As a preface let me say sorry. It’s been a while since my last review, and for that I apologize. I’ve been slacking, but life has been pretty crazy these last few months. Right now I’m in the process of helping put up a show for a theatre company, and other jobs are keeping me busy. Hopefully though I’ll have more of these heading your way soon!

But what better way to begin with one the 2015 movies that I have been anticipating: Furious 7.  I love these movies. Ever since the original The Fast and The Furious I’ve been hooked. They’re action films with heart, and to me (personally) that’s something hard to come by. Now I’m not going to sit here and say this is a super deep, enriched film series that has tons of character development, logic, and is well grounded because… well, it’s not. The cornerstone of this franchise is the spirit of hard core action, which seems to grow the series continues. Much like the SAW franchise (which ironically enough Furious 7 director James Wan began) the series had evolved from something really simple into something complex, massive, and at times downright ludicrous. We’ve seen our team go from simply street racers to taking on tanks, blowing up planes, and now driving out of planes as well as jumping three buildings in a car. Still, these films retain their heart with the notion that family is everything. With each film you can tell that the cast is genuinely loving what they are putting on screen, and never is that more evident and with more dedication than in Furious 7.

Now… we all know why. This movie was a passion project for everyone involved due to the sad passing of Paul Walker (Brian O’Conner.) The accident caused for a halt in production for a while, and when the team came back I can only imagine how difficult it was for them. But the end product is a great tribute, and probably one of the best entries in the series since the original.

The film wastes no time getting right to the point and throwing us into action, which is both nice and my only real complaint of the film. It’s nice because we already know what’s going on. We have six other films about these characters and even with the third film being an outlander it’s tied in to this movie’s events very nicely.  My qualm with it is that for the first twenty or thirty minutes of the film it seems… kind of choppy. Like the film is missing something. Unfortunately this is probably due to Paul Walker’s absence that the beginning of the movie is structured/edited this way, and for a while I was actually a little scared about if this is what the whole film would feel like. Fortunately, though, it wasn’t. After the first act the movie really gets revved up with the beef of the story beginning after Owen Shaw (Jason Statham) finally tracks down the team.

This film had some of the best fighting scenes I’ve seen since Captain America: Winter Soldier. The hits were amplified by the sound mixing that made them all really hard and poignant.  And each fight was well choreographed and mixed to perfection.  I personally think that Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) and Kara’s (Ronda Rousey) fight was the best one. And no, it’s not because it was two females. You could really sense that these two women were giving it their all in this scene and it was brutal as hell. I seriously believe that these two could have whooped half the male talent’s ass any day of the week.  Also both of the fights with Shaw (Saw vs. Hobb and Shaw vs. Dom) were amazing as well. The final fight started off a bit “too much” for me with the two actors wielding weapons (wrenches, bars, and car parts) but once those were out of their hands the fighting was infinitely better in my opinion.

I loved the fact that this film went “home.” I rewatched the original the night before I watched Furious 7, and caught all of these amazing homages that made me smile like a dope. Best one hands down, and you’ll have to see the film to get it, is “going old school” with Brian. That moment was fan-freaking-tastic. And seeing that Charger again was sweet!

James Wan does an awesome job at directing, and really has some fun shots and camerawork throughout the film though. Really there is only one moment in the entire movie that it felt like “classic James Wan,” and that was the montage where everyone from every faction is preparing for the “war” on the streets of L.A. The way that was cut together, along with the music and the camera work really harkens back to the scene in Death Sentence (one of my favorite James Wan films) where Kevin Bacon’s character is doing the exact same thing- preparing for battle.

Where the movie lacks somewhat in dialogue it obviously makes up for with spectacle and over the top action. As stated before this film goes way beyond what previous installments in the series have done with the action and effects, and the fact that they did some practically is just astounding to me.  There is no denying though that the interactions between the cast is downright cheesy  and cliché at parts. The original film had some pretty natural dialogue and encounters between the characters, but once again that was at a simpler time in the team’s life. When you’re sky diving cars out of a plane, and going head to head with missile welding drones… what can you expect? At the end of the day the series has become a fun, entertaining romp basically harkening back to the classic action films of yester-year.

Amid the muddled writing though there are some really genuine moments though with the characters, most of them involving Brian. And the last five minutes of the film is literally one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen in my life. It was an amazing, heartfelt ending to this film that had me choked up.  That final moment with Brian’s car heading down a different road with Wiz Khalifa’s See You Again playing… even just thinking about it gets me.  It’s in those final moments and some of the other moments mentioned before concerning Brian/Paul that you can really tell what this film was made for. It’s on all of their faces and in all of their voices. The emotion is real, which is what propels this movie forward.

In the end, the mixture of passion along with the action that pushes the envelope for the series is what makes this one of the best F&F films since the original. When you leave the theatre you do feel like you watched something that was special and sincere while at the same time being absolutely entertaining and over the top.  While it has it’s flaws it overall is good ol’ fun, and the best kind at that.

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  1. […] genres. Furious 7 upon further reflection left me with a bitter sweet taste for action films. While I did, and still really enjoy the film overall (especially for the ending,) when I started to think about it a few days after seeing it I actually […]

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