(l-r) Tyrese Gibson as Roman, Michelle Rodriguez as Letty, Paul Walker as Brian and Chris Ludacris as Tej in Furious 7. (Universal Pictures)
More than a year after Paul Walker’s tragic death, the highly-anticipated Furious 7 is finally here.
Originally, Furious 7 was to be titled Fast and Furious 7, but the name changed in light of the many changes that occurred during production.
The film is directed by James Wan and written by Chris Morgan, and boasts the usual star-studded cast including Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Tyrese Gibson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Dwayne Johnson, Lucas Black, Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster and Jason Statham.
Due to Walker’s untimely death, production of the film was halted and drastically modified to accommodate Walker’s unfinished scenes. There was a lot of controversy and speculation about whether or not the film would even finish filming, and how it would best respect and honor Walker’s memory.
Then finally, it was announced in April of last year that production would continue, and Walker’s character would not be edited out of the film. Cody and Caleb Walker, his brothers, were asked to participate in order to finish his scenes through Hollywood magic, and using their likeness and superimposed faces while shooting at distant angles.
Tragedy and delayed production aside, the film is finally here, boasting a budget of about $250 million.
Furious 7 has all the ingredients necessary to be the biggest action blockbuster of the year, claiming more breath-taking stunts and action sequences than any other previous film in the franchise. The film hits the floor running and goes non-stop throughout. Frankly, it’s beyond entertaining.
Not only does the film implement state-of-the-art visual effects, but also has a phenomenal soundtrack that makes the film come alive and fits in perfectly with the “fast and furious” spirit.
The film was shot on location in the U.S., Arab Emirates and Japan, and boasts some of the most spectacular scenic destinations in the world.
Despite their rough image, the cast proves that they all have acting prowess and a great sense of humor by actually making their scenes and characters believable and relatable to the audience.
The film does, of course, feature some greater-than-life scenes that more than push the boundaries of what is “realistic” or not…but that’s one of the appeals of the franchise, and what brings people to the theaters. No exception to the rule, Furious 7 has more than its fair share of destruction and mayhem – including racing through indoor high-end buildings in Dubai, and cars jumping from one building to the next.
Diesel and Statham carry the film, but they do so without diminishing their co-star’s presence and contribution.
The most moving aspect of the film, as expected, is the resolution to Walker’s character. His sibling’s participation would have gone unnoticed had it not been publicized, because even though they don’t look too much alike, his immersion into the film was seamless. At the end of the film, the producers put together a montage of Walker’s scenes and words by Diesel.
You won’t see the customary “The End,” but “For Paul” once the flick concludes.
Out of respect for Walker, it has been announced that this will, indeed, be the last film from the Fast and Furious family. So, that in itself on top of the movie being pleasantly enjoyable, Furious 7 is a must-see. Now!
Now playing in theaters.
Films are rated on a scale of 5 stars (must-see), 4 stars (exceptional), 3 stars (solid), 2 stars (average) and 1 star (unworthy).