Furious 7 SPOILER-FREE Review
This weekend, the summer blockbuster season officially kicked off with Furious 7. Beforehand, I actually had not seen any films in the franchise. To prepare, I watched Fast Five and Furious 6, which you can read reviews for here and here. After watching those two movies, I was very excited to see this one. The action looked crazy and funny, and overall I was really looking forward to it. Of course, I should bring up that actor Paul Walker passed away halfway through filming this movie, so the film stopped production, re-evaluated the film and carried on. I am not going to spoil how they retired Walker's character, but I felt they did a great job of it. Many of his scenes were already filmed, but for the rest of the movie (especially the third act), Walker's brothers were brought in as body doubles and CGI was used to recreate the actor for certain scenes. There was one scene when the CGI was terribly noticeable, but overall, they did a great job of blending the two and reworking the story to make a great tribute to Paul Walker. The end is very emotional.
This movie gives you everything you were expecting: cars, girls, explosions and fighting. Jason Statham plays the villain, the big brother of Furious 6's villain Luke Evans, who is out for revenge. He begins hunting down different members of the team, forcing Vin Diesel to need to track him down. However, Diesel has no way of finding him, except for a device called God's Eye. In order to use it, Diesel and his team must go on missions across the world to obtain it for a government official played by Kurt Russel. This brings the team at odds against Djimon Hounsou, a Somalian terrorist leader. At the same time this is all going on, Vin Diesel and Michelle Rodriguez have an emotional story line, as she still has no memory of them being together, but Diesel has faith in her. My biggest complaint for Furious 6 was that too much time was spent on their story line rather than the action, but this movie found the perfect balance. There was enough emotion that you genuinely cared about the characters, but also had plenty of fun action. There was also an emotional story with Paul Walker, who is now a Dad and a husband, and has to decide between the bullets and the white picket fence.
There was a lot of action in the movie and it was all done really well. I thought James Wan did a great job taking over from Justin Lin, however, I found Wan's action scenes used some shaky cam and quick editing. More than Lin, whose action was a lot more crisp and clear. It bothered me a little bit, but overall I was just enthralled with the action itself. There are some really big adrenaline rush scenes, specifically with Paul Walker and the bus, pictured above. There was also a scene with Vin Diesel stealing a car and crashing it through several buildings, which has been in the trailers. There was a great fight between Rodriguez and WWE fighter Ronda Rousey. Of course, the third act scene was spectacular. However, it didn't feel like a step up from Furious 6. Fast Five had a great final battle, which was topped by Furious 6. While the final battle in Furious 7 was great, it didn't feel like it topped Furious 6.
Dwayne Johnson has a very small role in this movie, but when he's on, he's fantastic. I was afraid that his absence would be recognizable, but I almost forgot about him until he showed up again. Tyrese Gibson is still my favorite character in this franchise, and he did not disappoint with his humor in this one. He was spot-on! I thought Jason Statham was really good as the villain. For me, Luke Evans was underused and underdeveloped in Furious 6, but I thought they used Statham better in this movie. He was a formidable enemy, physically intimidating to a person the size of Vin Diesel. The rest of the supporting cast was great too.
For me, this movie wasn't as good as Fast Five, but better than Furious 6. There are some really good emotional beats. The action is crazy and fun. The situation with Paul Walker was handled well and this film gave him one of the best tributes I've seen in movies. I think he would be very proud of this movie.
What do you think? Did you see Furious 7? Did you like it? How does it compare to the previous films? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.
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