REVIEW: ‘Furious 7’ – You Don’t Have Friends, You Have Family

“This time it ain’t just about being fast.”

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 Furious 7.

How do you even start off discussing this film?

While it enters the market with a huge amount of recognition behind it from wanton audiences, it’s also the film that is now the last for late actor Paul Walker. Like Vin Diesel‘s Dominic Toretto, Walker’s character Brian O’Conner is synonymous with the series success and story.
Before his untimely passing, Walker had finished around half of the production. Going into an indefinite hiatus, the production team, with new Director James Wan (Saw, Insidious), began the job of working out a way to continue the story and honour Walker‘s career and life.

FF73A film that’s frenetic in its excess action, Furious 7 pulls no punches with their escalation of all-out-action that has been jumping up in leaps and bounds since Fast 5.

The team is being hunted. With the ending of Fast & Furious 6 linking us to the third film, The Fast & The Furious: Tokyo Drift, we are introduced to Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham), the brother to part 6’s antagonist, Owen Shaw (Luke Evans).
Looking to avenge his brother, Shaw becomes the “Man from the Shadows” that comes into play whenever the team aren’t looking. With no way to know when he’ll come, the team are offered a lifeline by a ‘Mr. Nobody’ (Kurt Russell) who asks the team to track down a captured Computer Specialist by the name of ‘Ramsey’ who may have a tool that could assist them. As they enter the world of Black-Ops, the team deal with larger set pieces, faster cars and the retirement of one of their own.

There’s always one film that acts like a beacon for the coming of the ‘Blockbuster’ season.

Furious 7 is this film.

FF72With an opening sequence that bluntly points out “This character is the toughest they’ve met”, you see that Toretto and Crew will be put to the test. With hand-to-hand combat scenes that match the intense theatricality of pro-wrestling, giant explosions that eat up the screen, and a moment to make people believe that cars will fly, Furious 7 doesn’t just want to top its previous installments.

It wants to leave them so badly in the dust that you can’t even see them any more.

Adding to this is a story that continues the tradition of family, with all major players returning. Having Paul Walker’s 2 brothers, Caleb and Cody, act as stand-ins for some scenes, the re-writes pay the utmost respect to not only Walker’s character Brian, but to the actor himself.

As the final scene begins, it would be hard to find anyone in the audience who isn’t running off an overflowing tank of adrenaline that’s mixed with a sadness over the celebration of the art Paul Walker gave to us with each film he acted in.

Furious 7 while insane in what it works to defy, not only solidifies the series standing in popular culture, but bids farewell to a star in a way that says “Goodbye” for all of us.

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“Whether I’m a quarter-mile away or halfway across the world, the most important people in the room are mi familia.

You’ll always be my brother.”


 

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