When you've been living life a quarter mile at a time, how do you put all that behind you and settle down? In April 2015, Brian finally has a chance to put a life of danger behind him, right after the crew stops one more bad guy.
Directing this 137 minute action/crime/thriller is James Wan.
Throwing things into high gear is: Vin Diesel as Dominic Toretto, Paul Walker as Brian O'Conner, Michelle Rodriguez as Letty, Tyrese Gibson as Roman, Chris "Ludacris" Bridges as Tej, Dwayne Johnson as Hobbs, Nathalie Emmanuel as Ramsey, Jordana Brewster as Mia, Kurt Russell as Mr. Nobody, Djimon Hounsou as Jakande, and Jason Statham as Deckard Shaw. With apperances by Lucas Black as Sean Boswell, Ronda Rousey as Kara, Elsa Pataky as Elena, Tony Jaa as Kiet and Luke Evans as Owen Shaw.
After the team stopped Shaw (Furious 6) and brought Letty back into the fold of the family things were looking up. Unfortunately, not everyone was happy with what happened to Shaw. Before they
know it, the crew has an even bigger problem than Shaw to deal with. Shaw's big brother, Deckard, wants revenge for what they did and he's willing to do whatever it takes to make the Toretto crew pay.
I have to say, this was kind of a hard review to write. Partly because, as a fan of the Furious franchise, I had to sit and watch what was (due to the passing of Paul Walker) the last film of the franchise, which meant it was over... done... No more high speed flicks about a strange but crazy cool group of people that built a relationship on the foundation of loyalty, respect, love and most importantly... family. Even though word has come out that there is another film (title unknown) in the works that will be the 8th installment due out around April 2017, as a fan, it won't be the same. Yeah, we've all lost someone in our lives, and we know eventually you're able to carry on and move forward, but things are never the same without them. No matter how many explosions or crazier car chases you throw into the next flick, there will still be something missing. Think about this: had Roger Murtaugh, Lethal Weapon (1987), finally called it quits and took the retirement he was always "looking forward to" the Lethal Weapon series would never have been as good with someone else. However, nothing lasts forever I guess, as is life, changes come and maybe, just maybe something cool with come with the new wave of the Furious film(s).
The story was written by Chris Morgan, and I will say, he did a good job continuing the super-charged adrenalin pumping style that we've all come to know and/or love about the franchise. Yet again, they found a way to raise the ante from the last film. However, I think they raised it a little too much this time. Keep in mind (as most Furious fans do) you have to be able to see past little things like... gravity, physics and well, pretty much reality in general to see the awesomeness these films have to offer for entertainment. Even knowing all that, I still had a hard time getting into this one. Mainly because until now it was racers against racers, or average Joe against semi-average Joe. It wasn't until the crew was thrown up against a badass named Owen Shaw in Furious 6 (2013) that their skills were truly tested. But, I felt the Deckard Shaw character in Furious 7 was w-a-y out of their pay range of bad guys to take down. Other than that, the storyline was good. It's your basic bad guy wants revenge, hurts good guys and before long the good guys want a little payback of their own. All the while trying to stop some other bad guys from doing evil in the world.
With a budget of 190 million, Furious 7 spent every penny on sicker rides, story-high car jumps, scarier "CGI" cliff hangers, tons more bullets to dodge, and enough explosions to leave a pyromaniac twitchy in their seat. All that adds up to a pretty thrilling playthrough, I gotta tell you. The cinematography work done by Marc Spicer and Stephen F. Windon caught some mind blowing scenes. Side note, after the death of Walker the script went into rewrites and a new ending was created. Instead of killing off his character they went with a retirement angle, which made for a very touching ending and a beautiful way to say goodbye to a co-worker, friend and a brother.
The cast, as usual, did a good job. I really liked the introduction of Russell's character and if he continues his role I could see some cool special ops stuff added to the franchise. Also, Statham definitely brought the high level of badass to his character that I expected he would. I was totally stoked when I heard Tony Jaa was in the cast line, but was a bit disappointed to see how little he was actually in it.
I have to side step for a second. One of the other reasons I had trouble reviewing this one was because this film made 392.2 million world wide in the first three days of release. Don't get me wrong, that's awesome because that number made this flick the fourth highest opening film of all time. My problem is would that number still be the same had Walker not passed away? Is this a sign of tribute by the fans of both Walker and Furious franchise? In their own way, people saying good bye, a bit of homage if you will, to grab seats as soon as the theaters made it available and take that last ride. Maybe what they say true, that an artist is never truly appreciated until after they're gone. I guess we'll just have to add that to the pile of mysteries life has us wondering about already. Like who shot JFK, the platypus and just because I can't see ninjas does that mean they don't exist... or are they really that good? Little food for thought there. Spin on that and let me know what you think.
Overall, yeah it's worth catching and worth the money to see on the big screen. Not because it's the last film of Paul Walker but because a group of people that have entertained us for 6 films got together and gave Furious fans another flick to strap in and hold onto for a fun ride.
It's rated PG-13 violence and language.