Review by Nathan Miller
Furious 7 has to be the most unrealistic popcorn flick I have ever seen. I figured as much before sitting down to watch the film, but I could not have imagined how far they would sway from a plausible storyline. Furious 7 pushed to be the baddest mutha-flippin movie on the planet and in ways it did succeed. Unfortunately, I could not help but question many parts of the film which even my fellow audience members outlined as they laughed at the overly ridiculous action sequences. It makes me wonder what the filmmakers intended to create with this film. Did they want to go all out on everything (no matter the cost) just because it might be their last ride? Or did they believe people would be gullible enough to enjoy all the cliche action flick moments they used? Don't get me wrong, there were some funny moments in the film and great chemistry between the cast. I just feel the scales of good and bad tip to one side to the other too many times in Furious 7.
Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel), Brian O'Conner (Paul Walker) and the rest of the crew are in the United States, after the events Fast & Furious 6, to live normal lives once again. However, Owen's (The antagonist of Fast & Furious 6) older brother, Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham), is after Dom and his crew, seeking revenge for his brother's death and putting the entire crew in danger once more. After Deckard kills one of their own, the crew is enlisted by a special forces group which promises to help in their mission of taking down Shaw if they complete an off-the-books mission for them.
Paul Walker hand delivered pretty much every notable scene in the film. An underlying message that screamed out the importance of family helped keep the film grounded when it needed to be. He had a very touching tribute which ultimately ended the film in the best possible way. Kurt Russell and Tyreese kept my interest in the film active throughout the experience thanks to their comedic characters. Statham played a good villain, and I sure as hell felt his presence whenever he showed up randomly throughout the film. While everyone else molded well together as the movie itself took them down memory lane. The filmmaker crafted action sequences that were well executed in pretty much every instance (regardless of how ridiculous they were) which thankfully made the film entertaining to watch. The cars dropping from the planes was the most impressive feat out of the bunch, but there were many fight scenes that were choreographed flawlessly.
I understand that the movie is a work of fiction, but I hate the completely unrealistic sequences that clutter the film. I just cannot take too much fantasy in a film series that started relatively believable. How can someone leap a car a hundred stories high through three skyscrapers like nothing even happened? How can a militarized helicopter with an attack drone (attached with heat seeking missiles) fly around Los Angeles with no resistance from police? How can someone tumble down a mountain side and live yet nearly die when they ramp off a two story parking structure? There are just too many moments in the film that are pushing the boundaries of reality. As I said, it is a popcorn flick so it was expected; however, you cannot use every damn cliche action movie moment in one film: walk away from explosions like nothing is happening, monumental character nearly dying with everyone trying to revive them, or slow motion usage in every collision of something. Not only that, the story itself makes no sense at all. They are tracking down a hacker who has a surveillance program that can find anyone within minutes in order to find Shaw, yet he is in every damn part of the film. He is never far from them, and he is always a part of the action. It is hard not to completely crap over the plot especially when it is too easy. Racing is an after thought in this film as well. It is touched on but no longer the focal point of what this series was based on. Also, Ronda Rousey had the two worst lines of the film and she delivered them in the worst possible fashion.
Fast & Furious 7 is for people looking for something ridiculous and implausible but action packed with the occasional moral reminder. It is not a film that I would care to watch again, but I never felt the urge to walk out on it either. Everything was a bit 50/50. There are things that work really well and there are things that heavily detract from the overall experience. It is a film that fans of the series will enjoy thanks to all the nods to its predecessors, but it is not a film that successfully captures its roots. I think if it was not for the passion driving behind the wheel of this franchise, it would have had nothing to keep it from crashing and burning.