Some spoilers will follow ahead so read with caution

Furious 7 redefines high-octane.  That’s because I’ve never before seen a movie with the guts to throw cars out of a plane (don’t worry, there are parachutes) or have the protagonists drive from one skyscraper to another – in the air.  As death defying as these stunts are, however, I’d already seen the best of them in the trailers.  That doesn’t mean there still aren’t reasons to see the actual movie, but it’s unfortunate that the studio made the choice to give away the most surprising scenes before the actual film came out.

This movie is porn, and I say that in the nicest sense of the word: it’s well shot, with beautiful action scenes and not a small number of frames dedicated to sexy women’s behinds.  If you came for a complex plot, you might be a little disappointed: the storyline is a simple, good guys versus bad guys deal, which in a movie like this is really okay since let’s be honest, you probably didn’t come for the story anyway.  If you’re interested, it follows from the final scene of Fast & Furious 6: within the first few minutes you see the aftermath of the phone call from the mysterious man who tells Dom, “You don’t know me, but you’re about to.”

That bad man turns out to be Deckard Shaw, the brother of the villain of the previous film, and he’s hell-bent on taking out “the team that crippled my brother.”  The team ends up working with covert ops man Frank Petty to defeat a mercenary and his crew who are attempting to co-opt a computer tracking device on steroids, named God’s Eye, in exchange for the ability to use God’s Eye to track Deckard Shaw.  There is some character development before most of the action begins: Dom takes Letty back to Race Wars and to her grave in an attempt for her to regain her memories, and meanwhile Brian reluctantly begins to become accustomed to suburban life with Mia and his son.  As this is Paul Walker’s final film (the movie was half-filmed before his death, and completed after script rewrites using his brothers as stand-ins for some of the scenes), this domestic life thread comes back at the end in an almost chillingly beautiful scene where the rest of the team observes Brian, Mia, and their son frolicking on a beach and discusses how this is where the man belongs.  The movie concludes with a tribute to Walker, a super-cut of his character’s scenes from throughout the franchise.  It’s a fitting nod to the late actor.

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These early scenes work fairly well to give substance to the characters for those who may be new to the franchise, although the drama of Letty’s early departure from Dom is undercut when she returns several scenes later to take her place in the team once again.  It must be said that, myself new to the series, I was invested enough in the characters’ relationships to actually tear up toward the end of the movie when Dom appears mortally wounded and Letty begs him to return to her, revealing that she has finally regained all of her memories.  

The dialogue in Furious 7 is occasionally cliché feeling, even stilted, but – again – that’s not what most people are going to see this movie for, and I was pleasantly surprised at the substantive nature of at least the main characters.  Numerous car fight scenes are nicely set off by a number of instances of hand-to-hand combat, all of which are impressively choreographed and fun to watch.  Overall, this is a solid action flick, and if cars, action movies, or nice butts areyour thing, I’d recommend going to see it in theaters.

Movie Review: 'Furious 7'
Furious 7 is exactly what you thought it would be. Unrealistic and entertaining action with a heart felt tribute to the franchise legend.
The Good
  • Action packed from start to finish
  • Best cinematography yet in the franchise
  • Great Paul Walker tribute
The Ugly
  • Supporting actors are still a bit stale
  • Vin Diesel is super cheesy this time around
  • improper use of Jason Statham
7.5Overall Score
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