Furious 7 picks up a not long after the events of Fast 6, with Dom Toretto (Vin Diesel) trying to reconnect with Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) and help her regain her lost memories. Brian (Paul Walker) and Mia (Jordana Brewster) are adjusting to the domestic life with their son Jack, but this life is more of a struggle for Brian. Meanwhile Deckhard Shaw (Jason Statham) makes his presence known by killing Han in an act of revenge for his younger brother Owen Shaw (Luke Evans, the villain from 6). The team are at risk from this one man killing machine, but in order to track him they need to complete a mission from a man simply known as Mr. Nobody (Kurt Russell) who works for the government.
As with the previous films, Furious 7 is a high octane thrill ride, with crazy stunts and events that are way over the top and beyond belief. However this time around it is different, the film feels more grounded, in a way that I don’t think Justin Lin could achieve. Taking the helm here is James Wan, perhaps best known for his horror work such as Saw and The Conjuring, he’s really stepped out of his comfort zone. The action hits hard, the film flows extremely well and there is never a dull moment.
The trailers for the film actually didn’t give to much away, they focus on the revenge aspect with Deckhard. But they also have a mission, and this is where the film ventures off into Mission: Impossible territory. The action for one of the big set pieces is contained to a place that is kind of off the grid and without civilians around. Because of this, I thought it worked so much better than previous big action scenes. All it is is a road and trucks and cars, and lots of crazy action. Having this side mission (to retrieve a big time hacker called Ramsey, and get something known as the God’s Eye), keeps things interesting and Shaw is always on Toretto’s trail.
It was good to see the inclusion of the Mr. Nobody character, he gets involved through Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson), who Shaw put in the hospital. He’s a pretty fun character that meshes really well with the team. He gives them an offer that can’t be refused and with the God’s Eye they can track and put down Shaw. It feels like a win/win, but they have to still contend with the man who wants the God’s Eye Jakande (Djimon Hounsou). It is a dangerous thing for bad guys to have, and they go through a hell of a lot to actually get it. Which is why this does feel like Mission: Impossible, and it really works for it.
Despite how over the top the action is, it is fun action. A lot of damage gets done, I can’t image the big bill the cities would have to face. This isn’t something you need to take that seriously though, and I am glad it seemed the civilian collateral damage didn’t seem as big as the previous two films. The team here are a unit and they are a perfect fit, the addition of Ramsey is a good move too. If there is another sequel, please being back Mr. Nobody, he was easily the best new addition here. The cast (the returning cast) are at their best, they are these characters by now and they know what they are doing. Kurt Russell fits in perfectly well into the dynamic, and he did steal the show.
Paul Walker passed away during the last part of this shoot, and he would be proud of what was achieved with the film. His performance is a really good one, he managed to bring a new intensity to the character. Not to mention his character gets to fight Tony Jaa twice, and he was believable in being a match against this new threat. The film pays tribute to Paul at the end and it was a nice touch, in a way we had Vin Diesel sending off his brother, it was nice.
If the series does continue, it wont be the same without Brian O’Conner/Paul Walker. His future absence has been explained and it makes complete sense too. They do have a very solid team to move forward with, and a director who has made the best film of this franchise so far. If this is the end, what a way to go out with. Furious 7 delivers big time for fans of the series, and for action fans. It doesn’t hold back on anything, and it is one of the best films of its kind – at least in recent memory.
Review written by Marcella Papandrea