Saturday, April 04, 2015

Furious 7

      The franchise ups the ante with outrageous stunts, non-stop action and serves as an emotional tribute to star Paul Walker, who died ironically in a car crash before filming ended.

       Director James Wan pulls off impossible action sequences with the help of unsung hero stunt men and women and more than a little CGI work. The extended bus chase and rescue is a mini movie in itself. Fans know what to expect by the seventh film in this series and they will not be disappointed. The script piles on the non-stop action so much that by the final sequence, it's become mind numbing, completely over the top, and almost too much.

       The original cast is back, led by Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, and Michele Rodriguez. Tyrese Gibbons and Ludicris are also along for the ride providing comic relief. Actually most of the best one-liners belong to Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson who also co-stars but only has scenes book ending the film. Kurt Russell joins the franchise as a shadowy government official. The film is so loaded that one villain is not enough. Jason Statham is the main adversary but Djimon Hounsou also plays a key role as the secondary villain.

       Possibly the best CGI work in the film is keeping Mr. Walker's memory alive throughout the film. Utilizing his two brothers as stand-ins and movie magic, Mr. Walker truly appears to exist throughout the entire movie. A short video montage of scenes from his past films in the series complete a moving tribute at the end.

      Being the "comic book" action film that it is, despite all the fighting, shooting and explosions, people barely bleed or break a sweat, let alone bones but reality is not what this franchise is about. It's about entertainment in the action adventure genre and in that respect, it fully delivers.

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