Furious 7

In my opinion, it's officially over. This multi-billion dollar muscle-car franchise has ended. If Vin Diesel tries again, it will be a big mistake. There is nowhere to go after this one, particularly when we all know Paul Walker is dead and we see his character, through the wizardry of body doubles, CGI and scenes already in the can before his death, take another path. The last few indelible minutes of this film are deeply affecting, the audience was riveted.

Director James Wan ("Saw") specializes in action movies and this one is waaay over the top. One of the things have I appreciated about this series has been the skillful stunt driving and the minimal computer generated imaging. This is NOT one of them; HOWEVER, the emphasis on family values, bravery, loyalty and trust which has been the heart of the franchise, is unchanged, so in my opinion they can leave with their heads unbowed.

We see (I'm abbreviating the name for the returnees):
  • Vin Diesel ("Furious") Dominic is trying to help his wife Letty remember events in their lives before her traumatic brain injury.
  • Michelle Rodriguez ("Furious") Letty feels she died on the date she sees on her tombstone; she doesn't even remember they are married.
  • Paul Walker ("Furious") Brian worries that he's not tough enough to face domesticity...and he already misses the bullets. But it's hard to see his modest little bungalow blown to smithereens; and his scene on that bus teetering over the cliff is a classic.
  • Jordana Brewster ("Furious") Mia wants her husband to accept his family and be happy to give up the excitement of his past life.
  • Tyrese Gibson ("Furious") Roman is hilarious as the alpha-alpha of the group (you've gotta see it!). He makes the plans....
  • Ludacris ("Furious") Our favorite hacker Tej, may have found a soul mate in the tech wizard they are trying to rescue.
  • Dwayne Johnson ("Furious") Watch Hobbs rid himself of a nuisance, the arm cast from an early scuffle, by flexing those ridiculous biceps.
  • Lucas Black ("Furious") No real need to include Sean, but that Southern accent is so charming.... And he DOES explain stuff.
  • Jason Statham ("Furious") Deckard Shaw is the Energizer Bunny who JUST WON"T STOP! His brother was caught by our heroes in the last movie, so Deckard is out for revenge.
  • Nathalie Emmanuel ("Game of Thrones") Ramsey is the ultimate hacker; she has devised a brilliant new program that will revolutionize law enforcement. I like the way she immediately categorizes everyone!
  • Kurt Russell ("The Art of the Steal") Mr. Nobody must have the deus ex machina, the plot device that is the central issue: a brilliant digital tracking system that makes everything up until now, absolutely archaic.
Expect a LOT of over-the-top physical violence, spectacular vehicular mayhem, endless gunfire and some blowie uppie stuff. Do NOT expect bloody scenes or sweaty bodies. There will be plenty of humor and family loyalty. (Dom says he doesn't have any friends, but he DOES have a very big family.)

Over the years, because of the lack of profanity, the skill of the stunt drivers and the emphasis on family values (including prayer before a meal), I have been intrigued by this series. I have taken great pride in its huge success, both domestic and international, and hope the franchise ends on this high note. I will own the DVD just for the last few minutes.
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Enjoy this last look at Paul Walker:
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