Movie Review: Furious 7

 

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The Fast & the Furious franchise is one of the top movie franchises in the past 10 years. And with the release of Furious 7, the action-packed thrill ride has come to an end for fans of the series. The last installment was released in theaters last week and made big money as people lined up to see not only the last movie in the series, but the last movie in the career of the late Paul Walker.

Furious 7 is directed by James Wan (Saw, Insidious) and picks up not long after the events of the sixth film. Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) is in search for the men responsible for putting his brother, Owen, in the hospital. He first attacks Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) and then gets all the names and information he needs to track down the rest of the team.

Soon, he is on the hunt for Dominic (Vin Diesel) and anyone else that gets in his way. But Dominic won’t have to go against Shaw alone as Brian (Paul Walker), Roman (Tyrese Gibson), Tej (Ludacris), and Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) all join him in this latest fight. But besides his family, Dominic also gets help from Mr. Nobody (Kurt Russell), who in turn needs Dominic’s help to save a woman with a powerful tool.

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If you are a fan of any of the previous movies, then Furious 7 is definitely for you. It is filled with high-speed chases, exotic locations, daring fights, scantily-clad women, and enough explosions to make you think Michael Bay was somehow involved in this film. Diesel, Walker, Gibson, Ludacris, and Johnson all play their roles perfectly and show why they have helped make this franchise so popular. Also, fans of the series will recognize a few other familiar faces along the way including Jordana Brewster and Lucas Black.

Newcomer Jason Statham walks into the role that he was born to play and has played many times before. He is a natural in action movies and, along with Liam Neeson, is probably one of the top action stars in recent memory. Also new to the franchise is UFC star Ronda Rousey, who is not in the film for long, but has one of the best fights scenes of the movie.

Director James Wan also had a good showing as he proved that he could transition from the horror genre to the summer blockbuster seemlessly. Wan has been known for serving up scares since his debut film Saw, but fans of the director should know that he can do action also. He worked with Paul Walker previously on the lesser-known but amazing and dark Running Scared, a film that combined elements of the action, drama, and even horror genres. Wan’s work with Furious 7 is very good and should make him even more in demand with higher-budget films.

As I said earlier, if you liked any of the previous six films, then you will want to see this one. I won’t say that it was the greatest movie ever or that it was even the best of the summer blockbusters. But it was entertaining as hell and an adrenaline-fueled race to the finish. I don’t want this to sound like an insult, but I just look at this movie series as one that you can watch the movies without having to give yourself a headache trying to figure out what is going on. Just as with the other films, Furious 7 lays out its plot and then takes you through good times and the carnage until it gets to the end. And sometimes, when life can get to be so busy and stressful, movies like this are just what is needed.

And yes, it was a little somber watching this and knowing what happened to Paul Walker. However, I thought everything was very tasteful and respectful of the man who helped to build this franchise. And, without spoiling anything, I really did enjoy the way they not only paid homage to Walker but also to the end of the film series. Rest in Peace Paul and thank you, and everyone involved, for this one last ride.

Daryl Karpinski Jr.

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