Furious 7 online movie review - A thrilling ride, definitely not the last one
The speedy band of outlaws have surfaced unscathed from impossible missions around the world with varying motives behind each outing.
While financial security and independence drove them through streets of Brazil in 'Fast Five', the desperate need to secure amnesty sent them flying across the highways of Spain in '6'. But this time, things get more personal. For the villain, it's all about retribution and for Dominic Torreto, it's about keeping the familia safe together. For a franchise that set a disclaimer long ago to leave brains behind in lieu of horsepowers, it does pretty well to align the stories through 7 movies and yet keep the team intact for the most part. Dom's position as the alpha hasn't been more at the forefront than it is now. "This time it ain't just about being fast". 'Furious 7' promises bigger, better action as muscles of both cars and humans collide to cause destruction. James Wan ('Saw', 'Insidious', 'Conjuring') is serious about taking crazy to a whole new level when it comes to the action.
After looking at the plight of his incarcerated brother Owen, Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) swears to avenge him by taking down Dominic and his team. During an information extracting break-in at Hobbs' (Dwayne Johnson) office, Shaw confronts the DSS agent and sends him flying out of the window straight to a hospital bed. Then, Shaw calls Dom from Japan, just as he has killed Han and threatens to take him down next. An explosion rips apart the Torreto house, with Mia (Jordana Brewster), Brian (Paul Walker) and Dom narrowly escaping. After learning from Hobbs about how deadly Shaw can be, Dom retrieves Han's body from Japan to perform his funeral back home. A suspicious looking car draws Dom's attention who chases it, leading to a head on collision between the two. At this point, Frank Petty and his covert ops team arrive and assure Dom that it would be easy for them to hand over Shaw to him anytime. However, Dom would have to perform a mission impossible for the US Government. It involved extracting a hacker named Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel) from the convoy of Mercenary Jackande by air-dropping onto a restricted highway in the Caucasus mountains. This bit of action is the highlight of the film.
Ramsey created a computer program called God's eye that can use every digital device to track people anywhere. The flash drive containing the program has been sold to a Jordanian Prince in Abu Dhabi who has it hidden in his Lykan hypersport supercar. What follows is something you should only watch on the big screen with popcorn. With God's eye then falling into Jackande's hands again, the finale takes us back to home turf with some exemplary stunts, some raw action between Shaw and Dom and God's eye chasing Ramsey in cars that zip through LA's streets. All this mayhem however, ends with the film's most important subject that must've been the hardest for the film-makers to deal with. The manner in which they brought closure to Paul Walker's Brian O'Conner is heart- warming, elegant and fitting as it says a passive yet emphatic goodbye to one of the familia. Wiz Khalifa's tribute is already a chartbuster and the sequence with montages from previous films honors the legacy of Walker.
Vin Diesel may not have the acting skills that would enable him to be anyone but Dominic Torreto effectively. But with so many successful films in one franchise, he may not need the alternatives. He is truly the alpha of this series and here, he proves it yet again in the fight sequences with Statham. As bad-ass as he can be, he's still very affable when he stands by his values for his family. In the last ride sequence, it shows that he genuinely lost a brother. Dwayne Johnson has a brief role but when he's on, he is on! Michelle Rodriguez really takes the alpha role seriously too especially with her fight sequences in the Etihad towers. Tyrese Gibson and Ludicrous are hilarious together while Jason Statham is well, Jason Statham.
But the finest performance has been delivered by WETA digital (yet again), in the motion capture and re-imaging of Paul Walker's prior appearances onto his brothers who acted as body-doubles. The transition is so remarkable that it's virtually impossible to point out the digitalized scenes containing WETA's Walker. Technology has advanced way beyond the CGI in the car chases and action sequences that make up the rest of the film and 'Furious 7' has one of its finest accomplishments.
The entire sequence in Azerbaijan is thrilling and gutsy. From Dom's escape down the hill to the on-the-edge bus scene that has us gazing at the screen in disbelief. Abu Dhabi's flying car scene is ridiculous but nevertheless, exciting because they push those limits too. Finally, the stunts and explosions in LA are no doubt, innovative. The film-makers claim to have used real stunts in most of the action sequences and minimized the role of CGI which is commendable, given the grand scale of destruction and mayhem.
In spite of all its obvious flaws in story-telling and character development, 'Furious 7' is an awesome entertainer. By now, one should expect the limits of practicality to be tested in this series and simply embrace the thrilling ride. As Dom's beloved '69 Dodge Charger roars against Shaw's refined yet ferocious Aston Martin DB9, the sounds of engine revs and tyre burns block out all the shortfalls as adrenaline starts pumping again for mayhem. Not surprisingly, this series has us invested in the familia. The freedom they value, the honor they stand for and the thrill they seek on the streets. The lump in the throat effect that the last ride has, is a testament to that very notion.
- 8.59 on a scale of 1-10.