Furious 7: A fantastic film that breaks out the Belgian beer but never strays too far from the joys of Corona
If you read MFF you know that I am a huge fan of the Fast series, celebrate all things BBQ and I’m still hoping for a national “Fast and Furious” day. If I had to rank the films I would say 2 Fast 2 Furious (reasoning here and here) is the best and followed by 5, 3, 1, 7, 6, 4. I love all of the Fast films and I think it is brilliant how they’ve built a superstar core of cast members who make the impossible possible.
I’ve loved watching the series adapt and become a worldwide phenomena. The Dom Squad started off robbing trucks and now they are global operatives driving $3,000,000 cars through buildings. In 2001 a trucker with a shotgun almost killed them all. Now, our heroes skydive cars, take down tanks and know the ancient art of wrench fighting.
The award for most unnecessary (yet awesome) wrench fight of 2015 goes to Diesel and Statham
In 2001 getting dressed up meant wearing a clean sleeveless t-shirt. Our 2015 heroes rock tailored suits to parties in Abu Dhabi.
The plot of Furious 7 revolves around the Dom Squad battling a final video game boss known as Deckard Shaw (Statham being Statham). Shaw is annoyed that they put his brother (Owen from Fast 6) in a coma and vows revenge. He kills Han (Sung Kang) in Tokyo, injures Hobbs (The Rock) and almost wipes out Dom but is foiled by Mr. Petty (Kurt Russell!!!!!!). The rest of the film centers around the crew searching for a tracking device called The God’s Eye while battling Shaw every step of the way.
Furious 7 is packed to the brim with plot but never gets crushed by the weight of it. While the crew battles Shaw we also have to deal with Letty’s (Michelle Rodriguez) amnesia, Mia’s (Jordana Brewster) pregnancy, Han’s death, a trip to Tokyo and henchmen played Djimon Hounsou, Ronda Rousey and Tony Jaa.
Director James Wan (Saw, Insidious 1&2, Conjuring) steps in admirably and uses his horror background well. He makes the familiar fun and finds a way to make genre tropes fresh. Wan has fun with the material and embraces the insanity of the Fast world. The key to making a great Fast film is to be really smart about being dumb. Wan utilizes the characters well, doesn’t mess with the format and gets the final product to the finish line. The best example of keeping the films fresh happens between Kurt Russell and Diesel. Russell’s character loves Belgian beer and offers some to Diesel. Diesel proclaims his love of Corona and before he can finish his sentence he is met with a bucket of ice-cold beer. Wan’s Fast film breaks out the Belgian beer but never strays too far from the joys of Corona.
My favorite part of the Fast series has always been Brian O’ Conner. What I love about the character is that he kept the films grounded. While Vin was wrench fighting and the Rock was exploding arm casts, O’Conner was using his brain to get out of situations. He is the unsung hero because his heroics have always been subtle. He is a family man who embraces his friends while taking down planes, trains and automobiles. I recently wrote a post about his seven best moments and it solidified his importance to the series. Walker had great chemistry with the cast and the handling of his tragic death was handled beautifully in the film. Walker will be missed in the Fast series because he kept the films grounded.
Furious 7 is a fantastic movie that honors Paul Walker, keeps the material fresh and gives Kurt Russell a great role. I loved every second of it and can’t wait to see what the inevitable Fast 8 is all about.