These two simple words near the end of Furious 7 serve as a painful re-minder of the death of Paul Walker, one of the franchises’s most beloved actors. No one of the cast and crew who were as close as family could have foreseen the tragedy. He appeared in all but one of the films and quickly became a fan favorite. So it was more than fitting to dedicate this installment to him. What follows is a montage showcasing Paul’s Brian O’Connor from 2001’s “The Fast and the Furious” to the present.
Once again revving up engines for what is undeniably the most kinetically driven episode of the film series, Furious 7 brings back old reliable parts, coupled with the installation of a few new ones. Vin Diesel’s Dom and the gang are joined by The Transporter alum Jason Statham, Game of Thrones Nathalie Emmanuel, and veteran Kurt Russell who boost the action and intrigue to a more exciting level.
Dom posits “I don’t have friends, I have family. Apparently this is the same attitude Statham’s Deckard Shaw adopts, seeking revenge against the people who retired his brother Owen (a bedridden Luke Evans) to a hospital room just hanging on to life. He, like Jeremy Irons character Simon Gruber in Die Hard With a Vengeance, wants retribution for his sibling.
Furious 7 opens with a proverbial boom as we see Deckard at the hospital looking over the battered remains of his brother, after he has deftly exting-uished all opposition and leaves the place in somewhat of a mess. If you’ve seen the trailer you already know that he takes out Sung Kang’s Han in Tokyo via an horrific side crash/collision, then obligingly calls Dom just be-fore his house is blown to pieces. Afterwards, his dauntlessness leads him to the offices of Dwayne Johnson’s Hobbs where they tangle a bit. The War is on.
Obviously director James Wan has no problem transferring from horror fare like Insidious and The Conjuring , to heavily motorized action. He ups the ante with plenty of car chases, street fights, girl fights, one really insane escape move by Paul Walker, two death defying aerial exploits involving autos parachuting from the back of a C-17, and an extremely expensive sleek red Lykan Hypersport crashing through high rise buildings in midair.
Between fending off Deckard’s radical Black Ops attacks, plus securing and protecting a stunning hacker named Ramsey(Emmanuel), Dom, Paul Letty, Roman and Tej temporarily trade the fiery L.A. streets for the deserts of Abu Dhabi. Car enthusiasts are acutely global. The exotic locale does not lessen exertion as the team dresses up and down to perform another mission vital to their operation for Kurt Russells’ seemingly duplicitous Mr. Nobody.
Thankfully there is also no shortage of motorized drama in Chris Morgan’s high octane script. Paul’s Brian is coping with family life with Mia and their young son. Settling down can be hard after a life of burning tires on the asphalt. Then there’s Michelle Rodriguez’s Letty, still suffering from memory loss and now flash backs regarding her relationship with Dom.
Of course no Fast and Furious movie would be complete without the comical wisecracking between Tyrese’s Roman and Ludacris’ Tej. They have always provided the laugh relief, even during a serious situation. Especially during the previously mentioned C-17 airdrop. You probably won’t be able to stop laughing.
Very worth seeing on the larger than life IMAX screen ( and not in 3D thank God), Furious 7 probably contains more thrills than any of the previous films combined. All fans, notably Paul Walker fans, will enjoy this one last ride.