This action saga revolving around crazy car chases, explosions, pumping music, speed ramping , fist fights & karate kicks, constant slow motion camera angles on a semi-clad beauties & bunch of bald dudes beating each other up is probably the most weirdest franchise out there.
When the almost lukewarm 1st film debuted back in 2001, it didn't seem like this franchise would go anywhere. Mainly since the first couple of sequels focused on different characters and story lines. Even when they got the entire cast back together in 2009 for the fourth film I didn't feel like it was anything special. I'd always mildly enjoyed the films, but it wasn't until Fast Five (& the inclusion of Dwayne Johnson) that got me on hook with the series. The films belonging to this franchise have been increasing the ambition of the stunts and action sequences with every sequel, while the screenplays & the plots have been getting more tangled in order to guarantee the numerous cast to have enough moments of individual showcasing. This seventh installment isn't the exception, while it elevated the level of drama and highly entertaining motoring stunts beyond any reason or logic - something which we exactly expect from this franchise. Besides, the sudden shocking demise of actor Paul Walker's brings an emotional gravity to the story which the screenplay could have never generated by itself.
I wish that this new emotional weight hadn't been due to such tragic reasons, but it undoubtedly influenced my perception of the film. The story continues from where the sixth installment ended. Toretto (Vin Diesel), Brian (Paul Walker), Tej (Ludacirs), and Roman (Tyrese Gibson) had finally found financial stability and cleaned their names to return home. Agent Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) had helped reinvigorate the franchise and Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) was brought back from the dead (well actually she never really died, but fans of the franchise know what I mean). Mia (Jordan Brewster) and Brian were enjoying their new found family life, but as we found out in the end of the sixth film, Owen's brother Deckard (Jason Statham) was set on avenging him. Their seemingly peaceful life is interrupted as the team begins to be hunted down by this dangerous British criminal. Loretto is offered the opportunity to flip the papers on Deckard from being hunted to becoming the hunters when a secret government official known as Mr. Nobody (Kurt Russell) offers him a deal. A Somalian mercenary (Djimon Hounsou) has kidnapped a hacker known as Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel) who has developed a computer program known as God's Eye that basically allows you to find anyone across the globe in a matter of seconds.
If Toretto's team can rescue Ramsey and retrieve God's Eye he will let them use it to track down Deckard and catch him off guard. And so the adventure across the globe begins with flying cars, helicopters and droids exploding across the mountains of the Middle East, the elegant buildings in Abu Dhabi, and the city of Los Angeles. Sadly, the characters of Gisele (Gal Gadot) and Han (Sun Kang) are clearly missed! Despite Deckard been largely alone in his plot for vengeance, other antagonists are portrayed by the unmistakable Tony Jaa, who participates in a number of amazingly choreographed fights, and the always impressive Djimon Hounsou, as terrorist leader Jakande. Respectively, both actors received limited roles, and deserved more screen time, especially considering Mr. Hounsou's presence can equally rival Mr. Diesel's. Towards the end of the feature, it is annoying that Jakande is only capable of saying 'what?' almost a dozen times as his plans are individually and irreparably torn asunder, while the vendetta he has against Toretto is as immature as it is unnecessary.
James Wan, who is well known for directing horror films (The Conjuring and Saw), took over the seventh film in this franchise replacing Justin Lin who had been sitting on the director's chair since the third installment. Justin Lin may have not impressed me before, but when that film came out he decided to have fun with the overblown action scenes and audiences embraced it completely. We had the team reuniting together being chased by tanks and planes and pulling off nearly mission impossible tasks. My greatest concern for this film was that Wan wouldn't follow that basic formula that had elevated the franchise in the first place. But in an early scene in the film those fears were soon gone when Wan practically gives the audience a wink by having Brian (Walker) telling his son that "cars don't fly" when he playfully throws a small toy car through the window. We were about to find out that that claim wasn't necessarily true because throughout this film we actually see several cars fly during the spectacular action scenes.
While the narrative is far from perfect, there are lots of reasons to shrug off such shortcoming. The movie vaunts a solid assemblage of action stars led by Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Kurt Russell and Jason Statham. Jason Statham, plays as the main antagonist here, and he makes a decent job, so does Vin Diesel as the leader of the crew. However, it is Michelle Rodriguez as Letty, whose performance is the most outstanding. A conversation between her and Toretto at the beginning, where she reveals the heart-wrenching pain of being crippled by amnesia, sets the scene for her character's journey, and lines she admits towards the end of the feature are beautifully impacting. Paul Walker seems to have less screen time as Brian O'Connor than he had in previous movies. Any digital superimposing that was promulgated to complete his role in the movie was amazingly established, Brian's story mainly focused on whether he would dedicate himself to living with Mia (Jordana Brewster) and their son, as a father who drives a mini-van (one of the film's most comically painful scenes), or continue to involve himself in fierce confrontations. Djimon Hounsou & Tony Jaa are completely wasted Kurt Russell brings an appropriate style and personality to his character. Dwayne Johnson & Jordana Brewster don't have much to do! The banter exhibited between Tyrese Gibson as Roman, and Ludicrous as Tej, is as humorous and witty as it was in the previous installment! Bollywood actor Ali Fazal is hilarious in a cameo. There is no shortage of visual extravagance, as every high-octane action stunt is delivered with breathtaking CGI-trickery, magnifying the thrill into several seismic folds.
But yet the emotional tribute at the feature's end to Paul Walker is the main highlight of the film. The touching words from Diesel are passionate & are sure to bring out tears. On the whole, 'Furious 7' is a ride worth taking over and over again, not only because of the level of action it presents, but more strikingly, of how its core is imbued with resonating message of family and brotherhood. Evident to this, is how it pays tribute to Paul, dotting the movie with flashbacks of him, to further build up his character. And towards the end, as the momentum further spikes, the film places Brian on spotlight, bringing the movie into a highly sentimental send off and a heart-rupturing finish. Watch this movie For Paul!