Director: James Wan
Cast: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Jason Statham, Dwayne Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez
Dwayne Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez, Paul Walker, Vin Diesel and Tyrese Gibson in 'Furious 7'. Pic/Santa Banta
After the third installment of the 'Fast and Furious' franchise it seemed like the series had come to a limp ending. Director Justin Lin surprised everyone and rebooted the franchise by changing the 'racing' mode of the movies to 'heist thriller' and delivered a trilogy of parts 4,5 and 6 that took the franchise to blinding levels. None of the films had any solid story but they all had ridiculous stunt work and also a dash of much needed humor to keep you entertained.
James Wan, the director of 'Saw', 'Insidious' and 'The Conjuring' seemed like an odd choice to helm the seventh film in the franchise, but he does not the least bit disappoint. This entry needed a boost of adrenaline and Wan delivers just that. 'Furious 7' is not only well aware of how silly the whole thing has become but is also smart enough to deliver flashy thrills and action to keep cheering in your seat.
This time around, Shaw Deckard (Jason Statham) is out to destroy the gang that put his brother Owen in the hospital in the previous film. While the previous three films were set before the events of the 'Tokyo Drift', this is the first legitimate sequel in the series where everything finally falls into place. With that simplistic story out of the way, the film proceeds to place the gigantic cast of Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Michelle Rodriguez, Dwayne Johnson, Tyrese Gibson and Ludacris in a host of different cars in a host of different exotic locales. Also joining the cast are Nathalie Emmanuel as the femme fatale replacement for Gal Gadot and Ali Fazal in a miniscule role of a Saudi grease monkey.
What really matters are the stunts and action, and they deliver by the truckloads. Whether it is driving a car through Middle Eastern skyscrapers, or pounding a truck through forested hills of Azerbaijan, or squirming a convertible through the bylanes of an American metropolis, it’s a dollop of entertainment. Just when you think things can’t get more ridiculous the filmmakers go the whole hog by even introducing a drone firing missiles at speeding cars. Sure it looks like a video game half the time, but video games can be fun if you’re into them. And when you get a bunch of cars diving off a plane and landing straight into a highway for a heist you really can’t complain much.
The only thing that's jarringly bad about the movie (if you discount the plot) is the 3D. Pretty much every piece of the action is rendered in shaky camera and seeing it in 3D can often be headache inducing. The low light shots in particular are dizzying because the 3D glasses further dim the images. Seen on an IMAX screen in gorgeous 2D, 'Furious 7' can be quite the popcorn experience your fast food addict mind and body can relish. Despite whatever the film conveys in the end, including a heartfelt goodbye to Paul Walker, this is certainly not the last film in the canon. Whether the future films get bigger of better remains to be seen.