They don’t have friends. They have family. Also, nightmarish deductibles.
The story so far: once upon a time, a Point Break knock-off with cars made a lot of money and each franchise installment got successively crazier until the seventh movie turned everyone into Marvel superheroes.
That movie is this one, Furious 7, the latest in the saga of Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel, Riddick) and his band of gearhead crime-fighters. Newly relocated on a beach paradise, Dom and company are enjoying the high life, eating at picnic tables together, praying, surfing and coping with amnesia. But then the call comes in: one of their own has just been waxed by the evil brother of the main bad guy in the last Furious movie.
That guy is Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham, The Expendables) and he’ll stop at nothing to smite Dom and his crew. To stop him, the Furious group re-teams with human front-end loader Agent Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson, San Andreas) to chase down a plot device called the God’s Eye that does some nonsensical surveillance stuff. Their misadventures will take them through a series of action sequences that defy physics on this planet and, potentially, other planets further away in our solar system.
Not that it matters: Furious 7 made mountains of money, solidifying the franchise as one of the biggest and most profitable going today. Count me as a fan of the series, too. Once they reinvented themselves as a pure action blockbuster enterprise I was all in. Each movie invariable grew huger and nuttier and when Dwayne Johnson entered the franchise (a welcome addition), the machismo ratcheted up ten-fold. So here we are with Furious 7 and while the film’s success cannot be denied, man, I thought this was when the series officially went Full Dumb.
Look, I get it. The ship sailed for “grounded action realism” in this series a long, long time ago, but did you have even a molecule of an idea that these characters (who, not too long ago, were known primarily for driving nice cars for ten seconds at a time) would morph into beings seemingly bombarded by gamma rays?
Dom is the main offender here. The action scenes — of which there are many, of varying degrees of mania — almost always involve Dom (or, sometimes, Hobbs, who has the skill and brawn to rip out a gatling gun from a downed drone) doing stuff that just doesn’t make sense. Here is a sampling of what Dom — a mechanic by trade when we first meet him, remember — pulls off over the course of this movie: 1) survives a head-on collision with a steel-reinforced muscle car going roughly 100 mph; 2) walks away unscathed after rolling his car off a huge mountain along with a petite woman (she was wearing a helmet though); 3) takes an unholy beating from Jason Statham wielding a pair of tire irons and, finally, my favorite, 4) plants his foot down with enough force to collapse and entire parking garage.
It’s just way too ridiculous and moronic for my tastes. which is saying something as I’m actually looking forward to forthcoming Transformers movies. As such, my threshold for stupid popcorn adventuring is quite high, but Furious 7 simply pummeled out of me any shred of suspended disbelief — and then soaked it in premium unleaded and set it on fire.
That said, I’d be lying if my eyeballs didn’t moisten up during the Paul Walker farewell at the end. Sucks losing that dude.
As expected, the Furious 7 (Blu-ray) will obliterate your viewing area. A razor-sharp 2.40:1/1080p transfer joins with a blasting 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio to deliver the sort of bombastic aural assault this movie demands. A hefty amount of extras round out the presentation: a lengthy making-of segment with director James Wan (who looks like he’s 14), nine behind-the-scenes featurettes, deleted scenes, a music video, a standard def DVD copy, and a digital copy.
Furious 7 sets a bold new standard for vehicular incoherence. I’m looking forward to the next movie where Dom learns how to bend time and gains regenerative powers.