First and foremost, the Fast and Furious franchise is NOT by any means a “tour de force” of a franchise. It’s mindless. They aren’t meant to be processed with critical thinking and in depth analysis. They are focused on one thing and one thing only: To entertain the hell out of its audience. That being said, the series has come along way since the first film in 2001. At first it was just a street racing movie about an undercover cop befriending a convict and now it has become a household name in American cinema. Yeah, it’s weird to say that but you cannot deny the franchise’s success, despite its intentions.
Furious 7 (2015) is the seventh installment of the franchise and if you ask me it should be the last one. Not because the series has burnt out (car pun), but because this really did seem like the appropriate note to end on, especially in light of actor Paul Walker’s sudden death during the production. The movie picks up a short time after Fast & Furious 6 (2013) with the bad guy from FF6‘s big bad brother (played by Jason Statham) looking for revenge on the team that put his brother in a coma. So naturally, the team consisting of the show’s veterans (Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris, and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson) have to get back together to protect themselves and stop this guy. Also added into the mix are Kurt Russell and Nathalie Emmanuel.
When people have been asking me what I thought of this movie my initial reaction is to say that I literally watched a two hour long Pitbull music video. It seemed like every scenario went like this:
Alright team, we need to sneak our way into this baller party wearing the flyest clothes. We then need to steal something, then we’re going to fight literally everybody to escape the party before we get into a ridiculous car chase that results in Vin Diesel driving a car off a cliff, totaling the car and leaving Vin Diesel completely unscathed.
Everybody in this movie knows like Krav Maga or something. I understand everyone being a good driver, sure, the series has always revolved around cars. But literally EVERYONE knows how to fight in this movie; even Ludacris, who’s supposed to be the tech geek can just drop a guy. He’s supposed to be the one guy who CAN’T fight! That’s why he’s the tech geek!
Furious 7 I felt was a very self-aware film. These characters would get into the most absurd situations and do the craziest things. Even the characters interact with each other saying, “Do you realize how ridiculous this is?!” And that’s one of the things I’ve loved about this franchise and this iteration really embraced that, I feel. Each action sequence I felt like I had an angel and a devil on my shoulders. The angel telling me, “Oh now this is just ridiculous this would never happen,” and meanwhile the devil is telling me, “Yeah, but that was pretty cool!” The writers knew what this was: A seventh installment in a franchise that literally only pleases to entertain and that’s it; so let’s bend the rules of physics and just have at it.
There was a tribute to Paul Walker at the end that breaks the fourth wall. A lot of people thought that this was overzealous and that the “For Paul” title card at the end would have been just enough to pay respects to Walker. I honestly disagree. I think breaking the fourth wall and expressing how much Paul Walker impacted this franchise was very true to the movie’s form of being overzealous and in your face. The tribute serves as a post-script scene to the movie. It doesn’t pertain to the story at all; but it works to me. I mean for a majority of the movie, to be completely honest, I forgot that Paul Walker had passed a little over a year ago. The first scene he was in I said to myself, “Oh right, he died.” Then the movie progressed and it didn’t cross my mind really at all. Then this post-script scene really made me feel the impact of his death and what it meant to Vin Diesel and the rest of the cast and crew that really became a family throughout this franchise’s tenure – which is why I feel Furious 7 would be the right note to end the franchise on. Unfortunately because of the western capitalist pigs over at Hollywood, we’ll surely have a Fast & Furious 8, 9, and 10. My brother had a funny idea to turn the ‘8’ sideways and title it Infinitely Furious.
Overall Rating: 6.5 – Pretty Good
The acting is subpar; you can’t understand a thing Vin Diesel says; there are inconsistencies in the plot, and physics is just out the door. Yet you can’t deny this movie is entertaining as hell. I’d probably rank the seven movies as follows:
1. The Fast and the Furious (2001)
2. Fast Five (2011)
3. Furious 7 (2015)
4. Fast & Furious (2009)
5. 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003) – still the best title
6. Fast & Furious 6 (2013)
7. The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006) – still the worst one by far.
Here’s the music video for the song played during Walker’s tribute as well.
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