Review: Furious 7 Is Ridiculous And Somehow Still Boring
Title: Furious 7
Director: James Wan
Screenwriters: Chris Morgan (written by) abd Gary Scott Thompson (characters)
Principal Cast: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Jason Statham, Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris, Dwayne Johnson, and Kurt Russell
Summary: Deckard Shaw seeks revenge against Dominic Toretto and his family for the death of his brother. — via IMDB
Over the last three days or so I’ve been posting links to what has been called Kaitlyn’s Fast and Furious Drunk Blog (parts one, two and three). The short version is I hadn’t seen a Fast and Furious movie since the first one over a decade ago. One weekend I decided to binge watch all six movies before I had to see Furious 7. (There was also alcohol involved: it was an interesting experience). The spoiler alert for my three part blog review of all six movies is that I wasn’t impressed. The sixth one was probably the “best” in that it seemed to give up all pretenses. I was never completely sold though, for reasons we’ll get into, but maybe Furious 7 would surprise me.
Furious 7 is completely ridiculous as it struggles to become an even dumber version of Mission Impossible and ends up somehow still being boring.
Stay with me on this one as I’m going to explain why I was bored during this and all Fast and Furious movies. The main reason that ultimately broke the entire enterprise for me was that I wasn’t invested. I never bought Vin Diesel’s Dominic Toretto as a protagonist, and the characters that I liked were becoming fewer and far between. For an action scene to work you need to care about the fates of the characters. I’m not even saying you need to like them, but you need to be invested in the outcome for the tension in order to keep an action scene exciting. Furious 7 has some great action scenes that are very well done, but a shoot out doesn’t matter if we don’t care who gets shot. This franchise is seven movies in and I wasn’t invested in any of the characters lives which made it harder to stay invested in the movie.
This same principle can be applied to how distracting most of the action scenes were for me. There is a lot of collateral damage in action movies, but in a good one you don’t tend to think about it too much. I had such a hard time staying interested in Furious 7 and it’s six predecessors that the crashes and explosions were distracting. A cop car would fold into itself like an accordion and all I could think is “that guy just died and all he was doing was his job”. This happens all the time in action movies, but if you’re caught up in the moment you don’t really notice it. I never really got caught up and it was all I could think about.
This isn’t to say that the action scenes aren’t well done. The Fast and Furious movies seemed to have abandoned the concept of physics all together and that makes for some pretty crazy moments. The cast might not have characters that are particularly likable, but it was fairly obvious that for all of the lip service paid to family in these movies the cast really is one. I just wish they were more likable. The best scene in the movie, for me, was when the movie essentially said goodbye to the late Paul Walker who passed away halfway into filming. There is a montage of Walker’s character throughout the various movies and it’s pretty gut wrenching. Walker’s brothers were stand in’s for him and there was only one moment that it was really obvious. The goodbye is played off as saying goodbye to Walker’s character Brian, but it is very clear that Diesel is saying goodbye to Walker.
Furious 7 is another installment to a franchise that I don’t seem to have any investment in. If you’re already invested in this series then what I say isn’t going to matter, but for what my opinion is worth, it was just another mediocre movie with a few action beats that were pretty impressive. If that’s what you like in a movie then you’ll enjoy Furious 7, but if you aren’t already on board wait for the final montage of Walker to leak on YouTube.