- Movie Rating -

Furious Seven (2015)

| April 7, 2015 | 0 Comments

It would only be in a perfect world that terrorism could be dealt with by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and a Gatling gun. That ISIS problem? Finished!

Furious Seven is as joyfully and gloriously bombastic as that image. When you’re dealing with a sixth sequel it’s nice to report that the energy hasn’t gone out, even when the goals of the movie are to be one-part heavy metal and one-part heavy heart after the real-life death of one of the series regulars. The relief is that these two opposing goals don’t trip over one another. It’s nice that a movie can be emotional and full of beans at the same time.

Furious Seven is a big movie; big and loud and noisy and over the top. That extends, not only to the stunt work but also to the acting which is gregarious even when the actors are called to get all dramatic and emotional. The movie doesn’t help you catch up. If this is your introduction to the series, then you’re likely to be left out in the cold. Furious Seven wastes no time with recaps and flings us immediately into the heart of a story already in progress.

It seems that all that business back in London in Furious 6 has ticked off  meat-headed tough guy Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) who is out to pick off Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and the rest of the FATF crew one by one. The death of one of the group’s friends in the previous film sets the plot of this film in motion. Shaw breaks into the office of DSS agent Luke Hobbs (The Rock) in order to hack his computer – an office that, fortunate for an action picture, is made of glass.

Shaw puts Hobbs in the hospital which leads Dom and his crew – Tej (Ludacris), Roman (Tyrese Gibson), Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) and Brian (the late Paul Walker) – to stop Shaw who seems to know their every move. That knowledge comes courtesy of The Single Greatest Tracking Device in the History of Mankind, subtly named “The Eye of God”. That information comes courtesy of a very scene stealing Kurt Russell as a seemingly indestructible intel guy colorfully named Mr. Nobody.

But who cares? The plot is beside the point anyway. Bad guy wants good guys dead. Good guys get the drop on bad guys by trying to destroy their super-toys. Chase. Shoot-out. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. Furious Seven tries to do too much in trying to be one-part “Grand Theft Auto” and two parts “Mission: Impossible.” When it tries to have a plot, it gets a little snoozy, but whenever the characters are behind the wheel of their cars, the movie is spectacular.

There are at least three car stunts in this movie that belong in a hall of fame somewhere. One takes place as the crew drive their cars out the back of a military plane and pop parachutes; Another scene takes place on the top floor of a skyscraper as Dom drives a sports car out the window and in through the window of the building next door – and THEN through the window of the building next to THAT!; Then there’s that white-knuckle scene in which Paul Walker escapes a runaway bus that is about to fall over a cliff by climbing up it as it falls. Everything else in the movie is pretty much perfunctory – whenever it has to deal with car crashes, the movie works beautifully.

Speaking of Paul Walker, now we must deal with the elephant in the room. Walker’s death has hung over this production, not as an intrusion but as curiosity about how the producers were going to handle it. As you know, much of the movie was re-shot and re-written after Walker’s death in a car accident almost two years ago. Walker’s role in the film is somewhat miniscule when compared to the earlier films, and the scenes that had to be reshot after his death don’t feel like glaring omissions. The movie leaves the tributary stuff for the ending, an emotionally but restrained tribute in which we get flashbacks to Paul Walker’s contribution to this series. Walker’s death doesn’t overshadow the movie’s sense of fun. This is a giddy, goofy, over-the-top action picture that give you what you expect – a lot of heart and a lot of heavy metal.

About the Author:

Jerry Roberts is a film critic and operator of two websites, Armchair Cinema and Armchair Oscars.
(2015) View IMDB Filed in: Action, Recent