Boobs, cars, explosions and more occupy every turn of Furious 7, the latest entry in the Fast & Furious franchise. Vin Diesel heads a crew of unlucky characters who are recruited to work for a covert government organization that is lead by none other than Kurt Russel. Diesel's Dominic Toretto is joined by Michelle Rodriguez's Letty, Ludacris's Tej, Jordana Brewster's Mia, Tyrese Gibson's Roman, Dwayne The Rock Johnson's Hobbs, and Paul Walker's Brian O' Conner. To be honest, I had no idea half of these characters had names let alone last names.
I'm not completely familiar with the universe of The Fast & The Furious having only began watching with the fifth entry. Going back to the earlier movies, cheesy lines, poor acting and over the top action plague the series. Nothing has changed. That's not to say things didn't get better.
Cringe-inducing lines and off kilter acting are still present but in more of a tongue in cheek fashion. Diesel speaks with a sort of candor that only a water buffalo can achieve. He mumbles his lines like Stallone does and is barely understandable to a certain point. At points, he's given shorter lines to what I'm sure the writers thought would be easier for the audience to focus on.
The Rock's Hobbs is another case. Imagine a 1980's B-movie character accidentally slipping into the background of better film but no one corrected him when he spoke. He only speaks in one liners. That's it. It's as if Schwarzenegger's films fell into a boiling pot of testosterone then the concoction was spoon fed to Michael Bay. Nothing of substance comes from The Rock's lips throughout the movie.
In fact, nothing of substance comes from Furious 7 at all. Explosions and engine sounds over take the already played out soundtrack (if I hear "Get Low" one more time...) that's filled with today's pop hits. It's a very loud movie that doesn't suffer from pacing. Furious 7 feels like a video game brought to life. Before the movie can get to its A-plot, the gang must go through several side missions in order to gain experience. Sure there's padding but there are also a multitude of showdowns between Jason Statham, Vin Diesel, The Rock and cars. Yes, car even get a chance to shine in fight scenes. It's vehicular manslaughter on a Bruce Lee level.
Writing does not hinder this experience whatsoever. I hated the lines The Rock had but I've been quoting them since I've seen the movie, woman. Oh and the send off they did for Paul Walker was fantastic although it did seem like it was just recently done (there's voice over that has never been in any of the movies and all the characters look freshly sad).
Should you go see Furious 7?
I'm not going to tell you what to do. Last week, Diesel said the Academy would be stupid not to nominate Furious 7 for an award. While I don't wholeheartedly agree, he is kind of right. He probably wants a Best Picture nomination but, in a more realistic world, there should be an action movie scene category because some of the stunts here are bonkers. Even that one with the sky scrapers that was in all the trailers is still adrenaline inducing. Furious 7 is pure fun with its quiet moments keeping viewers engaged.