It has been approximately 15 years since The Fast and the Furious hit theaters back in 2001. Now several years later, the franchise has taken a slight turn with Furious 7. Now I have not seen every single film in this franchise. I have seen only Fast and Furious (2009), Fast Five (2011), and Fast and Furious 6 (2013).
So being the seventh entry in the 'franchise built on speed', it brings nearly everything that fans all over the world loved about the previous films and brings it into a new direction for the series to take. It conveniently is one of my top 10 most anticipated films for this year. It gave a sense of previous installments for me and took me into where the film was going to bring the franchise. And I loved every minute of it. Surprisingly, this film was supposed to be released last year. Unfortunately, due to Paul Walker's tragic death, Universal had to delay the film one year. Now over the past several months before this film was released, people have speculated as to what Universal was going to do with Walker's character Brian O'Conner.
The director's chair was taken over by James Wan for this installment after Justin Lin directed the previous four films. And what he did to Brian O'Conner in the film was the best possible way to send him off. He brought in Walker's brothers (who look almost exactly like him) to finish up the scenes that Paul could not do due to his death. At first, I thought that they would cut out Brian O'Conner completely. But this being the case, O'Conner was still in the movie, he was just done in a different way.
On a side note, the cast from the previous few films return to their roles. This includes Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Jordana Brewster, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson and Ludacris among others. Here they are joined by Kurt Russell and Jason Statham. And the cast from previous installments I felt, have done their roles at the next level. And it was done really, really well at that. They were all great in their own roles. And I believe them to be the next team of underdog heroes that have gone from street-racing criminals to just normal people.
Now in this film, Dominic Toretto and his team have returned to peaceful lives after their defeat of Owen Shaw in the previous film. But a new danger emerges when Shaw's brother Deckard seeks revenge by killing individual members of the team. I thought of this storyline to being a really driving story with a few surprises here and there, which I found the most appealing.
In regards to new characters, there are really two new additions to the cast. One is Jason Statham, who is the main villain of the film Deckard Shaw. He wants revenge for the death of his brother in the previous film. Now his role in the film was so sneaky and out there, I found him to be among the most dangerous (next to his brother) villains in this series. And the team was trying to evade him at all costs with all the guts they have.
The second new member of the cast was Kurt Russell. Now Russell has done nearly everything from being a coach in Miracle to being a superhero in the teen-comedy Sky High (at least from what I've seen). Now here, he is a government agent who is sent by Dwayne Johnson's Luke Hobbs (who was hospitalized) to aid Toretto and his team in catching Statham in exchange for them helping him retrieve a special computer program dubbed God's Eye, which is what Djimon Hounsou is after for his own purposes.
In regards to the new direction this film takes, from Fast Five onward, the franchise has gone from just street racing to full-on action films. And since I am a big action film fan, I found that to being a strength that this film had with regards to everything that was new and fresh. From start to finish, it is filled with some of the most exquisite action sequences that a film such as this one could ever have. And if you liked the previous few films, you will dig this one.
Now the one sequence that had me really going was the skydiving sequence. It was so funny to watch each member of the team get into their own car and fall out of a plane while trying to catch the bad guys. But Tyrese Gibson was being such a big baby because of his fear of skydiving. And I loved seeing his reaction to what Paul Walker did to him at the last minute. So that was quite another excellent strength that this film has (just like Iron Man 3 had).
So all in all, this movie had me rolling with the film's story and characters (especially Paul Walker's character). Great action and fun throughout the entire film. In regards to giving this film's rating, I will give Furious 7 8.9 out of 10 stars for taking the entire franchise in a better direction for future films to come.
So what is your favorite moment from this movie? Did you like this one better than any of the other films? What's your favorite Fast and Furious film? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.