It's hard to fathom that it's already been 14 years since The Fast and The Furious first came out, and 13 years when I saw it for the first time. It was 2002, and my parents had invited my uncle, aunt and cousins to watch the New England Patriots take on the St. Louis Rams in the Super Bowl. After the game, I told my cousins I rented a certain movie about street racing and fast cars, one that they had not seen yet. Once I popped the movie into our VCR and we started watching, we immediately became engrossed with the universe that made the likes of Vin Diesel and Paul Walker famous and recognized. It was one of those moments in my life that stayed with me, and fortunate I got to enjoy it with my family; a theme that has been the major strength of the franchise since its' inception. On the surface, Furious 7 is a beast with destructive action and speedy cars but at its' core, the theme of family and learning to let go without ever being apart is what moves (or should I say drives) the movie forward. In this latest installment, everyone has gone their own ways following the events of the previous film. Dom (Vin Diesel) and Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) are trying to rekindle their relationship, Han (Sung Kang) has exiled himself to Tokyo after losing Gisele (Gal Gadot), and Nia (Jordana Brewster) and Brian (Paul Walker) are slowly assimilating into parenthood. Unbeknownst to the family, a looming threat is closing in on them: Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham), the older brother of Owen Shaw (Luke Evans), the antagonist from the previous film, has sworn revenge on Dom and his crew for what they did to his brother. The quiet and regular life our heroes had worked so hard to gain back has now been destroyed, and with
nowhere to run, they have no choice but to bring the fight to Deckard if they have any hope of going back to the peaceful life they seek. There's a saying that every beginning has an ending. Even though Furious 7 is the beginning of a supposed new trilogy, it feels like it's ending on a different level. Going in, I knew Furious 7 wouldn't be an easy watch; Paul Walker tragically died in late 2013, halfway through the film's production. Knowing that this would be the last time I would see him with Vin Diesel and company, I had mixed feelings about how the movie would handle retiring his character as well as pay respects to the late actor. I'm relieved to say that director James Wan and Universal
have done a tremendous job in accomplishing both tasks. Not only that, they have also succeeded in making Furious 7 the most insanely ridiculous (in a good way) action movie for not only the franchise but perhaps this year. I can honestly say the action sequences this time around out-do any of the ones from the last two, and will definitely be talked about among action films this year. Everybody gets a highlight moment this time around, whether it be for comic relief or for a major scene, and there was a lot of surprises for fans who have watched since the beginning. I do need to point out that at a certain point in the film, the tone changes. Before Paul's death, the story was suppose to play out as a new beginning for our heroes and the adventures that would continue after this sequel but now, the film serves as the proper closure to Paul's character, and most likely Jordana's as well. I can only imagine how difficult it must have been to finish a film without one of its' central characters that had been around since the beginning, but I'm glad they found a way to give Paul the most appropriate send-off without trying to capitalize on his unfortunate death. In summation, Furious 7 delivers what it promises and gives us the opportunity to enjoy one more ride with our dear friend Paul, brightening the future he helped paved 14 years ago.
-Reviewed by Razor, 4/19/15
-Reviewed by Razor, 4/19/15