The outrageously fast movie, Furious 7, speeds through and takes over 2015 box office and continues to break down all laws known to physics with 137 minutes of logic-defying action sequences.
As expected, this latest installment to the Fast & Furious franchise is fun, exciting, and over-the-top. Admittedly, I was wide-eyed and on the edge of my seat during a number of crazy stunts.
There are two connecting threads in between the adrenaline infused scenes that connects us with the characters and allows us to become emotionally invested in them.
Letty’s (Michelle Rodriguez) memory loss creates tension between her and Dominic (Vin Diesel). It makes us feel that “the family” is broken in ways that cannot be easily fixed. It gives an underlying feeling of desperation.
Brian’s (Paul Walker) difficulty of adapting to home life away from danger is more than missing cars and racing; he actually “misses the bullets.” His wife Mia (Jordana Brewster) is afraid of hindering him by asking him to stay in his domesticated life but she’s also fearful of the danger that he longs for.
The revenge and counter-revenge elements moves from one scene to another. I had a little difficulty sympathizing with Diesel over Jason Statham because I’ve liked him since Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch.
Nathalie Emmanuel as Ramsey as a brainiac hacker is a welcome sight to this testosterone-packed franchise. I love the banter between Tej (Ludacris) and Roman (Tyrese Gibson) about stereotypes of what hackers look like. Ramsey’s intelligent read about the dynamic of the group is interesting and amusing.
Some may point out that the fight scene between UFC Champ Ronda Rousey and Letty isn’t as good as with Riley (Gina Carano) but I think it’s impressive that they’re able to do the hand-to-hand combat scene in heels and designer dresses on a marble floor.
Paul Walker’s presence in the movie is eerie. He died mid-filming and most of the scenes are done with his brothers as stand-ins. The CGI is so well done that it’s creepy and distracting when you do notice.
I wonder why Hobbs’ (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson) character took a backseat in this movie. He’s confined behind the desk and inside the hospital for the most part.
Essentially, as we’re told throughout the movie, it’s about family and friendship. Sometimes with huge automatic weapons as illustrated by Hobbs. It reminds us that part of loving family and friends is respecting changes that are necessary for their personal growth, even if it means we’re no longer going to be part of their lives.
What began as a story of L.A. car jockeys burning rubber and getting into fights just for the hell of it has become an international espionage thriller complete with villains straight out of comic books.
The franchise has already earned $3 billion worldwide and we will surely see Furious 8 in the near future. Furious 7 may not be an intellectually stimulating movie but it makes for a good night of fun. Let yourself go, leave your work and household chores and immerse yourself in a world where cars fly and you can drive at high speeds on the streets of Los Angeles without getting pulled over by the cops.
Starring: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Dwayne Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez, Jason Statham, Tyrese Gibson and Chris “Ludacris” Bridges. Directed by James Wan. Opens April 3 at GTA theatres.
MPAA rating: PG-13 (for prolonged frenetic sequences of violence, action and mayhem, suggestive content and brief strong language)
Running time: 137 minutes