HOLLYWOOD—It seems like the idea of a sequel surpassing the original decreases as time passes. But if there is one franchise that challenges that rule, it would be “The Fast and the Furious.” The first a revelation, the second not so much, the third a bit flat, the fourth a reinvention, the fifth a better movie, the six, full of greatness; so what are audiences treated with “Furious 7?” An adrenaline rush from start to finish.
Audiences have become emotionally attached to these characters whose relationships strengthen the more they work together, but there is a dark light cast upon this chapter in the franchise, as actor Paul Walker is no longer with us. Seeing Walker on the screen just further sheds light on his talents as an actor, particularly in the action genre. And without spoiling too much for the audience, director James Wan, who took over duties from Justin Lin, gives Walker the perfect sendoff.
What makes the “Fast and Furious” flicks so much fun is the fact that the audience knows what to expect. This isn’t a movie where you expect some epic twist, or riveting storytelling. This just isn’t that movie, or the franchise. The filmmakers know precisely what the audience is looking for, and we’re treated to that with each installment in the series.
We want high-octane action sequences, stunts that will leave tongues wagging and very fast cars. I will say just when the audience thinks the film isn’t capable of stunning the audience they find a way to do it. Rather it’s having cars speed out of an airplane, Brian O’Conner (Walker) grabbing hold to the wing of a car as he escapes a fiery explosion or having a car jump from one building to the next, “Furious 7” delivers. I can’t wait to see what happens for the eighth installment in the series, perhaps vehicles emerging from the water?
The plot follows Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and the rest of his crew as they find themselves being hunted by Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) who is looking to avenge the death of his brother Owen Shaw (Luke Evans). It’s a game of cat and mouse, to see who gets the edge first: Toretto or his worthy opponent Deckard Shaw. I will admit Statham brings a level of villainy to the franchise, that hasn’t really been seen in my opinion. As always, the series finds a way to continue the trek across various markets, this time to Abu Dhabi.
While some may view the film as having too many characters, each character brings a certain element to the movie that is needed. Rather its heart, intelligence, comedy or being a pure badass, the audience gets all those things and plenty more.
Many know what to expect upon entering the theater, and “Furious 7” is proof that camp, excitement and amazing stunts will make a fan out of car junkies and even those people who aren’t fans of drag racing or cars.