds that honor) it is a very worthy addition and with it’s global box office already being north of $800 million at the time of this writing I can almost safely say that it won’t be the last time we see Dominic Torretto and company on the silver screen.