No one could have guessed that a movie based on a magazine article about street racers and intended as a vehicle for the Paul Walker would go on to spawn a franchise that has been around for 14 years. Even more surprising is that in spite (or possibly because) of plot lines that are getting sillier and packed with more cast members, the reviews continue to improve. Clearly audiences want to be entertained.After taking down an international criminal mastermind, Brian (Paul Walker), Dom (Vin Diesel) and their extended family are finally able to enjoy their freedom after life on the lam. Their peace is short-lived however, as the mastermindâ€™s big brother Deckard (Jason Statham) â€“ a psychotic ex-Special Forces assassin â€“ swears vengeance on the group. Thankfully, Perry (Kurt Russell) a spook representing Uncle Samâ€™s interests, offers to help the group if they'll help him recover a kidnapped coder who has developed a software program that can let anyone seize every computerized device on the planet for their own nefarious designs. Oh, and there are a couple other villains along for the ride to further complicate things.
If the Furious franchise has demonstrated anything, it's that if you fill a movie with buff guys with attitudes, insanely hot babes in ridiculously skimpy outfits, outrageous cars, ludicrous driving sequences and over-the-top-stunts (including building hopping thanks to CGI, and running up buses about to plunge off a cliff) it doesn't really matter how thin the plot fans will keep coming back for. Furious 7 does not disappoint, offering all that and more, including drone fire fights in the middle of a city and an expanded cast, including Ronda Rousey and Tony Jaa to provide some kick-ass choreographed fight sequences to ramp the adrenaline up as well as some dizzying camera work to highlight still more action sequences. It's also a lot funnier this time around, with a slew of Arnold-worthy one-liners. But it's far from perfect.
The screenwriters clearly couldn't decide if they wanted a serious story about family and principles (as evidenced by several long dour monologues) or a Michael-Bayesque satire, so they simply kept weaving back and forth, killing the story's momentum and dragging out the runtime (an interminable two hours and twenty minutes). There is also a sad irony to the number of horrific accidents that the drivers escape with nary a scratch, given Paul Walker's tragic passing, which in turn results in some disquieting sequences when youâ€™re looking at him and know it's not really him â€“ no matter how good the CGI it comes off as a bit creepy.If you like fast cars, jump-the-shark stunts and can suspend disbelief (and good old common sense) you will likely enjoy Furious 7. And no worries, the next one is already in the works.