The onslaught of the summer blockbusters began yesterday with the release of Furious 7. I’ve enjoyed every Fast & Furious movie. Yep, even 2 Fast 2 Furious and Tokyo Drift. But, the franchise shifted to a whole new level with Fast Five. It changed from movies focused more on street racing to one focused on ‘jobs’ and a lot of action. Box office results show it was a smart shift.
Furious 7 brings the action to a whole new level. From the beginning to end, every action scene one ups the previous. Dropping cars out of a cargo plane to intercept an armed convoy? It’s even more badass at the theater. How about jumping a car between three towers in Dubai? I had a silly ass grin on my face the entire time.
I was a bit disappointed the previews spoiled pretty much every action scene, but that’s what happens these days. Don’t want most of the movie spoiled? Don’t watch the previews.
Despite the frenetic action, Furious 7 still embraces its roots. Cars. And, there are a lot of awesome ones here. Everything from Dom’s trademark Charger to a $3.4 million Lykan HyperSport.
Roman (Tyrese Gibson) and Tej (Chris ‘Ludacris’ Bridges) bring the comic relief as usual. Most of the scenes revolve around Roman either embarrassing himself or scared during one of the movie’s highlight action scenes. Watching Roman getting cold feet during the airplane stunt was hilarious.
Story time. I won’t spoil too much, but I’ll set the stage for you. Jason Statham plays Deckard Shaw, brother to Fast Six’s villain, Owen Shaw. Deckard is out for revenge to bury Dom and crew for what they did to his brother. Statham does a solid job as Deckard. Deckard’s character is a little light on backstory, but it’s good enough for what the movie is going for. Over-the-top action. The fight at the beginning between Statham and The Rock is epic.
Kurt Russell is another new addition to the Fast and Furious franchise. He plays the leader of a CIA-esque outfit. I won’t spoil anything, except that he is a badass in one of Furious 7’s later action scenes. I’m down to see Kurt Russell become the next aging action star.
Tony Jaa brings his hand-to-hand combat expertise to the franchise. His fight scenes with Paul Walker are highlights of the film. Hell, even Ludacris gets in on the fighting action. I guess he put that $10 million from Fast Five into some fighting lessons.
One old face returns to the Fast and Furious franchise. Hector, from The Fast and Furious (the first one), pops up for a brief scene. Rapper Iggy Azalea also pops up for a few seconds of screen time – blink and you’ll thankfully miss it. Ronda Rousey also shows up to fight Michelle Rodriguez. Rousey’s dialogue is cheesy and sounds like something you hear during a character intro in Mortal Kombat.
With the tragic death of Paul Walker before the film wrapped up shooting, many wondered how they were going to complete the movie. Walker’s brothers, Caleb and Cody, plus some CGI step in to finish up the movie. The result is well done. I couldn’t tell which was CG at any point during the movie.
The tribute to Paul Walker at the end is touching and respectful. You’ll be treated to a montage of Walker throughout the entire Fast and Furious franchise. It’s a heartfelt send off to the one of the core members of the Fast and Furious family.
Furious 7 is a great summer flick. There’s plenty of cheesy one-liners that will have you cracking up. The action is over-the-top and assaults your senses, but you’ll enjoy every minute of it. Honestly? I don’t know how Universal can top it. Grab some popcorn, sit back and enjoy ‘one last ride.’
With Paul Walker’s death, some thought the series would end with Furious 7. When Vin Diesel was making his rounds on late night, he let it slip on Jimmy Kimmel an eight film was planned.
This has not been confirmed by the studio, but money talks in Hollywood. Vin said the sequel would take place in New York, and heavily feature Kurt Russell’s character. Rumors are swirling that Helen Mirren has even expressed interest.
There has also been plans about a Hobbs spin off movie. Dwayne Johnson would stay on as the title character. Even Ludacris and Tyrese Gibson want in on a potential spin off. Both ideas have stalled, but box office receipts should reignite the talk.
Personally, I’d love to see a spin off before an eighth installment of the Furious franchise. It could bridge the gap for the series, that would be searching for a way to continue without Paul Walker’s character.
Not accounting for Furious 7, The Fast and Furious series has been a cash machine for Universal. Since the first film’s release in 2001, the series has racked up $2.38 billion in box office receipts. With critical praise and the hype heading into the weekend, expect the total receipts to easily eclipse $3 billion.
Dropping planes from a cargo plane? That really happened. Check out the behind the scenes footage of the stunt below.
Don’t worry, the team didn’t toss $3.4 million out the window. The damaged replica is sitting in the offices of W Motors – the Dubai-based car manufacturer. The Lykan is their foray into supercars, and the company earned top billing in Furious 7.