Furious 7 is a wild ride that keeps you on the edge of your seat for a better part of 2 hours. The fast paced action combined with witty banter between the very likeable and all the same characters from the previous films with a few new faces here and there. Overall, it’s a wonderful experience and a great way to tribute the recent passing of Paul Walker.

This movie has the same super star cast as previous films. The “family” consists of Vin Diesel (Dom), Paul Walker (Brian), Michelle Rodriguez (Letty), Jordana Brewster (Mia), Tyrese Gibson (Roman), and Ludacris (Tej). These characters have grown on us since they have first appeared on the screen. They have witty remarks to each other and the typical one-liners during action scenes that everyone has grown to love. Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson (Hobbs) is still the good cop who has stepped up in making the action continue to get better and better by filling every stereotype that everyone has come to expect from him. He even performed a wrestling move that everyone in my theater cheered for. The new characters are Jason Statham (Shaw), Kurt Russel (Mr. Nobody), and Nathalie Emmanuel (Ramsey). Statham is your typical menacing villain, but he did bring provide for a few exceptionally scary moments where he honestly seemed like the Devil’s second coming. He kept the action fast-paced and Statham delivered your typical 80’s action that was the real reason that people paid to see the movie for. Russel added a new wrinkle to the story that I am ready to see where the creators decide to take the story if they continue the franchise. Emmanuel was surprisingly a great casting choice. I won’t really explain her character to not ruin the story of this film, which is very decent for an action flick.

The story of this movie is vengeance taking over. The tagline for this movie is “vengeance hits home” and it quite literally does. The whole series has played with Diesel being the most likeable big body character in any action movie by constantly reminding everyone that he has no “friends” and only family. This family is endangered when, in London they crippled and seriously injured a man and his brother (Statham) who lives in the shadow realm of bad dudes comes and tries to kill them. He is invisible to every detection software and attacks the group in every imaginable spot and the team/ family must rally to protect their own. They go across the world and several other actors make short but pretty amazing cameos including Rhonda Rousey and Lucas Black (Sean Boswell from Tokyo Drift). They eventually end up in Abu Dhabi, better known as the place that every action movie wants to go to, and trouble ensues. The running time is 2+ hours but honestly there isn’t a dull moment in the entire movie. The ending is what every action movie fan wants and deserves. It is a wild ride that most non fans will still enjoy. The true fans of the series will say that they want more and that’s all you can ask for in a movie franchise.

I liked a lot of things in this film. This is all started off by James Wan who is the director that always gets the best action shots of the cars and gives full perspective of things going on. His camera effects and panoramic shots continue to impress. The lighting and colors are never hurtful to the eye and seem to carry the right mood to everything. The score is very electronic based but it fits well with everything going on and carries the “lighter” tone that these movies strive for (unlike Michael Bay catastrophes). The writing in this movie is fantastic. The characters always seem to fit in very well with each other and the banter between all of the characters is hilarious. Even the newcomers fit in very well and don’t seem to miss a beat. The serious tone was also there when needed. Conversations between Diesel and Rodriguez were very well done and memorable. The moments between Walker and Brewster are also very good because it shows the main problem between all of the characters which is that they can’t leave the scene but suburban life is calling them to settle down and start their families. The audience can really feel the internal struggle with Walker especially when he calls home. It is a true testament to the actors and actresses that they could pull something like that off.

I only have one flaw with this movie. That is when Wan did some of the hand to hand combat, the camera spins and twirls and zooms in on random spots and it’s difficult to tell who’s winning and sometimes makes your stomach turn. Sometimes the issue is that the two people fighting are wearing very similar clothes so you never know who is winning until the camera backs out with someone on top.

Finally, not enough can be said about the ending. I won’t spoil the final scene but it leaves the entire audience in tears. There is a tribute to the recently diseased Paul Walker with the ending of his story. I won’t tell you how they did it. The final moment between Diesel and Walker is memorable even if Walker had already passed. His face was computer generated on his brother, I believe. The raw emotion in the last few scenes from the entire cast was seen in everyone’s eyes. The nostalgic reel at the end made everyone’s heart explode. He is gone but never forgotten.

Overall, this movie is a fantastic journey and I hope the series continues. It made $147 million which is still under the budget of $170 million but I think they will eclipse that number soon. The franchise is very well put together with many storylines running together and the last 3 films of the series have reinvigorated the franchise. James Wan does a fantastic job with everything and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Score: 3/3

RIP Paul