Review | Furious 7
The reinvention of the Fast & Furious franchise is one of the most unexpected surprises on the hollywood cinema. They’re movies really, really far from being perfect, but that seem to finally have understood the purpose of their existence: over the top, exaggerated action scenes that would drive Isaac Newton crazy and goofy humor that prevents anyone from taking anything serious. In it’s seventh entry, the franchise is more freaked out than ever, which may lay off some spectators. Like myself.
The plot begins right after the previous movie, with Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) emerging to avenge the attack on his dying brother, Owen (Luke Evans), targeting the team lead by Dom Toretto (Vin Diesel). Compounding the threat, Dom is hired by a mysterious coorporation, represented by Mr. Nobody (Kurt Russell) to recover a powerful digital artifact that is capable of tracking citizens in any global position.
Two different narrative lines that doesn’t seem to have much in common, and Chris Morgan’s script simply doesn’t give a damn about building a logic relation between them (Statham’s villain magically pops when the story requires, even if he is able to jump from Los Angeles to Abu Dhabi in a matter of hours). But that’s fine, I don’t expect logic from a movie like Fast & Furious, because any line of dialogue there is a mere excuse to have tuned cars being launched from airplanes or Dwayne Johnson breaking a blaster with his giant arms.
Malayan director James Wan (from Saw and the excellent The Conjuring) steps in to replace Justin Lin, and shows some fine work with the action scenes, even if prefer him in the horror genre. Wan brings inventive camera movements, specially during the hand to hand combats (the showdown between Michelle Rodriguez and MMA wrestler Ronda Rousey is memorable) and true style – such as the excellent long shot that introduces Statham’s character. However, the excessive… excess can become tiresome: there is no real risk or real danger, Vin Diesel doesn’t shed one single drop of blood, even facing deadly car crashes, accidents, landslides or violent wrench strokes. The climax is a crazy mix of Terminator, The Avengers and Lord of the Rings, with even a drone in the pack. Sure, it’s funny (the catchphrases are genious, and Dwayne Johnson’s the Man), but personally I found myself bored at a certain point. The arficiality was heavy.
And even that the movie shamefully fails on it’s attempt to offer an emotional take to Dom and Letty’s relationship, it’s precisley that factor that provides it’s undeniable high mark: the homage to Paul Walker. As you sure know, the actor tragically passed way in a car accident in late 2013, which lead the studio to use CGI and body doubles to complete Brian O’Conner’s final scenes. It’s an imperfect effect that causes weirdness in some moments, but we can totally ignore it in the beautiful scene where the movie breaks the Fourth Wall to pay it’s homage to the actor in an almost surreal sequence, that will certainly take some tears from the devote fans.
Furious 7 is exaggerated and completely nuts, being able to either lose or win the spectador with said characteristics. It’s neither the best, or the funniest movie in the franchise, but it gains credits for the marvelous homage to Paul Walker.
Obs: If possible, avoid the awful converted 3D.