Last year, the world lost actor Paul Walker. His persona carried plenty of charisma that belonged in action movies. I place him within this genre as I haven’t seen enough of his other work to make a fair assessment. Work like Brick Masons and Eight Below are not the best examples I can give, but they did prove that the man could carry a story throughout. He’ll be remembered for his contribution to The Fast and Furious series; a series that I doubt anyone in Hollywood would have bet that this would go beyond it’s street racing roots into something far larger.
As said, the first film has it’s moments, but it’s nothing like future sequels that would take the problems I had, fix them and yet keep what it’s most famous for; car stunts. Car action movies have been around forever (Smokey and the Bandit, Cannonball Run and Death Race 2000 come to mind), but Fast & Furious, Fast 5 and Furious 6 have now established the franchise as one of the most successful blockbusters and perhaps even one of the best action movies ever. Somehow, the makers of the latest movie figured out how to work around the death of Paul Walker and deliver us Furious 7, my new favorite of this continuing series.
After the events in London (Furious 6), Dominic Toretto (played by Vin Diesel), Brian O’Conner (played by Paul Walker) and the rest of the crew have returned to Los Angeles to settle down and live like the family they’ve always wanted. Unfortunately, Luke Hobbs (played by Jason Statham) is the older brother of the previous film’s villain and he’s out for revenge. This leads to fellow crewmember Han’s death in Tokyo (another previous film) along with a planted bomb that nearly kills the crew.
Toretto goes after Shaw and engages in a fight, but is beaten by the latter’s martial art skills and manages to slip away as a covert ops teams comes in. Led by Frank Petty (played by Kurt Russell), he makes a deal with Toretto that should he and his crew manage to track an evil warlord, he will help find Shaw again. Toretto agrees and his team head for the Caucasus Mountains where they fail to get the wanted warlord, but manage to rescue a hacker named “Ramsey”. They then go to Abu Dabi to retrieve the “God’s Eye” software that could track the people their looking for. With each new location comes a test in physics and awesomeness with the continuous car stunts and kung fu fighting.
You would think that it would be easy to compare this to the continuous nonstop dumb action from the Transformers, but I would actually put this along the sleek coolness nonstop action of James Bond. Furious 7 somehow keeps it’s car stunts from becoming boring and even manages to make me jealous. As I sat munching my pop corn, watching Vin Diesel crash his car through two skyscrapers, I got lost within the excitement, wishing that I could do all of this even though it’s probably impossible by the laws of physics.
The story is also pretty good…or at least as good as this kind of movie will get. It may be a revenge story and something that’s nothing groundbreaking, it really is like a James bond movie with it’s exotic locations and further use of high tech weaponry. Perhaps The Fast and the Furious will leave a mark on Hollywood Blockbuster history after all. Finally, the tribute to Paul Walker in the end is beautiful, fitting, and something that I will not give away.
I’ll give this 5 supercars out of five. Furious 7 is the super charged car ride you want, the revenge thriller you want, the far out travel story you want, and most importantly, the emotional Paul Walker tribute you’ll want. Grab your keys and get to that theater!