This past weekend I got the chance to experience Furious 7 in theaters. This, as you can no doubt tell from the title, is the seventh installment of The Fast and The Furious franchise. As such you can expect loads of loud noises, grungy textures and of course fast cars. Along with that and how the franchise has evolved since the first film, there is a shift away from the importance of the cars and how they drive the story in order to make room for a more character driven story with family as the constant undertone.
As Vin Diesel says, “This time it ain’t just about being fast.” It’s true in this film. If you are looking for film focusing on cars then go to Disney. Although there are awesome and entertaining scenes, the real story lies on the foundation of brotherhood. Even if cars aren’t the main focus point, it does a great job expressing car culture in that it is tightly knit community. Being a huge car fan I was in a way disappointed in not seeing cars going particularly fast at all, but as a filmmaker I enjoyed the roles they played in helping tell the real story.
That being said there are things I liked and disliked about it. The character development is almost nonexistent. The only way I can truthfully say that there is a decent change is if I put all of the films together from the first film to the last. By itself there is not much to say. Dialogue was not completely there. Mostly it consisted of cliché one-liners. If I’m honest, they are cool while watching the film. There were also camera shots that took me out of some of the action scenes. There was a lot of spinning movements, which made me feel disoriented as if I was rolling down a hill. There were a few other things but going on will only lead to me nitpicking. In short, if you are looking for an Oscar winning experience then this might not be the film for you.
On the other side of the spectrum there are a lot of things this film does well. Like I said before, it has a great way of reaching out to many people besides those interested in cars. I’m sure many girls and even guys that went to watch the film in the theater I was in only went because they were dragged along on a date or with friends. Even so, I’m sure they without a doubt enjoyed it just as much as I did. Locations were picked out well. The filmmakers did a great job incorporating new locations such as Abu Dhabi and then also bringing it back to the past with Los Angeles. The sense of “home” is a huge bullet point helping tie everything together. I also thought the film did a great job at being a mixture of different genres and emotions. It’s an action-packed drama that will leave you feeling as if you nitrous running through your veins while also breaking even the strongest heart of any chassis.
Following that, we now arrive on what I enjoyed most about this film. Since the death of the dear Paul Walker, every fanatic and curious film watcher has wondered how the film was going to end up. Personally I thought they were going to scrap the film because they couldn’t complete this without a huge member missing and even if they did it wouldn’t reach its potential. I could not have been more wrong. This entire film was a tribute to Paul. The way they handled the story from beginning to end did a great honor to his memory. Every scene with him had me on the verge of tears knowing that he was no longer with us. By the end I was almost completely bawling my eyes out. The last couple of scenes are heart-wrenching goodbyes to a great man. I don’t want to give away too much, but the metaphorical references along with a touching montage really make this film for me.
For many, this film is going to be passed off as an action film with little storyline and they might be right. This isn’t a film for everyone. It fails in a couple categories. What it does do very well is exemplify how action and drama can blend completely well together. It incorporates metaphors, thrilling action scenes, comedic elements, and stimulating images into a film that is proving to be a hit with audiences everywhere. With incredible box office numbers proving the popularity, Furious 7 is no longer a guilty pleasure. No, this is probably not going to win an Oscar. It will, however, win a place in our hearts where it will stay forever.