Credit: Forbes Magazine for large image of Furious 7 billboard frame.
Before reading, as always, take a look at my rules and perspective on reviews!
Movie: FURIOUS 7 (2015) Rating: PG-13 (for mild sexuality and graphic violence). Length: 2 hrs, 17 minutes. IMAX (?): Yes. Any additional enjoyment added by IMAX?: No. It will just be bigger and louder. Family-Friendly: No. It is violent and the sexuality is probably more than young kids should see. Your discretion is most important in making such a decision to take your children.
Ok, lets get started here. I have been absent in writing the Buffalo Trader Movie Corner largely because most of what I have seen has been garbage. Forgive the pun, but Chappie was crappy, and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences should demand that Colin Firth return the Oscar he won for The Kings Speech for his depiction of a repeated mad stabbing of a woman in the stomach in Kingsman:The Secret Service. (I personally would also recommend that Lynyrd Skynyrd be removed from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for allowing the song “Freebird” to be used in this scene of random mass murder (though I am sure someone in the Van Zant family needed retirement money). Basically, the quality of movies this season has been so bad that I decided to stop writing for a bit. The lone exception to that might be McFarland USA, which is a great film about community (based on a true story).
So, should you see Furious 7?
Here is my answer:
1) If you are a movie series completest, without a doubt. ( I have only seen 3 of them and two via Redbox). I am not exactly a big fan of the series, but this movie covers all the ground of the previous 6 movies in the series, and deals with virtually every overhanging issue of the other films.
2) Do you like crazy action with cars, buildings, planes, drones, tanks, armored vehicles, and airborne cars taking out helicopters? THEN THIS IS YOUR MOVIE! Every known law of physics is brutally and in some cases with malice violated routinely. There are more violations of the laws of physics in one minute of Furious 7 than there are in the entire length of the movie adaptation of the TV show “The A Team” . People get hit with tire irons, and only receive minor scratches, cars fly out of skyscrapers into other skyscrapers and then into somehow empty parking lots, people fall from collapsing bridges, hit trees (either bodily or with cars flying down Azerbaijan mountainsides, and only have to crack their necks to be fresh as a daisy again).
James Wan directed this film, and he cares as little about the condition of his characters as Michael Bay cares about the condition of the robots in Transformer. He just has to keep them alive throughout the shooting of the film. He gets Michael Bay’s flair for the absurd though. You will think that Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson are superhuman after you see this film. If the character (good guy or bad guy) is significant, they can handle any form of physical damange, and like the original Star Trek TV series, if you are in a military outfit or don’t count in the plot (?), you are hamburger. What else would you expect from a film like this?
3) Do you care about the plot of an action picture? If you said NO, then you are watching the right movie! All I will say is this. Owen Shaw dies in the beginning of Furious 7 ( as a result of the whoopin’ he was receiving in Fast and Furious 6 by Dominic Turretto ) and his brother Deckard Shaw (who now miraculously looks like Owen ( as he was played by Jason Statham in Fast and Furious 6)), seeks revenge. He has international terrorist buddies, and they have mad hacking skills. If you are interested in seeing this (and I know you action junkies are), all I will say is that Kurt Russell ( as old as he is now) has a part in the anti-terrorist counterintelligence, and decides to help Torretto get Deckard Shaw before Shaw gets him. He has been taking out all of Torretto’s com padres one by one, and so the game is on. The late Paul Walker , the good guy cop, turned bad guy, turned back to domestic family man (you need a program to get the progression) decides to join in. The rest of the gang, including Ludicris, is back. Ludicris doesn’t have a ho in every area code, but he and the rest of the gang go to London, Los Angeles, Azerbaijan, Abu Dhabi, and everywhere else to find Deckard Shaw. They could have been going on an Easter Egg hunt or something else. It doesn’t matter. Stuff is going to explode, cars go fast, bullets fly, and streets and buildings collapse. You get the basic idea.
4) If you care about none of this, then don’t go, or rent this movie if you are bored :).
There is a brief tribute at the end to Paul Walker, who had been with Vin Diesel since the first film in 2001.
Apparently, there is enough bad blood between a couple of the characters to justify an eighth installment, but I will probably not see that one (unless the trailer is good).
I think we all would like to see Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson portray a Disney character in an adult revenge film. Only time will tell if this is ever done, but don’t hold your breath in the meantime.
For direction and cinematography only, I would rate this film about 2 stars by my rather skewed rating system out of 10 stars. It ain’t a classic, but what movie is these days? This is not an Academy Award winner, but a film for action junkies who want to eat popcorn, suspend their disbelief in all things real (seriously), and wanting to see stuff get decimated, fast cars crash, and crazy characters be crazy. If you like THAT kind of film, then you will probably like Furious 7. If you want to save some money, and see the action shots (with tethering), you can always watch this.
That’s my story, and I am sticking to it! Thanks for supporting The Buffalo Trader Movie Corner!