Rating 3.75 out of 5 stars
Furious 7 is the seventh movie in The Fast and the Furious movie series, which started over a decade ago, though this is the very first Fast and Furious movie I've ever seen. There's snippets I was aware of through previous trailers, news articles, etc, but for the most part I walked into the theater simply knowing this was a car movie, and there were going to be a LOT of car chases.
Would I be lost? Would walking into the 7th installment put me at a disadvantage? Surprisingly no. The opening scenes did a very good job showcasing the villain in an exciting way and catching us up on the characters with a touch of back story. More knowledge of former plot lines would have made some Furious 7 movie moments more poignant, but I still got the sentiment.
Overall Furious 7 is quite a ride, with breathtaking car fights, fist fights, explosions after explosions, etc and etc. This is the first movie where I would go back to the theater just to experience those D-Box moving seats, because it would be a load of fun.
Still, though I love to play racing car video games--shout out to Mario Kart (because it's fun and amusing)--I'm not in the target audience for this movie. Furious 7 is clearly a guy flick, though I love suspense and action, mystery and espionage. Shoots of women dancing in bikinis with close ups of their butts were in copious supply throughout this flick; I have no doubt such body shoots are a staple of this franchise. James Bond would be jealous. I'm sure some reading this article may find this detail a selling point, though for me it's something I particularly don't care for.
Also, there is a disjointedness between scene changes, jumping around between places and characters that left me a little confused at times.
I really like the characters in this movie and wish Dwayne Johnson's Hobbs could have had more screen time: he's so good at blending action and humor. And a note, in the middle of filming this movie one of the leads, Paul Walker, died tragically, halting production for a few months. The script was re-written and Walker's performance was continued by using his brothers as body doubles, camera angles, lighting, and special effects. If you never knew about his death, you would have no idea that Walker's character Brian O'Conner was completed in this way. The scenes are seamless, and the end of the film is a lovely tribute.
If you love this style of movie, you'll love Furious 7. It's a trip, and has the kind of action that deserves a Summer release.
Rated PG-13 for prolonged frenetic sequences of violence, action and mayhem, suggestive content and brief strong language.