By Gary Murray

Starring Vin Diesel, Paul Walker and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson

Written by Chris Morgan

Directed by James Wan

Running time 137 min

MPAA Rating PG-13

Selig Film Rating Matinee


What can be said about The Fast and Furious series that hasn’t been said many times before?  What had started out as a simple LA racing flick has become a billion dollar action-adventure franchise that has raked in billions at the box office and generated millions of fans.  It has gone from a simple little film to a cultural phenomenon that will be remembered many years from now. The latest installment is Furious 7.

The film opens right after the events of the last film.  The Fast gang has assumed that they were done and ready to go their separate ways.  They defeated Owen but did not know of or expect older brother Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham).  He is a super-bad killing machine who does not leave any witnesses behind.  He is the epitome of evil and he wants the Fast gang dead.

The crew has moved on.  Brian (Paul Walker) is living in paradise with his young son and beautiful wife.  Dominic (Vin Diesel) is dealing with the fact that Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) still has amnesia.  He takes her to a giant drag race that they started together.  She is getting ghost shadows of her former life, but they are no more than fleeting glimpses.  She has no idea of who she is or her relationship with Dom.  But she does know how to race.

When one of their crew is killed by Deckard, the rest of the crew knows what they need to do.  They just don’t know how to go about finding Deckard.  Well, into the mix comes Mr. Nobody (Kurt Russell).  He is in charge of a super secret government agency that has all the tools, they just need the drivers.  Mr. Nobody has a great flippant attitude that endears him to the group.  The two decide to team up.

It seems that the Fast gang has become unexpectedly involved in a struggle between two different groups and the entire plot hinges upon recovery of a super surveillance device called ‘God’s Eye’ which can find anyone anywhere at any given time.  Some other bad guys have captured the tech geek who invented the mechanism.  Their mission is to find the scientist, find God’s Eye and find Deckard Shaw.

But to be honest, a film like this one isn’t plot centric.  It is more about action and on that level this film delivers.  There is a scene where the gang must get into a transport bus to rescue the tech geek (Nathalie Emmanuel).  They use cars more as battering rams, destroying everything in their paths.  It is car-crushing, henchman-battling action sequence that bends the willing suspension of disbelief.  Cars go down mountain sides and dropped from airplanes, still everyone survives and thrives.

The audience thinks they have seen the most impressive stunt scene ever.  That is until they get to Dubai.  Without giving much away, there is a scene that takes place in a high-rise that must be seen to be believed.  Even when you see it, it is still over the top madness that is hard to believe.      

There is such a wanton destruction of cars that their AAA cards would have been revoked.  Also, there is so much young female flesh shown that one wonders if this film is some preamble to Fifty Shades of Grey.  This film is a PG-13 that should have been an R.  It is definitely not a family film.  Director James Wan knows what sells–fast cars and loose women.  If he was paid by the ‘butt shot’, he’s going to be a millionaire. 

But Wan can direct an action sequence.  The film feels more like an Asian action flick than an American style cinematic experience.  It is full blazing over the top action sequence after action sequence that ends with destruction on the level of The Avengers

There are two types of actors in these movies.  It is those who are given a lot to do and those who are just set dressing.  In this movie, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Jordana Brewster, Ludacris and Tyrese Gibson are all given the back burner in.  The Rock and Jordana both disappear for very large chunks of the completed film.  Both show up toward the end but one wonders where they have been most of the movie.

On the other side, Michelle Rodriguez gets some much deserved screen time.  Her character has a story arc and she gets to do some kick-butt fighting with a bunch of guards.  She deserves more in the movies.

But the bulk of the film is carried by Vin Diesel and Paul Walker.  The two actors have grown and grown-up in these roles that playing the part becomes second nature to the actors.  Both seem to be having the time of their lives delivering flippant lines and being a part of stunning stunts.  Each film has become bigger and louder than the last episode.  Furious 7 is the king of the twisted metal heap. 

The film ends with a good-bye to Brian which also becomes a good-bye to Paul Walker.  They had him ride off in the sunset and take a turn away from Dominic.  Everyone knows that Paul Walker and his character of Brian will not be in Furious 8, a film that definitely will be made. 

Written By
More from Gary Murray
The Three Stooges: The Movie
THE THREE STOOGES By Gary Murray Starring Sean Hayes, Will Sasso, Chris...
Read More
0 replies on “FURIOUS 7”