Furious 7 [2015] is the seventh installment in the surprisingly long-running franchise that started back all the way back in 2001.  What could’ve been just another throwaway action movie instead became a series that embraced its cartoonish nature. With its death-defying stunts and lovable characters, the Fast and Furious series has become a new favorite for many moviegoers.  Following the events of Fast & Furious 6 (and Tokyo Drift), Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) seeks revenge against Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and his family for his comatose brother.
Tyrese earns his paycheck. For a movie so heavy on action, it’s surprising that the character interaction is just as enjoyable.  Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Tyrese Gibson, and Ludacris have had enough time and films to establish chemistry.  Dwayne Johnson has a smaller role, but still gets his fair share of bad-ass moments.  Kurt Russell even makes an impressive appearance as a mysterious government agent.  And Jason Statham does exactly what you’d expect.  Even when he disappears for a good chunk of time, his menacing presence is still felt.  Fans of Tokyo Drift (and make no mistake, they do exist), however, will be disappointed to find out that Lucas Black and Bow Wow only make a very brief appearance.
0-100. Real Quick.  Even more surprising is how these movies have managed to up the ante in action.  From dragging a safe with cars, to taking down a cargo plane with cars, Furious 7 outdoes them all by parachuting out of a plane.  With cars.  It’s a very impressive sequence with little evidence of CGI, although it must’ve been used somewhere.  The finale, however, has a tough time living up to that.  While it’s still thrilling, it’s missing the “wow” factor that the earlier scenes had.  It’s like having the volume at 11, and then turning it back down to 8. Still a fun finale, but a step down from what came before it.
The Paul Walker Effect.  It’s impossible to talk about this film without mentioning the sad death of Paul Walker.  But to the film’s credit, it writes out the character in a way that’s respectful of Paul Walker and what he brought to the franchise over the years.  It’s a poignant moment that makes one appreciate the film even more.  Losing Paul Walker halfway through production was a devastating loss, but director James Wan was able to pull the film together and find a new way around it. It was a respectful ending, but still left the series open for future films.  That’s an impressive achievement.

Action-packed fun from start to finish.  And a good time was had by all.

Watch Furious 7 on iTunes