The Fast & The Furious franchise is almost a conundrum in the film industry. By all accounts the movies should have ended after Tokyo Drift but somehow, with Fast & Furious, the films not only found their way again but managed to get significantly better each time.
With Furious 7 the stakes have once again been raised and the film manages to deliver on all counts. Granted it’s not a perfect movie, the pacing is off and some scenes are overly long, but the final product is a fun ride with a lot of heart.
Heart, more than anything, is what separates the Fast & Furious franchise from all the others. The film’s message of family and the tight bond between the cast, both on and off screen, elevates almost every scene. More than that, seven films in we know these characters well and have watched them grow.
It also helps that the movie brought in veteran badass Kurt Russell to spice things up a bit. Every time Russell is on the screen the movie becomes instantly better and any problems that you may have had vanish. Despite having minimal screentime Russell easily steals the show.
If you’re a fan of the franchise at all you need to see Furious 7 on the biggest screen you can. All the action sequences are over the top, insanely loud and designed to make your jaw drop. While not nearly as much of the action is practical this time around none of it ever feels fake.
The biggest complaint you can have is that the film’s pacing is a bit off and some of the scenes are choppy. Much of that is due to Paul Walker’s untimely death halfway through filming. That one event shut down production and almost stopped the film from being made all together.
But after finding a new direction and an appropriate way to end the film production moved forward. If the end result feels off it is circumstantial. The plot is thin enough it doesn’t fall apart by having Walker play a lesser role but strong enough that you never really notice his absence. That is one of the perks of having such a strong ensemble cast, they can pull through almost anything.
Without giving away too much Furious 7 acts as the perfect swan song for both Paul Walker and the franchise itself. Every character is given a moment to shine and say farewell. There has been talk of making an eighth movie but that seems unnecessary at this point.