Furious 7, the latest installment in the Fast and Furious franchise lands in theaters worldwide today. The last movie starring the beloved actor and petrolhead Paul Walker, it is pegged to break box-office records for the month of April, a record held until now by Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
With a new director at the helm of things, and the addition of a bevy of new stars like Jason Statham, Djimon Hounsou, Kurt Rusell, Ronda Rousey, and Tony Jaa, the franchise has evolved far beyond its street racing origins. Unlike most long-running franchises, it has also progressively kept on getting better and better, and the common consensus is that the latest installment is one of the best, if not the best.
We here at Motoroids are big fans of the franchise, and are planning to go watch this movie as soon as we wrap up our commitments for this work week. We will bring you a proper review then, with a special focus on the vehicles used in the movie. Until then we have scoured the web to find you the best reviews from respected critics and publications that have already seen the movie.
The common consensus seems to be that Furious 7 continues the franchise’s tradition of silly, over-the-top car action and explosive action sequences. Yet, the demise of Paul Walker, and the subsequent script rewrite, seems to have given Furious 7 more dramatic heft that we have ever seen before. By all accounts, it is a fitting send-off for the star, and something that will resonate in moviegoers’ minds long after they’ve exited the theatre.
Here’s what some of them have to say:
IGN reports that, “The movie indulges in one or two action sequences too many. The audience is left feeling stuffed to bursting with the spectacle of it all, rather than satisfied and wanting more. However, the final sequence – a delicately rendered goodbye to Paul Walker – entirely resets the tone. There’s something genuinely beautiful in the way they’ve handled his sendoff, and just when you think you can’t take one more car smashing, jaw breaking action extravaganza, Furious 7 switches gears. The farewell to Walker is not only entirely in-line with what this franchise is all about, it will leave even the prickliest Fast and Furious fan just a little bit heartsick.”
They gave it a rating of 8 out of 10.
The venerable New York Times writes, “The final moments, when Mr. Walker’s longtime colleagues say their farewells while he still appears to be on screen with them, are both awkward and moving. They remind you what these movies have always been about, underneath all the noise and the bravado: the ferocity of friendship and the terrible speed of loss.”
Vanity Fair says, “The latest film, which opens Friday, can’t help but take on some deeper meaning, as the death of main cast member Paul Walker, killed in a car accident in late 2013, looms large throughout. But it doesn’t overwhelm—Furious 7 is respectful, even solemn, when it needs to be, but is still, thank God, plenty of crazy fun.”
British newspaper The Telegraph states, “Walker died part-way through the making of Fast & Furious 7; the film was completed with help from his two younger brothers, Caleb and Cody, and some subtle, unobtrusive computer graphics….But as a commemoration of his talent – the peculiar one, vital to Hollywood’s survival, of being able to shine like a brilliant-cut gemstone the moment you climb behind a steering wheel – the film does him justice.”
Closer home, The Hindustan Times reports, “The extreme action and explosions in the film come interspersed with emotional moments. A funeral scene where the crew is bidding goodbye to a fallen comrade is especially moving given Walker’s death. The send-off to Walker’s character is so subtle and real that it leaves your eyes moist. It just feels natural that this glass-shattering, asphalt-breaking film should end so poignantly. Because after cars have been smashed and big-ticket weaponry unleashed, it is really about family, friendship and loss.”
They gave it a rating of 4 out of 5.
So there you have it. Furious 7 looks to be yet another slam dunk for Universal Studios and automotive fans alike. Personally, we thought the franchise hit its high point with Fast Five, but if the latest installment lives or supersedes that, who knows, Vin Diesel’s prediction that Furious 7 might win an Oscar may even come true, unlikely as it is right now.