Furious 7: A Review

ffThe Fast and Furious franchise is the street corner where awesome crashes head first into stupid. The films started mildly, focusing on a simple story of a police officer trying to take down a street racing gang. The franchise has progressed into what can only be described as near superhero territory. The characters are basically invincible, they can use cars to do nearly anything, and they engage in schemes that ultimately save the world from destruction. Furious 7 continues this streak of embracing the ridiculousness of the franchise.

Describing the plot of the film honestly seems pointless. I don’t mean to be insulting, but it’s just not what you’re here for. The audience of these films wants to see ridiculous, insane action with cars. On that front, this film delivers.

This film has moments that frequently force two reactions out of you at the same time: wow, that was potentially the dumbest thing I’ve seen in my life, and wow, that may have been the best thing I have ever seen in my life. This conflict is present through many of the film’s bigger set pieces. There are several examples of this. In one instance, the heroes engage in a car chase which begins with them parachuting out of a plane. The odd part is that they parachute with the drivers sitting inside the cars, and the chute attached to the back of the car. It is an incredible cinematic moment, makes for exciting, tense action, and is incredibly stupid. At another point, Vin Diesel drives a car out of the window of one tower, and into the window of another. This physics defying stunt is glorious, and idiotic.

The apex of awesome stupidity is, however, the moment when Dwayne Johnson, our generation’s most effortlessly charismatic actor, decides to remove his cast by flexing his mighty bicep. The focus on how muscular he is, the sheer gall of the movie to imply that this real life Superman could simply bicep curl his way to cast-less freedom is astonishing. In no other film would this work. But Dwayne Johnson is that charismatic, and this film is that bold and earnest that this moment somehow lands.

There are problems with the Furious Franchise that exist outside of the realm of plot. The movies are still overly objectifying of women. Furious 7 has a camera that is as attached to women’s asses as 13 year old boy. Frankly, this form of eye candy is unnecessary. The goal of creating absurd, fantastical escapism is thoroughly achieved through the action; there doesn’t appear to be any reason to include the high volume of ass shots.

Ultimately the Fast and Furious franchise is a worthwhile one, and it success will likely continue. As long as the ridiculousness keeps ramping up, and the set pieces remain insane, these will be a joyful way to spend two hours. I suppose I should go ahead and watch the eighth installment, the boldly titled F8 of the Furious.

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