The latest installment of the Fast and Furious franchise is not likely to be the last, but it certainly feels like the perfect wrap-up to the series and exactly what its fans were hoping for. With each new movie, the stunts as well as the characters get more ridiculous and, to put it bluntly, more badass; each new fight or heist sequence strives to top the previous one. Furious 7 is much bigger and better than the other movies in terms of action and one might even go so far as to say it’s even a little over-the-top, but it delivers such a solid and respectful send-off to its lead actor Paul Walker at the end that all other nonsense is forgiven. After nearly fourteen years of getting to know the main characters, it’s like watching old friends get into trouble all over again. This movie actually adds a layer of emotion and depth that was missing from some of the earlier movies – but it is offset by a number of insane and impossible stunts involving cars, planes (once again), and very tall condos.
In order to tie in the events that took place at the end of the obvious outlier in the series, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (#3), it becomes apparent that Furious 7 takes place after the events in Fast & Furious 6 as well as the third movie. The backstory doesn’t really matter and all one really needs to know is that this movie is just about revenge, and that revenge comes in the form of Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) doing everything in his power to take down Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and his gang. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson reprises his role as Hobbs and delivers his usual one-liners and flexes his muscles, while Michelle Rodriguez, Ludacris, and Tyrese Gibson also star in the movie as the characters the audience knows well and has come to love. There are a number of satisfying one-on-one brawls in the movie and chase sequences that will make your head spin and your eyes roll, but that is what the franchise has become and why people will watch it – and enjoy it.
Furious 7 is admittedly too long and has a number of gaping holes, but if you’re in the mood for a fun (and fast) ride, it serves the purpose well. What the movie does best, however, is handle the death of Paul Walker during the filming by re-writing the ending to give him the proper goodbye. It’s touching and absolutely perfect; especially because one knows the words are real and come directly from the hearts of the actors involved, Vin Diesel in particular. If you never thought he could deliver heartfelt dialogue that could make you cry real tears, you better think again – and bring tissues.