The “Fast & Furious” films have become a very successful franchise for Universal Pictures. The latest entry in the series, Furious 7, continues the series’ tradition of being well-produced, big budget popcorn flicks. It’s got all the elements these films are famous for: action scenes & stunts, explosions, fight scenes & of course, car chases. This time out, our heroes are facing a threat that hits close to home. Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) is the brother of the villain from the last film, Owen Shaw. Deckard vows revenge against Dom (Vin Diesel) and the rest of his crew for what they did to Owen, and the injuries Owen suffered in their battle. Deckard begins hunting down the “Fast & Furious” crew and trying to kill them, starting with Han, whose character debuted in the third film, and appeared in the subsequent sequels. Deckard murders Han, and lets Dom know he's coming for him.
As the attacks on Dom & his friends continue, he realizes he’ll have to take down Shaw to keep his family safe. This leads to an alliance with a covert ops agent, Frank Petty, played by Kurt Russell. Petty wants Dom’s help with a mission before he’ll help him get Shaw. It turns out that Petty’s request will put Dom & our heroes into direct conflict with Shaw, as well as a new & dangerous enemy, a terrorist named Jakande. Of course, everything & everyone will converge as we get to the movie’s climax. Some of the ongoing plot strands from Fast & Furious 6 are dealt with as well; Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) is still dealing with her memory loss, and Brian (Paul Walker) is struggling with settling down to be a family man, and no longer being in the midst of the action all the time. Can our heroes defeat Shaw and survive to live & drive another day?
The action & stunts keep getting more spectacular in these films: this time out, we’ve got cars dropping out of a plane & using parachutes to land, and a car driving out of a high rise building window and into another building across from it. They’re completely unbelievable moments, but you can’t help but be dazzled by them. But despite the amazing stunts, one of the things that make this series so successful is the likable characters, and their relationships. We enjoy seeing these people on screen, and can feel the bond these characters share; we care about what happens to them. When the series was essentially relaunched in 2009 with the fourth film, Fast & Furious, the filmmakers knew what worked, and reunited the cast of the original film, as well as bringing in new characters, such as Dwayne Johnson as DSS agent Hobbs in the fifth entry in the series. It helped rejuvenate the franchise, and each film since then has been more successful than the last, reversing the usual trend with sequels and their box office take.
If you’re not a fan of popcorn entertainment, this isn’t the film for you. But if you enjoyed the previous movies, you'll have a great time watching this entry in the series. There’s action to spare, humor & a few sentimental moments as well. These characters have become like family to fans of the series. Sadly, Paul Walker died in an off-set accident before filming was finished. Some digital magic, along with the help of Walker’s brothers & stunt doubles for some scenes, was used in order to help complete his role in the film. The movie concludes with a tribute to Walker using clips from his appearances in the series, and is dedicated to him. Furious 7 was directed by James (Insidious, The Conjuring) Wan, and written by Chris Morgan. It’s now playing in theaters: here’s a link to the trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Skpu5HaVkOc.