“Furious 7” might’ve seemed like an arbitrary continuation of the franchise were it not for the death of co-star Paul Walker in November 2013. His death occurred right in the middle of production, causing the filmmakers to put the movie on hold until they could restructure the story.
Nevertheless, this sequel provides us with perhaps the most insane action ever in the series; humorous, cheesy dialogue; and a strong emphasis on family, which is very much overt throughout the film.
It all begins with Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and Brian O’Conner (Walker) reuniting to avenge the death of Han (Sung Kang) after he was killed by Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham), the brother of Owen Shaw from “Fast & Furious 6.”
It isn’t long before the gang is brought back together: Dwayne Johnson’s Agent Hobbs, Michelle Rodriguez’s Letty, and Tyrese Gibson and Chris “Ludacris” Bridges again providing the majority of comic relief. Together, they go halfway across the world, from London to Abu Dhabi, to chase dawn Shaw.
Kurt Russell is another new kid on the block here as an agent who needs Dom and Co. to retrieve a device called “God’s Eye,” which can pinpoint Shaw’s exact location at all times. It’s not like this device really advances the plot; its only point is to put the characters into some overblown action.
And, boy, does it come in spades. The action sequences always defy both gravity and logic, including a climax that requires you to throw caution to the wind as far as the plot is concerned and do your best to keep up with the action.
For all of its exhilarating spectacle and ironic one-liners, “Furious 7” contains a great deal of heart amongst its characters, and the closing scenes involving Walker’s character are sure to bring tears from rabid fans. This is a highly sensational, satisfying conclusion to not only his character, but I’m also hoping it can be said for the franchise in general. I don’t think the cast and filmmakers can — or should — ever top this one.
(Rated PG-13 for prolonged frenetic sequences of violence, action and mayhem, suggestive content and brief strong language.)