It's Always Better the Seventh Time Around
Along with Mr. Family himself, Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel), the Fast and the Furious franchise has always been associated with Brian O'Conner. Along with the help of Walker's younger brothers, the cast fills out with staples such as Letty (Michelle Rodriguez), Roman (Tyrese Gibson), Tej (Chris "Ludacris" Bridges) and Mia (Jordana Brewster). Dwayne Johnson also returns to reprise his role as Hobbs, the bounty hunter slash Diplomatic Security Service agent who has been an ally to the "family" since Fast Five. He doesn't do much driving, or actually much of anything, this time around but he does make good use of his brief screen time. So as not to spoil anything for those who have yet to watch the film, we have two words to describe just how epic Hobbs is in Furious 7: Gatling gun.
Of course, a Fast and the Furious film isn't complete without new faces adding to the high octane excitement. Newcomers like Kurt Rusell as Mr. Nobody, genius computer hacker Ramsey and British Special Forces assassin slash main villain Deckard Shaw portrayed by Jason Statham. In supporting roles are UFC Fighter Ronda Rousey and martial artist Tony Jaa as Kara and Kiet respectively. You'd think that with a cast this huge there would be more than a few token characters thrown in just for the star power but, surprise, surprise, everyone gets a much deserved spot in the limelight. As is the tradition in the franchise, expect to see a majority of these stars in the newly announced Fast 8.
Explosions, Cars and Destruction
Those who intend to watch this movie blind without seeing previous installments or even the Fast and Furious Game will be missing out on a wealth of dramatic touches that can only come from the franchise. Or, even if you catch it, the impact just won't be the same. How can Letty forget Dom? Better yet, what is all this business about dying? Getting resurrected? Why does Deckard Shaw have a vendetta against Hobbs? Fuelling Dom's (and the family's) rage is the death of Han (Sung Kang), a former Fast and the Furious mainstay who debuted in The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift.
That being said, you need not know any of the back story to enjoy the cars, the over-the-top action and the epic beat downs. And boy, there are a ton of them in this movie. Even before a fourth of the movie's run time, you'll know just what Furious 7 is about. So long as it triggers that adrenaline rush, Wan did not hold anything back and there are times when it goes past epic to downright silly. Still, your eyes will be glued to the screen, waiting for the next set of luxury cars to get wrecked and the next building to get smashed into.
More Than Meets the Eye
No expense was spared in this film. Cars leaping off buildings, high tech tracking devices and James Bond-esque infiltration missions make Furious 7 a cut above the rest. The movie takes everything that has made its predecessors special and doubles its impact. Chaos and destruction aside, this is a fitting tribute to its late protagonist. Heartwarming scenes are aplenty as the leads band together once more to keep the streets safe for their family. You'll be laughing Roman and Tej's banter and crying during subtle moments when each character bids Paul Walker goodbye
Coming at no surprise, the star gets a proper happy ending, complete with a fade to white scene involving Dom and Brian driving off to separate paths. Yes, it's certainly touching and quite memorable as well. From the epic action sequences to Brian's fitting send-off, fans will undoubtedly hang on to every minute of the movie. It's essentially closure for the character, though with an eighth installment just waiting in the wings, not the high note most are hoping for.