Starring: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Jason Statham
Director: James Wan
Running Time: 139 mins
Furious 7 is an American film and the seventh in the Fast & Furious series. Despite having taken down the dangerous criminal Owen Shaw, the family come under even more serious threat when his older brother sets out on a relentless course of vengeance across the world.
Not only is Furious 7 by far the best film of the entire series, but it’s actually one of the most surprising action blockbusters I’ve ever seen. With an incredible breath of fresh air from director James Wan, fantastic performances across the board, and the best story of all the Fast & Furious films, Furious 7 is an enthralling, exciting and hugely entertaining movie that will have you fully hooked from start to finish.
Up until now, I’ve been pretty apathetic towards the Fast & Furious films. While I don’t think any of them are that bad, nothing yet has really made me feel a strong passion for the story, nor have I really felt exhilarated by its enormous scope and insane blockbuster action. But that’s why Furious 7 is such a surprise, because it pulls all of the series’ best elements together, and then goes further to create a genuinely brilliant action thriller.
There’s so much that I loved about this film, but the best part of all is undoubtedly the action. Fast Five and Fast & Furious 6 impressed at times with some huge and ridiculous action sequences, but in Furious 7, director James Wan takes that to a whole new level, making for some of the most gleefully high-octane stunts, chases and fights you’ll ever see on the big screen.
Justin Lin always managed to do a good job at giving these films a polished and often slick look, but what I really liked about this film is how confident James Wan’s direction is. Apart from looking even more refined than any film before it, the thrills in Furious 7 don’t all come from big explosions and ridiculous stunts, but rather the visually spectacular look of every single action set-piece.
From thrillingly edited stand-offs in dim car parks to jumping a supercar between skyscrapers at sunset, Furious 7 is a beautiful film to look at on so many occasions, and that alone helped me to get more excited by the action, as well as having the biggest set-pieces stick in my mind long after they concluded.
And while there are numerous fantastic action sequences here, there’s one that I just can’t forget. Right in the middle of the film, there’s a spectacular chase sequence in the mountains of Azerbaijan. Not only does Wan give an incredible sense of scope to the setting, let alone to the insane opening sequence to the action set-piece, but the perfectly simple objective of the sequence makes it such an exciting watch. With the team focusing on one clear target, it’s so easy to get caught up in the thrill of the chase, and along with some of the fantastically silly stunts that are thrown in along the way, it’s a hugely entertaining watch, and exactly what this franchise should be doing.
But that brings onto another point: the story. Throughout this series, many of the films have attempted to be a little too clever and complex when it comes to the main plot, when that doesn’t actually need to be the case. Furious 7, on the other hand, provides a generally clear, simple and exciting central plot that makes it an absolute joy to follow for 139 minutes. It may be occasionally fail to spell out some of the smaller details, but amidst the thrilling action and the clear objective, it doesn’t really make a difference at all.
What’s more is that the performances here are the best at any point in the series. The team chemistry between the main characters is better than ever, with Vin Diesel and Paul Walker continuing to play off one another brilliantly, Tyrese Gibson and Ludacris with their hilarious side banter, as well as Michelle Rodriguez and Dwayne Johnson continuing to prove their fantastically likable prowess.
And then there’s the newcomers. Kurt Russell impresses in an entertaining yet very composed role as the director of the team’s mission this time round, whilst Jason Statham does a stunning job as the film’s main villain, providing the first genuinely threatening and strong opposition to the family of the entire series, but having a whole lot of fun in the process, from an ingenious opening scene to an exhilarating climax.
Furious 7’s action, story, directing and performances are all fantastic, but after all the madness has calmed down, it hits home with a stunning finale. Looking at Dom and Brian’s relationship over the course of the entire series, the film ends on a truly beautiful and incredibly moving note as it pays an incredible tribute to Paul Walker, pushing me close to tears with its heart and emotion, something that I’ve never seen a big Hollywood blockbuster do before.
Overall, I really liked Furious 7. Above all, it’s an off-the-chain, action-packed adventure, but with some excellent directing from start to finish, a streamlined plot, fantastic performances across the board, and an unforgettable finale, it’s one of the most surprising movies I’ve ever seen, and that’s why I’m giving it a 7.9.