Devin King | Staff Reporter
Published March 2, 2015; 6 p.m.
Predictable, cheesy, cliché and dumb. If you think a movie having these properties makes it a bad one, you’d be wrong. “Furious 7” brings a convincing case on how a movie can have those four traits and still be a great film.
Taking place directly after “Fast & Furious 6,” professional racers Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker) are enjoying their peaceful lives. However, things turn for the worse when rouge marksman Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) seeks revenge on the two after the events in the previous film.
With references and story arcs from the previous movies being carried over to “Furious 7,” it should go without saying if you have not seen any other “Fast & Furious” movie, you will be incredibly lost story-wise if you watch “Furious 7.”
Ever since the fifth film in the series, the “Fast & Furious” has mutated from serious street racing into tongue-in-cheek, almost satirical action flicks. The franchise is now more about the journey, rather than the destination. The over-the-top action has become so nonsensical, that its more about enjoying its ludicrous nature than it is about understanding what lead up to the events in the films.
How nonsensical is “Furious 7”? It’s Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson flexing his broken arm to break out of a cast and skydiving street cars nonsensical. It’s as enjoyable to watch as it is idiotic, but that’s the point of the series now. And “Furious 7” may just the dumbest and most fun entry into the series thus far.
Diesel and Walker performances as adventure-hungry racers are just as good as they’ve ever been, and the rest of the cast continue to portray their characters exactly how they were left in the previous movies. There is something to enjoy in every character, but I found it hard to care about Letty Ortiz’s (Michelle Rodriguez) amnesia problems that carried over from the movie’s predecessor.
The movie’s setting jumps all around the world. From the beaches of the Dominican Republic to the deserts of Abu Dhabi, cinematographer Stephen F. Windon captures some great shots from every place the crew visited. However, Windon becomes a little too jump cut friendly during some of the action scenes.
“Furious 7” production value is fantastic and makes full use of its $250 million budget. This leads to big, glorious explosions in every scene. There’s not a second that felt slow in the 134-minute running time, but this does lead to the film’s greatest strength and weakness. With such a relatively long running time that’s packed with action in every scene, it’s almost impossible not to find something enjoyable in the movie.
However, the movie is so long for an action movie that it’s hard to enjoy everything.
“Furious 7” ends with a satisfying conclusion for the late Paul Walker, which is surprisingly emotion-filled. The movie is without-a-doubt one of the dumbest, yet most enjoyable films of the year so far.