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‘Furious 7’ More Over-the-Top Fun

Furious_7_posterAnd with this, the summer movie season has unofficially started.

“Furious 7” is the, well, seventh film in the Fast & Furious franchise. This time around Vin Diesel, Paul Walker and company must take on a vengeful Jason Statham. James Wan takes over the director’s chair.

Seven films in, you probably know if you are a fan of the Fast & Furious films. If you’re willing to overlook the fact that they take place in a world lacking the laws of physics and are ripe with painful dialogue, then the films are a lot of fun. If you like your films with a shred of intelligence, then you need not apply. And “Furious 7” makes no effort to break free from the franchise’s formula.

“Furious 7” is the type of movie Michael Bay has spent his entire career trying to make: filled with shots of scantily clad women, fast cars, and clever one liners. Only difference is when the Fast & Furious films do it, the shots don’t come off as creepy, the cars aren’t moving product placements, and the one liners aren’t racist.

For most of “Furious 7”, I was having a blast. I got to see Jason Statham, one of the biggest action stars on the planet, get into a fist fight with The Rock, and then watch cars drive out of an airplane and parachute onto the ground. It is stupid and impossible and I loved near every minute of it.

Despite having made his name in horror with films like “The Conjuring”, Wan has a solid hand filming the action scenes. He may like to spin the camera around a bit too much, but for the most part he gives us some creative and engaging shots, and directs some moments of true tension, like when Walker is running up the side of a bus that is falling off of a cliff.

Speaking of Walker, it is impossible not to think of him for nearly the entire film. After his untimely passing back in November 2013, it put the film in delay as it was rewritten and his brothers stood in to finish filming his scenes. For the most part it is seamless, minus one or two shots of clear stock footage, and there was a touching tribute to Walker in the credits. He is the most charismatic and relatable character of the series and it is a true shame to see him go; but luckily Walker’s final film gives him a potent goodbye.

The biggest flaw “Furious 7” has is the same thing that hindered “Fast Five” and “Fast & Furious 6”: an overlong, numbing finale. When the climax arrives, it goes on for what feels like half an hour, with continuous explosions and destruction for the sake of explosions and destruction. It doesn’t ruin the film, but it makes it near overstaying its welcome.

Hopefully “Furious 7” is the final film of the franchise, both because it is a proper sendoff to Walker and the series would quit while it’s ahead. Like I’ve said through the entire review, the film is loud and doesn’t even attempt to be realistic, the writing is oh my god and the plot is predictable as anything; but I would be lying if I said I didn’t have a blast watching it all go down.

Critics Rating: 7/10