DVD Review: Furious 7



“Furious 7,” the most recent installation in the “Fast & Furious” franchise, made $1.5 billion in worldwide box office sales last year for a reason.

Half of that reason is because the franchise is an international phenomenon, featuring high-tech special effects, expensive cars and long action sequences.

The other half is due to the publicity surrounding the tragic death of the franchise’s star, Paul Walker, who ironically died in a car accident in 2013.

“Furious 7” was halfway finished when Walker died, and it would take another year to complete it, using special effects and Walker’s own brothers as stand-ins.

We hadn’t seen any of the “Fast & Furious” movies since we saw the original one 14 years ago, back when our parents still had to drop us off at the movie theater.

We were curious how the movie could be made without its star, so we shrugged and said, “Sure,” when our companion plopped on the couch after a long day and chose it from the OnDemand menu (a wonderful and terrible invention).

One of the first characters onscreen is played by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. “This is going to be good,” we thought.

Thankfully, the screenwriters didn’t make things too complicated for us and we were able to figure out what was going on even without having seen any of the other movies in the series. The majority of the plot doesn’t matter, and it doesn’t need to matter for this kind of entertainment.

 

All you need to know is that some guy played by Jason Statham is out to get Vin Diesel and the gang, and Vin Diesel and the gang are out to get the guy played by Jason Statham.

Lots of car races ensue. Most of the cars are blown up. Many are totaled. Some are parachuted out of helicopters. One flies through three buildings without killing anyone. Azerbaijan. Abu Dhabi. It makes no sense. It is all awesome.

What the makers of “Furious 7” did so well, aside from spending millions of dollars on cool special effects, was give the film heart.

They no doubt struggled with how to say goodbye to Walker’s character, and explain his absence from future films (at least three more are planned), but ultimately did it in a subtle way.

In the final scenes of “Furious 7,” you can see the heartbreak of Walker’s cast mates, who were all apparently a tight-knit group of friends off screen.

We admit that seeing tough-guy Vin Diesel with tears in his eyes had us a little misty. We knew it was genuine sadness at the loss of his friend, because Marlon Brando he isn’t.

Taylor Bigler Mace

Taylor Bigler Mace

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Taylor covers sports and maritimes for the Islander. As a native of Texas, she is an unapologetic Dallas Cowboys fan. [email protected]
Taylor Bigler Mace

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