Movie franchises aren’t known to last long. After a certain number of films (usually three), the series starts to get stale. Even the most hard-core, loyal fans doesn’t want to see another film after three because it could have ended perfectly. Who really wants to see a good memory when you love and support the product so much to see it change into something horrible?
Then there are franchises such as the high-octane Fast and Furious.
Furious 7 is the first sequel to take place after The Fast and The Furious: Tokyo Drift. Dom (Vin Diesel), Brian (Paul Walker, in his final film appearance), and the rest of the crew are targeted by Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham), brother of the previous film’s villain, Owen Shaw (Luke Evans). After two of their own are taken out, the crew reassembles to take the fight to the elder Shaw.
So how is the movie? Overall, it’s awesome and truly driven by heart but it is also completely insane and ridiculous. Since this is the same premise as Die Hard 3, director James Wan and writer Chris Morgan decided to change things and make it more than a revenge flick. They bring in new players and subplots to tie into the main plot. New cast members such as Djimon Hounsou’s high-tech assassin and Tony Jaa as his high-flying, parkour henchman help carry along the subplot but a major character came in to help the crew. In order to track down the shadowy Shaw, the crew agree to help just as secretive government agent (Kurt Russell) retrieve a surveillance program. It’s not really necessary because Shaw, driven by his revenge, keeps popping up every time our heroes go to work. From Abu Dhabi to Los Angeles, Shaw keeps popping up!
But you don’t come to this movie for the logic (I’ll bring up the real reason soon). Everyone who has watched this series from the beginning knows the majority of the audience is there for the demolition-derby style action and mayhem. Featuring stunts galore, Furious 7 does not disappoint. From Walker running on an overturned bus that’s teetering off the edge of a cliff to the infamous dropping cars out of the cargo hold of a plane, the stunts remind you how incredible the films are in that respect and how each one looks to top the previous installment.
At the heart of it all, Furious 7 is a farewell to Paul Walker’s Brian O’Connor character and a tribute to Walker. The biggest surprise is how tastefully and heartfelt the film pays tribute to a man whose character was the heart of the film, showing him how much of a family man his character was on-screen as Walker was off-screen. In the final scene, he see Walker’s smile one more time behind the wheel of his car. It’s a subtle moment in the franchise that doesn’t have much use for one. And it’s very cathartic as Diesel/Toretto’s voiceover says goodbye to a brother.