Movie Review: Furious 7 is a spectacular tribute to Paul Walker

Movie Review: Furious 7 is a spectacular tribute to Paul Walker
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Nicholas Olsen

Nicholas Olsen

Nicholas Olsen is a journalism graduate from Sheridan College. He specializes in Arts & Entertainment reporting, feature writing and film reviews. Twitter: @ChiefcoOne

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There’s only one way to describe the latest Fast and Furious movie — it’s an assault on the senses, a non-stop parade of bullets, flying supercars, hand-to-hand combat and cheesy one-liners.

Furious 7


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Overall Rating:
Opens: April 3, 2015
Running time: 137 minutes
Genre: Action/Crime/Thriller

“Daddy’s gotta go to work,” says Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson), seconds before bursting out of an arm cast with the flex of an overgrown bicep. Johnson returns with the standard players. Vin Diesel’s Dom Torretto and Michelle Rodriquez’s Letty are back, navigating a more fleshed out romantic sub-plot (Letty still has amnesia).

Tyrese Gibson’s Roman and Tej (Ludacris) have become the token comedic duo since Fast 5. They lighten things up as the crew drives high-performance vehicles out of a plane, barreling towards an Azerbaijan mountainside at impossible speeds.

And why not, this beloved franchise has always been about ferocity, but its grown into a Hollywood phenomenon with its last few pictures — beginning back in 2001 as a modest street-racing thriller based in Los Angeles — when the late Paul Walker still looked boyish; Diesel’s body was lighter and ripped. The Fast and The Furious became a hit and skyrocketed both actors to fame.

Photo Credit: Universal Pictures

Photo Credit: Universal Pictures

Furious 7 rounds up key characters from the 14-year-old series and meshes them in a robust opera of vehicular warfare, crafted with blitzkrieg intensity by Director James Wan (Insidious, Saw).

Jason Statham makes a perfect addition to the cast as the explosive obsessed, T-1000-like antagonist, Deckard Shaw. He’s hell bent on destroying the Fast family after they defeated his brother (Luke Evans) in the previous film. Adjacent to having a very pissed off Statham to deal with, Dom’s crew crosses paths with Mr. Nobody — played by an aging, but still legendary Kurt Russell.

Mr. N wants the crew to rescue a hacker from a known terrorist organization and secure a dangerous piece of technology she’s created — God’s Eye — a program capable of using any smartphone/camera on earth to locate people. If Dom succeeds, Nobody will let him use the tech to track down Shaw.

Cue a montage of crushed steel, muddled storytelling and unbelievable set pieces. Everything goes boom. Everything goes fast. It’s all screaming loud and charmingly cheesy.

Photo Credit: Universal Pictures

Photo Credit: Universal Pictures

If you dig deeper, to the soul of Fast and Furious, behind the macho orchestra of mayhem, when Walker and Diesel aren’t driving a diamond-encrusted Lykan HyperSport out of an Abu Dhabi skyscraper and into another, or the Rock isn’t single-handedly taking down an enemy helicopter with a chain gun, we have a tale about family. It’s always been about family.

Furious 7 is clearly a tribute to departed cast member Walker, whose final scenes were completed by his two brothers, and some smooth digital effects.

Brian acted as the genuine human element in a franchise full of roided out action stars, he equalized Dom’s brooding, larger than life demeanour since their first ride in 2001. Walker’s presence brought things back down to earth. It’s fitting to see Brian settle down with Mia (Jordana Brewster) and their baby boy, leaving his turbulent past behind, as Dom cruises the open road, reminiscing, ensuring us that his brother will be missed but never forgotten.

Furious 7 opened last night and is showing locally at Film.Ca

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