Furious 7

Posted on April 4, 2015 at 11:21 pm

Copyright Universal 2015
Copyright Universal 2015

Who would have picked the Fast & Furious series as the one that would defy the odds and just keep getting better? In part that is because the first one was not very good.

And the second wasn’t either. It didn’t even have Vin Diesel. And then there was that crazy detour chronologically and geographically with “Tokyo Drift.”

But somewhere around the fourth or fifth one they made two important decisions. They jettisoned any vestigial commitment to believability in storylines. And they tossed out any thought of complying with the laws of physics. In this seventh and last film, twelve years after the first one, there are so many flying cars amid the chases, explosions, and assault weapons it might as well be titled “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Bang Bang Bang.”

Okay, the cars don’t actually fly, but they hurtle through the air.

Inspired by a magazine article about street racers, the series has morphed into a sort of “Mission Impossible.” The lovable band of rogues is now on the right side of the law, not because it is the right side, because they would not be rogues anymore, but because of some personal threat or affront, which is what makes them lovable. “I don’t have friends,” says the leader of the pack Dom (Vin Diesel). “I have family.” And those who live their lives a quarter mile at a time, now expanded to include anyone who shares their ineffable coolness and unconditional commitment, qualifies as family.

The talking and the acting and the story aren’t very good, and the comic relief (mostly courtesy of Tyrese Gibson) is weak at best, but that’s not why we’re here, now, is it? It does not have a plot, just a McGuffin of a plot-ish, concerning that most venerable of action-franchise go-tos. The bad guy our heroes took down at the end of #6 turns out to have a brother who is (a) determined to get revenge by killing every one of our group, (b) trained in special ops as a former government assassin with a special affection for explosives, and (c) he is Jason Statham. He even beats up FBI agent Hobbs (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson), who by now has become a sort of unofficial member of the group and kills another member. “No more funerals,” everyone agrees, except of course for Statham’s character.

Like characters in a fairy tale or a video game they have a series of tasks to accomplish in order to achieve their goal of taking out the bad guy. They have to rescue an extremely hot hacker from a supervillain with infinite access to armored vehicles and assault weapons, including armed drones. They have to retrieve her super-duper thing she invented, which is only on a hard drive in the — of course — super-duper car owned by a prince and stored in the upper stories of a skyscraper. And then they have to get the bad guy, involving a fight that comes down to mano a manly manly mano.

Okay, now that’s out of the way and we can get to the flying cars. This is a movie that has cars parachuting out of a plane. Let’s say that again. Cars parachute out of a plane. A guy gets stuck in a bus teetering over the edge of a cliff and I won’t tell you what happens next except to say it is awesome times two. There are big arms, deep voices, crazy chases, girls in very skimpy clothes, heavy artillery, crazier chases, and did I mention the cars jumping out of the plane? There’s some romance, though the only thing cheesier than the brother of the bad guy coming back for revenge storyline is the amnesia storyline, not forgetting the pregnancy she is too noble to tell him about storyline. But the action scenes are cool and the tribute to the late Paul Walker at the end is genuinely touching. Plus, cars jump out of a plane. Bang bang bang bang.

Parents should know that this film has non-stop, intense action sequences with peril and violence, some strong language, beer drinking, and some skimpy clothes and sexual references.

Family discussion: How do the characters measure loyalty? What do you think about the way they handled the real life tragic death of one of the series’ stars?

If you like this, try: the rest of the series

Related Tags:


Action/Adventure Series/Sequel
THE MOVIE MOM® is a registered trademark of Nell Minow. Use of the mark without express consent from Nell Minow constitutes trademark infringement and unfair competition in violation of federal and state laws. All material © Nell Minow 1995-2024, all rights reserved, and no use or republication is permitted without explicit permission. This site hosts Nell Minow’s Movie Mom® archive, with material that originally appeared on Yahoo! Movies, Beliefnet, and other sources. Much of her new material can be found at Rogerebert.com, Huffington Post, and WheretoWatch. Her books include The Movie Mom’s Guide to Family Movies and 101 Must-See Movie Moments, and she can be heard each week on radio stations across the country.

Website Designed by Max LaZebnik