Furious 7 – a review

Furious 7 is the seventh movie in the fast and the furious franchise (I know, who could have guessed?) and seeing as this is one of my favourite series, I knew that I had to see it opening weekend.  Today being Good Friday, I invited along my oldest niece and made the 40 minute drive to a Cineplex big screen.

Since I don’t feel the need to recap something readers probably already know, and am too lazy to write it myself, here is a synopsis I *borrowed*.

From imdb…

Dominic Torretto and his crew thought they left the criminal mercenary life behind. They defeated an international terrorist named Owen Shaw and went their separate ways. But now, Shaw’s brother is out killing the crew one by one for revenge. Worse, a Somalian terrorist called Jakarde, and a shady government official called “Mr. Nobody” are both competing to steal a computer terrorism program called God’s Eye, that can turn any technological device into a weapon. Torretto must reconvene with his team to stop Shaw and retrieve the God’s Eye program while caught in a power struggle between terrorist and the United States government.

I was anxious going into this one.  I’m a passionate fan and between not loving Fast 6 and dreading having to say goodbye to Brian O’Connor, after the actor who played him died last year, ya, I was anxious.

I am pleased to say that I loved it!  This is a series that runs on high-octane fuel, and you can count on long car chases, crazy stunts and witty quips.  For me, the undercurrent holding this franchise together is the importance of family and the ‘believability’ of it.  That’s why the fifth movie dropped out for me. That looooong runway from the airplane scene? Ruined the movie.

runway

Someone smarter than me did the math. I love google.

math

Thankfully the airplane scene in Furious 7 is completely realistic, from my point of view. These guys (and Letty) are the best drivers in the world, they could totally pull it off.

The rest of this post is more spoilery, so continue reading or bail, it’s your choice.

Weakest points in the movie:

Ronda Rousey’s performance as a cyborg-bodyguard. Ok, I love the UFC and she is so inspirational, but the girl needs to keep it to the octagon because she can’t act. At all.

The fact that Leon (from the original The Fast and the Furious, back in 2001) wasn’t in it. Now that the team is ‘all’ back together and living in their old L.A. home, I really hoped Leon would be back.  He is the only living OG except for the main characters, but he wasn’t, and isn’t signed on for Furious 8 either. I went searching for facts and the actor Johnny Strong, said in an interview that he doesn’t want to return to the role.  Well, that sucks! He just returned to acting in the last couple of years though, after nearly a decade long hiatus, so hopefully his tune will change and old Leon is back for the 8th installment.

Mia Torreto was barely in the movie.  Perhaps it is the actress’ preference, but she was barely in 6, and not in 2 or 3 at all.  In the first, fourth and fifth films, she has a solid supporting role, but you will see just as little Mia in this one as the last.  From the send-off given to Paul Walker, it sounds like actress Jordana Brewster might not be back again. Hopefully they work her back in somehow, because I love Mia, and after Giselle’s death, we need more women than just Letty.

The crew has ‘retired’ so many times now, they might as well be ready for nursing homes. Re-grouping the team for one last hijinks was behind Fast Five, Fast 6, Furious 7, and presumably Furious 8, which Vin Diesal has confirmed is in development. I fervently pray that Furious 8 puts a lot more work into plot development, and goes back to some of the original movies for its motivation, rather than contriving another Shaw brothers manhunt.

High points of the film?  There were a ton.  Mainly that the storyline was generally better and the stunts semi-believable in this film, especially compared to the previous one.

I also loved the send-off the cast and crew gave to the character of Brian O’Connor.  It made me really emotional to watch, and I was impressed with how much love and respect they showed in handling this tragedy on-screen.  It was intricately woven into the plot, and yet, you can tell that they are really saying goodbye to Paul.  The love they had for him was incredible, and I hope that somehow, he was able to feel that in the great beyond.

I was expecting Brian to be killed off in the action, probably taking a bullet or explosion meant for Dom, but “retiring” his character and sending him off with his family to bliss, that was so much sweeter.

* * * *

The fourth and fifth films remain my favourites, but 7 now ties the OG for 2nd place in my heart.

xx

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