By Nico Beland
Movie Review: A (3 ½ stars)
LETS GO FOR A LITTLE RIDE!
Speed Devil Buddies, Dom Toretto (Vin Diesel-Riddick trilogy, xXx, Guardians of the Galaxy) and Brian O’ Conner (The late Paul Walker-Pleasantville, Joy Ride, Brick Mansions) are back in the latest installment of the popular Fast & Furious franchise, Furious 7, the first film in the franchise since 2 Fast 2 Furious to not be directed by Justin Lin. Instead it’s directed by James Wan (Saw, Insidious, The Conjuring) as well as his first directed film to not be a horror movie.
While I admired the Fast & Furious franchise for its cars and cheesy one-liners, it wasn’t exactly one of my top favorite franchises like the Marvel Cinematic Universe or Lord of the Rings, but with that said, I think it’s a good series overall, it’s dumb and ridiculous but smart in its goofiness, let’s not forget those beefy badasses and cars. The last two sequels, 2011’s Fast Five and 2013’s Fast & Furious 6 were my favorite installments in the series…until now.
Not only do I think Furious 7 is better than Fast Five and Fast & Furious 6, but it surpasses the entire franchise with its creative scenarios, car action, and city mayhem, all leading up to a pitch perfect ending. This is a very rare time where I can say the seventh installment of a film franchise might actually be the best of them all.
Some time after the events of Fast & Furious 6, we find ex-cop and new father, Brian O’ Conner (Paul Walker) starting a new life with his wife, Mia Toretto (Jordana Brewster-The Faculty, Annapolis, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning) and son, Jack, he went from cop to speed demon to family man, with the support of his friend, Dom Toretto (Vin Diesel). Unfortunately his new life goes into familiar territory when their beefy cop friend, Luke Hobbs (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson-The Mummy Returns, The Scorpion King, Get Smart) is injured in battle against a man who seriously has a vengeance, Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham-The Transporter trilogy, Crank, The Expendables trilogy), big brother of deceased Fast & Furious 6 antagonist, Owen Shaw who is out to get his revenge on Dom, Brian, and his crew for the death of his brother.
So Dom is called in by military general Frank Petty (Kurt Russell-Death Proof, Miracle, Backdraft) to re-unite his crew to rescue professional hacker, Megan Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel-Game of Thrones) from Shaw’s men and find her computer hacking system to monitor Shaw and take him out.
Dom and Brian get the old gang back together, Letty Ortiz (Michelle Rodriguez-Avatar, Machete, Turbo) who is still suffering some amnesia from the last movie, computer hacker, Tej Parker (Chris “Ludacris” Bridges-Crash, Hustle & Flow, Gamer), former convict and childhood friend of Brian, Roman Pearce (Tyrese Gibson-Transformers, Death Race), and even 17 year old street racer, Sean Boswell (Lucas Black-Sling Blade, Jarhead, 42) from The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift come together for one last ride to put an end to the Shaw name and return to their normal lives.
Overall, Furious 7 is an energetic and in your face action blockbuster that still makes time for its slower, dramatic, and character building moments, and it all leads up to a very satisfying ending. I won’t dare give it away, but you may get a little teary-eyed at the end of the movie.
Like Fast Five and Fast & Furious 6 there’s not a whole lot of street racing like the previous films, only in the beginning of the movie is there a race, but the climax itself more than makes up for it, but boy, does it jump the shark? Again, not spoiling that.
If you’re a big fan of the Fast & Furious franchise and want something insane and completely psychotic but also entertaining to watch, then good news, this will be like The Avengers of Fast & Furious movies, from start to finish you’ll be invested, laughing, and thrilled. They certainly saved the best for last…but seriously Universal, don’t make a Fast & Furious 8, leave it at this.