There were a number of reasons to be concerned about the quality if Furious 7 heading in. Following Fast and Furious 6 director Justin Lin chose to leave the franchise and the brought in James Wan to replace him, who had up until this point helmed mostly horror films, not the over the top action extravaganzas that audiences had come to expect from the Fast and Furious series. Then during production Paul Walker died forcing the production to come to a halt so that they could figure out if they could successfully rework the movie and allow Paul Walker’s Brian O’Conner.
I am happy to report that my concerns for Furious 7 were not necessary. Director James Wan was able to successfully step into the franchise and make a film that fits right in with parts 5 and 6. The action sequences live up to the over the top vehicular mayhem that audiences expect from these films, they are unbelievable but most importantly fun and exciting (cars parachuting out of a plane, cars leaping between sky scrapers). In addition to director James Wan Furious 7 also adds a number of key cast members Jason Statham, Ronda Rousey, and my personal favorite of the bunch Mr. Kurt Russell. Statham does a very good job as the films main villain, and it will be interesting to see if they bring him back later in the series. I am hoping that Kurt Russell’s character Mr. Nobody will return for future installments because it was great seeing him back in an action movie.
I think the biggest concern that people had with the film heading into it was how they would handle the departure of Paul Walker from the series. Throughout the film I found myself analyzing each scene he was in to see if I could pinpoint which ones had been altered or added to help write his character out of the franchise, and for the most part there were only one or two that I noticed. There are even a few lines in the movie that will stick out because of his untimely death (one even comes from him while attending a funeral). In the end I felt that they did an excellent job writing the Brian O’Conner character out of the Fast and the Furious franchise, while also paying tribute to Paul Walker. The movie ends with a very sweet tribute that if I’m being completely honest brought a little tear to my eye.
Furious 7 is defiantly worth checking out, and like the previous two installments in the series it is a spectacle that is best enjoyed on the big screen. While Fast Five remains my personal favorite of the movies, Furious 7 is a great addition to the franchise and I am excited to see where they go in part 8.
4 out of 5 Popcorn Buckets