‘Furious 7’ is the movie that diehard fans and casual filmgoers alike have been waiting for a long time: thrilling, surprisingly emotional and overall hugely entertaining. The seventh chapter of ‘The Fast and The Furious’ franchise boasts more dramatic depth and rises above its mostly action-driven predecessors, delivering one of the most compelling cinematic experiences in my recent memory.
The plot is simple and straightforward: Dominic Toretto, Brian O’Conner and the rest of the crew return to Los Angeles to live a normal life after their past crimes, but Deckard Shaw, a special forces assassin, seeks to avenge his brother, Owen Shaw, putting everyone in danger. With the help of a covert ops leader, they must find an advanced tracking device and take down Shaw as soon as possible. The franchise has never been famous for its complex storyline and characterization, and the latest movie will probably not win any new fans from this point of view. However, the vast majority of the people who came to see it knew what to expect: jaw-dropping, over the top action sequences. In this sense, the movie more than delivers, with impressive fight scenes, car races and building jumps which defy gravity; the variety of filming locations, from LA to Colorado and Abu Dhabi is also a major plus, giving a sense of global danger and keeping the action brisk and fast-paced. The epic musical score serves as a background both for the intense action sequences and for the emotional moments.
However, the biggest strength of the movie lies in its characters and the palpable chemistry between them. Indeed, the film constantly emphasizes the underlying theme of family – not the one bound by blood but the one you choose, based on loyalty and brotherhood. If the characters of Roman and Tej (played by Tyrese Gibson and Ludacris) seem to serve only a comedic purpose by delivering clever one-liners, the true nature of family is illustrated through the relationship between Dom and Brian. Their brotherhood, translated very similarly in real life by Diesel and Walker, is the source of many touching scenes in the film, out of which the most powerful one is the very ending. “You’ll always be with me… And you’ll always be my brother” Dom tells Brian as they part ways in their cars on a highway, allowing this to be a moment when Vin Diesel says goodbye to Paul Walker. Everything adds up to possibly one of the most beautiful endings in cinema – not just an appropriate send-off for the character of Brian O’Conner, but a poignantly earnest tribute to the late Paul Walker and his legacy.
‘Furious 7’ is without a doubt the best movie in the series. Appealing to a large audience and improving upon its predecessors in almost every way, it is a guaranteed hit and there is no reason to miss it. If this happens to be the last entry in the franchise (highly unlikely considering its huge box office success), then it definitely knows how to end in style.