Movie Review: Furious 7

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After my little experiment in February where I watched all six Fast & Furious movies back to back, I decided I had to see Furious 7 in the theaters. Before seeing these movies, I thought they were big dumb action movies. Now that I’ve seen all seven, I have to say that Furious 7 is the biggest and dumbest of them all.

It’s taken seven movies but I’ve finally realized what’s really going on in the Fast & Furious franchise. I’ve been in twenty-six car accidents. (I was the passenger in twenty-one of them.)  Some of the accidents I went to the hospital. Some I didn’t have a scratch. When it comes to the Fast & Furious franchise, the car wrecks are spectacular and undoubtedly fatal…for normal humans. But the stars of the Furious 7 are not normal humans. They are functionally immortal. Even those who appear to die seem to reappear. In Furious 7 an entire parking garage falls on a character who later seems completely uninjured. And then I thought about it. In all of these movies, not once has someone lopped off the head of a main character. I believe this is because many of the characters in Fast & Furious are in fact Highlanders.

Most of them are completely unaware of what they truly are. There have been hints, but Furious 7 is where it becomes clear. Furious 7’s plot is basically that Jason Statham is hunting down the crew because a bad guy from a previous movie was his little brother. Kurt Russell shows up doing his best Nick Fury impression and offers to help them find Statham using a device that is basically the machine from the TV show Person of Interest. Of course there’s a catch. They must rescue a beautiful hacker first before they can use the machine. Not that they really need the device to find Statham since he’s relentlessly chasing them across the globe.

It’s okay though. One shouldn’t think too much about the silliness involved in a Fast & Furious movie. Anyone who saw the trailer for this and thought they’d be getting a thinking man’s car chase movie hasn’t been paying attention. There isn’t a twelve year old alive that will be confused by anything that happens in Furious 7. But they might not catch the Highlander references (which I admit may be only in my head, but are entirely possible).

Thinking of them as Highlanders who simply don’t know that they should be lopping off each other’s heads, the entire series suddenly seems more realistic. In Furious 7 they drive cars out of planes, off cliffs, and through 100 story skyscrapers. No mortal would do all of these things without at minimum serious medical assistance, but a Highlander can do it with ease and no worries. I know what you’re thinking, “But some of them have died.”  Sure. But that just means those people weren’t Highlanders. Then again, they’ve had people fake their deaths in this series before. So maybe they’re not dead at all.

Speaking of dead, the real life death of Paul Walker is addressed in the film with an almost surprising amount of emotion though it relies on your knowledge of his death for that emotional impact. If they spent half as much time with character work as they did filling random scenes with women in bikinis, this moment would have been devastating.

Furious 7 has already broken box office records. So expect Furious 8 within the next year or two. It’s too bad though, because this is a perfect note to end the big silly series. I mean unless they want to officially reveal the whole Highlander thing.
– Jack Cameron

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