“We’re being hunted,” says Brian O’Connor (Paul Walker). “You know he’s out there, somewhere, watching,” says wife Mia (Jordana Brewster). “Promise me, no more funerals, Brian.” “Just one more,” Brian says. “His.” The bad guy is Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham), revenge-seeking brother of Owen Shaw, killed by Dominic Toretto’s (Vin Diesel) crew in “Fast and Furious 6.” But don’t worry about the plot, that’s not the point of FAF7 (aka “Furious 7”). The point is characters who defy authority, noisy action, fast cars, explosions, and babes who take their clothes off. The point is also heartfelt remembrance of actor Paul Walker, dead at 40 years, in a car crash during the making of FAF7.
Will Toretto’s crew find Shaw before he kills again? What is “God’s Eye”? Why does “Mr. Nobody” (Kurt Russell) want it? Fans of the “Fast and Furious” franchise will want to see the film. Others may say, “No, thanks.”
The crew is back, including Paul Walker as Brian O’Connor, in footage shot before his death, and thanks to CGI and doubles, additional footage. Vin Diesel is sometime tough guy, sometime soulful Dominic Toretto. “We’re gonna go take down Shaw. Get ready!” he says to his crew. But, he says to Shaw, “I don’t have friends, I have family.” Michelle Rodriguez is plucky Letty, Tyrese Gibson is Roman, Ludacris is Tej, and Dwayne Johnson (“The Rock”) plays Hobbes. “Did you bring the cavalry?” someone asks him. “Woman,” Hobbes says, “I am the cavalry.”
Others in the cast include David Statham and Nathalie Emmanuel as Deckard Shaw and computer hacker Ramsey. Elsa Pataky is Elena, Gal Gadot, Gisele, and Luke Evans, Owen Shaw. Kurt Russell is devious Mr. Nobody.
“Furious 7” is the plot-light, action-heavy, suspension-of-disbelief demanding latest chapter in the FAF franchise. Its noisy and visually cluttered action sequences are sometimes difficult to follow (Who’s fighting who, I found myself thinking) but they answer, more than once, the impossible question, “Can cars fly?” They can also travel at high speeds underneath 18-wheelers and, ejected from planes, sky-dive to mountain highways. Chris Morgan and Gary Scott Thompson’s screenplay, and James Wan’s direction provide plenty of action while also leaving time for serious reflection on life. “What’s real?” says Dominic. “It’s family. Hold on to that.” And, “I’ve lived my life a quarter of a mile at a time, just like you did. That’s why you’ll always be my brother.”
Rated PG-13 for prolonged frenetic sequences of violence, action and mayhem, suggestive content and brief strong language, “Furious 7” runs 137 minutes.
In “Furious Seven”
Vin, Dwayne, Michelle and Paul —
Tough guys, tough gals, fast cars,
And an old friend to recall.
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