Movie Review: Furious 7

-James Osborne, News Editor

            Warning: Some spoilers ahead.

Furious 7 is a nonstop action ride. A confusing, chaotic, unrealistic, overly long ride. Yet it does have moments of heart and exciting action.

“Fast & Furious 7” is an over the top action adventure. Jason Statham plays Deckard Shaw, the brother of the bad guy from the last movie and a one man army who is on a mission to take out the F & F gang one by one, though through most of the movie he is mostly after the group’s leader Vin Diesel’s Domino Torretto, because they put his brother in the hospital. Shaw kills Han (the writer’s way of connecting Tokyo Drift to the franchise) and blows up Dom’s house. The group has to come together to take down Shaw. Along the way they are recruited by Kurt Russel as a government operative to steal a super computer called God’s Eye that can track anyone on earth in minutes, which was originally stolen by Somalin terrorists. If they steal the device, the government will help Dom track and take down Shaw. The adventure takes the team to exotic locations across the globe and then back to a big ending fight with Shaw and the terrorists on their home turf.

I have to admit something. I’ve never been a big fan of the Fast & Furious movie franchise. I like cars, but I am not into the racing culture and don’t bleed gasoline like some of my friends who love the movies. I saw the original on VHS years ago and thought the acting from most of the actors was bad and the story was uninteresting. I watched the second movie and don’t remember much about it. Then I struggled through the “Fast & Furious Tokyo Drift.” I stopped watching the series after that. After seeing the trailer for this last movie, “Fast & Furious 7,” I thought, “Wow. This looks like a good action movie. I think I will give it a chance.” Then I watched the movie. I was disappointed, but there were a few moments that made the movie somewhat worthwhile and even made me curious enough to check out some of the previous movies.

The film seems to be part racing movie, part superhero movie, part Ocean’s Eleven, and part western, with a duel between the hero and villain using wrecked car parts and a giant wrench, and at the end of the movie the heroes riding off into the sunset.

The action is over the top and even cartoonish and unrealistic. Vin Diesel’s character gets in so many car wrecks and even drives over a cliff to escape the bad guys, and amazingly he’s unharmed and walks away like nothing happened. No bruises or cuts. And a car driving out one building and landing perfectly into, not one, but two other buildings. Sure…that’s totally realistic right?

There are too many characters and too much going on in this movie. Just when you think the movie is about to end, it keeps going. The movie lasts about 2 and a half hours, which I feel is an hour too long. If they cut the scenes focusing on scantily clad women, nice cars revving up, and intense stares between Vin Diesel and other characters, than the movie could easily be cut down by 30 minutes. Yet then I guess it just would not be a Fast & Furious movie.

When watching the film, several questions came to mind: “Why would the U.S. government trust car thieves to take down international terrorists?” “How is Dom still alive?” And most of all, “Why does Dom think using the pretty hacker girl he is supposed to protect as bait and have the terrorists follow him back to America in Los Angeles is a good idea?”

The best thief in the movie is The Rock because he steals every scene he is in and has the best lines, even though he plays a small role in this movie.

There is plenty of comedy relief from Tyrese Gibson’s character Roman, especially when they are driving their cars out a plane, and with Paul Walker’s Brian getting used to family life.

I was surprised to find a positive theme in the movie- that of family. Dom may not be a hero looking to save the world because his main objective is revenge, but he wants to protect those close to him, his family. “I don’t have friends, I’ve got family,” he says in the movie. Paul Walker’s character Brian is settling uneasily into domesticated life, and at one point Dom tells him, “I’ve seen you do a lot of brave things, but the bravest thing I have seen you do is take care of my sister and nephew.” Dom is also trying to help his girlfriend remember who she is and she struggles with remembering her life and relationship with him. There is an eerie seen filmed before Paul Walker died where Brian calls his wife and says that if anything happens to him she needs to go on live well without him. These brief moments of humanity help make up for the unrealistic action and strange choices that are made in the movie.

The end scene which is a tribute to Paul Walker is actually a very beautiful scene. Because we have seen through social media and interviews from actors like Vin Diesel and Tyrese Gibson on how close they were to Walker, the audience knows that Vin Diesel isn’t just acting when he says “You will always be my brother.”

It’s not a perfect movie and has several flaws, but if you can push yourself to see past the unrealistic action than you can enjoy it as a fun action movie that is at times funny and even heartwarming.


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