Believe it or not, Furious 7 is only the second film I’ve seen in the entire Fast & Furious series (Hobbs & Shaw, being a spin-off, technically doesn’t count). I didn’t pay the series any mind until my senior year of college, when I got to see Fast Five at a screening that was free for college students. I was nearly hooked into the series then, but the stress of finishing my degree distracted me enough that I forgot about the series all over again (Paul Walker’s tragic death in 2013 did not help). That’s how things stayed until just recently, when I watched Hobbs & Shaw, remembered that the duo had appeared (more or less) in several Fast & Furious films prior to the spin-off, and decided to find out what I was missing.
And that’s basically how i found myself watching Furious 7 for the first time ever last night. By rights, I should have watched Fast & Furious 6 first, since that’s where we meet Owen Shaw (and without him we never would’ve met Deckard Shaw). But…I was really impatient to get to Jason Statham’s involvement in the series, so I skipped ahead.
To put it mildly, Furious 7 is an insane film, with stunts that make Fast Five look tame in comparison. I’m still trying to work out how a crew of street racers and thieves got involved in international espionage (that IS what this is, right?), but thankfully the story is so over the top that it just works. The plot largely revolves around Dom seeking revenge on Deckard Shaw for killing Han and nearly killing himself, Mia, Brian, and their young son Jack. Deckard, for his part, wants revenge on the crew for nearly killing his brother Owen. Jason Statham fits into the story perfectly, and I really believe that adding him in raises the story to a whole different level.
I also have to say, that while I love all of the stunts in this film, I do understand why people are saying the franchise is seriously pushing the limits of believability (and I haven’t even seen Fate of the Furious yet). Case in point, that entire sequence where the expensive supercar flies/drops/jumps between skyscrapers in Abu Dhabi. It looks really cool but at the exact same time there’s a voice in the back of my head saying “Yea, right, like that could totally ever happen.” Fortunately, I love crazy action scenes, so I don’t let it bother me too much.
No review would be complete without addressing how the film bids farewell to Paul Walker. I remember when the news of his death came out, and at the time I legitimately thought that was the end of this film. After all, Brian is so important to the story, how could you possibly go on without him? Well, they found a way, and it’s one of the best character send-offs I’ve ever seen that doesn’t involve outright killing the character off. The digital effects are so good, if I hadn’t read some trivia that reveals where and how some of the footage was manipulated, I probably wouldn’t have known which scenes were and which scenes weren’t (except for the beach scene and the ending of course). And that ending…I can’t imagine a more fitting end than having Brian drive off into the sunset (in an all-white car no less). I freely admit I was crying when the credits finally rolled.
Furious 7 is really fun to watch, and I may or may not be kicking myself for not seeing it in theaters. Let me know what you think about Furious 7 in the comments below and have a great day!
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