In honor of the late Paul Walker, Furious 7 does justice for the late actor as we drive back down memory lane with the series one last time.
Through thick and thin, the Fast and Furious audience has been through it all and continues to be the beating heart of this franchise. They are just as the cast, family. After the tragic death of Paul Walker in 2013, the future for the franchise was unclear. With only half of Walker’s scenes finished, the franchise had to make some tough calls for the future of Brian O’Connor and the cast. Without losing focus of the story and Walker’s legacy, Furious 7 raced to the finish line as worthy tribute for our late hero. After Walker’s family took time to grief, his brothers (Cody and Caleb) stepped up to help finish scenes that CGI could not. It was a tough job but the film looked almost seamless in the end.
Furious 7 hits all of the high notes that we as audience have come to know from this car-racing series. There's more over-the-top thrills, cheesy one-liners, stylish cars and attractive girls shown through scenes. While the series did loose focus in the forgettable 2 and 3 films, F&F made a tremendous comeback in Fast Five. So is Furious 7 the best of the series thus far? You bet! Turn your brain off, sit back and watch some car-racing bravura. Finishing the film in honor of Walker brought out the best of the F&F cast, which helped drive the film as a whole. To catch you up to speed, Deckard Shaw (an out-of-control Jason Statham) is seeking revenge on Dominic Toretto (the iconic Vin Diesel) and his family for putting his brother into a coma after the events of the previous film.
With the past three entries taking place between the 2 Fast 2 Furious and The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, Furious 7 is the film of the series to take place after Tokyo Drift. We see Deckard kill Han (Sung Kang) and blow up Dom’s house. Hell, he even puts FBI agent Hobbs (a badass Dwayne Johnson) in the hospital. This means war for Dom and is crew. The plot is pretty basic from there, but the action and thrills never stop. We see cars fall out of planes and fly through skyscrapers as Brian screams to Dom “Cars don’t fly, Dom, cars don’t fly!” The story also focuses on Brian’s character as a father with him and Mia’s (a stellar Jordana Brewster) infant son. Brian feels uncomfortable in the suburban world and wants to feel the rush again. As Mia puts it “Brian misses the bullets.”
To stop Deckard’s menacing glee, Dom gets the crew back together to take down the bastard once and for all. In no time, we see Dom’s lover Letty (a fantastic Michelle Rodriguez), tech-wiz Tej (Ludacris) and Roman (Tyrese Gibson) back in the drivers seat. Kurt Russell also joins the film as a government Mr. Nobody who wants the F&F crew to snatch a computer hacker, Ramsey, out of a terrorist lair. Ramsey (Game of Thrones’ Nathalie Emmanuel) has invented a software program that can track anyone at a given time via digital devices. Russell wants this program and in exchange he would give them Deckard. Got that? Either way, it really doesn’t matter because the stunts and action scenes engulf the rest of the movie. From Brian running up a falling bus to Hobbs still being a badass by shooting down a helicopter.
All of these factors lead up to a fitting conclusion for Walker and his character. The tribute sends the audience down memory lane and if your eyes don’t swell up with tears, then you probably don’t have a soul. Furious 7 zooms to the finish line and sends Walker off to victory. It’s sad to see him go and even sadder that he won’t be returning for future F&F films that will follow. Furious 7 has a big heart and an even bigger one for its family. F&F has plenty of fuel left in the tank and I am thankful that we got to see one last ride with Mr. Walker. Wherever he’s watching from, I know that deep down he’s probably smiling and applauding his crew. For Paul!
Furious 7 is rated PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned). For prolonged frenetic sequences of violence, action and mayhem, suggestive content and brief strong language.