Monday, April 6, 2015

Furious 7 (2015)

Furious 7 (2015)

Director: James Wan

Cast: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Jason Statham, Kurt Russell, Dwayne Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris, Gal Gadot,  Elsa Pataki

If you’ve been following the Fast and Furious franchise, then you know the big expectation surrounding this seventh installment. If not then you should know that one of the main actors of the series, Paul Walker, died right smack in the middle of the production. Tragedy and irony joined forces, and he passed away while driving a fast car, just like the ones depicted in the movies. For a moment there the production floated in uncertainty. Would they scrap the project or pull on through and finish the film? Considering all the millions that had already been invested, of course they pulled through and finished the film, Hollywood has never been known to back down, even when death shows its ugly face. The interesting thing about this series of films is that each film has been more successful than the last with Furious 6 (2013) pulling in more than 700 million worldwide. So of course, a lot was expected of Furious 7. I mean, Fast 5 (2011) and Furious 6 (2013) were ultra explosive action films, bombastic in every way imaginable. It’s expected, in true Hollywood fashion that this seventh film would surpass anything seen before. Is Furious 7 more exciting and explosive then previous installments? How did they finish the film without Paul Walker?

So this time, everything revolves around something called “The God Chip” which is basically this chip that when installed can let you tap any camera, computer or phone anywhere, anytime. In this way making it an easy task to locate anybody in the world. Toretto and crew being the best at stealing things are contacted by a secret organization to take the chip from the bad guys and save the free world from evil. In the middle of all that, we have Jason Statham and Dominic Toretto, each on their private vendettas. Will Toretto and crew get the God Chip from the bad guys and save the world? Will Toretto and Statham ever kick each other’s asses?  

I grew up watching action movies from the 80’s so I’m always wondering where this generations Arnold Schwarzenegger is at. Where’s this generations Sylvester Stallone? Well, Furious 7 has answered me these questions. Furious 7 has gathered all the relevant action stars of today. I speak of Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham and Vin Diesel. These guys are the corner stone of any nutritious nitroglycerine extravaganza and it was cool to see them all together in a gargantuan action film like this one. Furious 7 is as if back in the 80’s Arnold, Stallone and Van Damme all made an action film together when they were in their prime. And it’s awesome to see all these modern action stars kicking each other’s asses  and walking away in slow motion from the explosions behind them. Did the movie make the best of this unification of testosterone?

Yes, Furious 7 has a lot of action in it, jumping from thrilling action scene to action scene, unfortunately, they blew their wad and the ending isn’t as exciting as I’d expected when compared to the previous films which ended with a bang. I’m sure this had a lot to do with the death of Paul Walker, because the death of a major cast member will bring the momentum of any production down a couple of notches. Still, it’s amazing that they pulled through and finished the film and delivered an entertaining fun ride. Just don’t expect the film to end with anything as awesome as cars jumping out of exploding air planes in a gigantic ball of flame. Still, Furious 7 has enough awesome action scenes to please any fan of this series of films. Check this out, we get a fight scene between Tony Jaa and Paul Walker! There’s a particularly thrilling scene in which the whole crew parachutes out of a plane while still inside of their respective cars! We get cars jumping from sky scraper to sky scraper, pretty cool stuff. Totally unrealistic, but who the hell cares cause its fun and we have fun characters to pull us through the cheesier stuff. And that’s really what holds this cheesefest together, the characters and the camaraderie between them.

It’s not easy to make a movie with so many characters in it, so you can expect some characters to get the cold shoulder in order to make way for others to take the center stage. Mainly, it’s the girls who get the shaft on this one. We don’t get much of Elsa Pataki, Jordana Brewster or Gal Gadot. But don’t worry, Michelle Rodriguez steps in for them with an awesome fight sequence with Ronda Rousey. Rodriguez also gets a chance to stretch her acting chops due to the resurrection of her characters romance with Vin Diesel. Vin Diesel gets to say a gazillion cheesy lines, every one of them as cringe worthy as the last. Every time Toretto talks I laugh because he’s always talking like his a wise man or a guru, spewing little golden nuggets of stupidity. He can never talk like a normal person, it’s always some cheesy over sentimental one liner like “I don’t have friends, I have family”, but call me crazy, I've grown to accept these terrible one-liners as part of what these films are. They went a little too far by turning Toretto into The Hulk at one point, but what the hell, again, I went with it. I can’t really complaint about that when I've already accepted so much.  So anyhow, you should have a blast with Furious 7. Of course, the film does end on a somber note because of Walker’s death. But they did edit a decent homage to his presence throughout the whole series and they do send him off to speedster heaven in fashion and style. I heard a couple of sniffles in the audience. No doubt this movie will make obscene amounts of money, and no doubt we’ll get another one. Honestly? I half way expect the team to be sent off into space for the next film.

Rating: 4 out of 5  


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