Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Film Review: Furious 7 (2015)

Furious 7 (Review)
United States/2015
Format Viewed For Review: HBO Now
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No

"Although I'm usually fatigued with series this far out, I'll be waiting for the eight installment."

Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel), Brian O'Conner (Paul Walker), and the rest of their family are placed in danger when their past follows them home...

Furious 7 continues after the events Fast & Furious 6 while serving as a bit of a sequel to The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift. It's got quite a large story, filled with a large cast of characters representing several groups, including the original family, a covert ops team, and a terrorist group. So, I'll try to keep it simple. Dom and his family left Owen Shaw in a coma, which causes Owen's older brother, Deckard (Jason Statham), a seemingly unstoppable special forces assassin, to seek vengeance. He kills Han and leaves a 'special' package for Dom. From there, Dom and his crew begin their retaliation. The group go on a globetrotting adventure, searching for a way to stop Deckard. Again, that's the simplified version. The film leads to a bittersweet ending – it works.

Furious 7 is an entertaining film. I think that's the best way to compliment it. You see, Furious 7 has its fair share of flaws. The story can often feel muddled and convoluted, the dialogue is often riddled with cheesy one-liners, and the film can, on occasion, feel like an over-edited music video. I don’t know how many times we've seen women with juicy bodies (is juicy appropriate here?) walking in slow motion. The action is big and loud, too. It feels like the series is simply trying to outdo the last film with each installment. I'm sure Dom and his crew will be driving on the moon soon, trying to stop Deckard's twin brother. Yet, it's an entertaining film. The variety in its action – shootouts, chase scenes, fist fights, explosions, etc. – is enough to fill up the huge runtime without leaving any room for boredom. That's an accomplishment. So, if you like the series, I think this film keeps it fresh.

The performances were good, too. Vin Diesel performs well in the leading role. Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson is as charismatic as ever. It's always great to see Kurt Russell. Jason Statham plays Jason Statham again; I must say, he performs very well as the ruthless antagonist. Paul Walker is also good in his final performance. (If you like Walker, please take some time out to watch Hours. It's good!) The film is otherwise your standard blockbuster – it looks and sounds great. Furious 7 is written by Chris Morgan and directed by James Wan. It often feels like Morgan himself is overwhelmed by the large story and set of characters. Fortunately, he finds a nice balance, especially for a blockbuster. I've said it a few times, in one way or another: James Wan is a master of suspense. Wan has proven himself in several genres and he can now check the 'hundred-million dollar blockbuster' off his list.

Overall, Furious 7 is an entertaining action film. There is such a thing as 'too much action,' but Furious 7 manages to fill its large runtime with variety. The series continues to push the limits of reality, but it works. It's a big, entertaining blockbuster action film. Although I'm usually fatigued with series this far out, I'll be waiting for the eight installment.

Score: (furious) 7/10
Parental Guide: Violence and blood.

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