Furious Seven Blu-ray Review
There’s a specific formula to the last four Fast and Furious films that involves a weak reason to get the crew back together to perform some sort of heist or job in order to finally get away and be free. With FURIOUS SEVEN making over $1 billion at the box office, the formula is clearly working and the advantage is that you know exactly what you’re going to get with another Fast and Furious film. Of course, that’s also the disadvantage as the last four films are almost completely indistinguishable from one another and there’s only so many times you can stomach Vin Diesel talking about the importance of family without rolling your eyes.
The seventh film has the gang being hunted by Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham), who is upset his younger brother was nearly killed by Dom (Diesel) and his gang. So the gang teams up with Mr. Nobody (Kurt Russell) to pull off some heists in order to protect themselves and go after Deckard. What I’m trying to do here is explain the plot, but it’s a futile effort because everything is an excuse to do some crazy stunts in cars. I don’t know how the characters became experts in pulling off military missions and I’m not sure how you go from being hunted by one guy to teaming up with the government to steal hacking software, but you just have to go with it.
The stunts are more absurd this go around than in previous films and that’s saying quite a bit. But to the series’ credit, it never had cars crashing from one building to another or cars parachuting out of a moving plane and landing perfectly on a road. But we forget that this group of LA and Miami street racers is now trained experts in such matters. There’s not a lot of racing in this iteration, aside from a couple of head to head races between Deckard and Dom. And I’m not sure why they insisted on crashing their cars into each other since I can’t think of a way that ends well for either party, but they did it twice with the same outcome each time. We also get another crazy stunt with Brian (Walker) jumping off a falling bus and narrowly catching a moving car to save his fall. Clearly, none of the stunt coordinators or filmmakers paid attention in physics class.
I don’t know how many more of these Vin Diesel has in him, but given how well they do and how little else he has going on, he would be a fool to step away from this franchise again. His acting isn’t an important part of this series, but it felt particularly bad here and his mumbling about family is getting tired. The Rock showed up for a nice fight scene in the beginning and then disappeared for a couple of hours, only to show up at the end to fire a big machine gun. Less Rock is the last thing this series needs, but they did okay without him. I was also excited to see Lucas Black from TOKYO DRIFT make a return, but it was too brief. It would have been cool to have him join the gang, but alas, it was not meant to be. I was curious to see how they were going to handle Paul Walker’s death and for the most part, the CGI and stand-ins were unnoticeable. Given the circumstances, they handled it well and with class.
FURIOUS SEVEN is another seamless addition to the Furious franchise and doesn’t deviate from the established formula in any significant way. They’ve cut out some of the supporting characters and The Rock didn’t play much of a part, but the franchise still features crazy stunts, bad acting and zero plot development. If you stuck with the franchise this long and enjoyed it, there’s no reason you’ll be disappointed this time around.
Video: The Fast and Furious films look amazing on Blu-ray and this one is no exception.
Audio: The audio was fine.
Since Paul Walker’s death had such a huge impact on the film and everyone involved, I’m a little surprised he’s not mentioned in any of the supplement material. I know it’s a delicate subject, but they should have at least included some sort of featurette dedicated to him or a discussion on how they handled it.
Deleted Scenes (5:59): Not much going on with these four deleted scenes, most of which feature Letty (Michelle Rodriguez).
Talking Fast (31:45): Some of the cast show up to talk about the film, but most of this is director James Wan talking about different stunts. Again, no mention of Paul Walker.
Back to the Starting Line (12:10): Walker is only briefly mentioned here, but most of this is a recap of the franchise and an intro into what’s new in the seventh installment.
Flying Cars, Snatch & Grab, Tower Jumps (20:06): Two of the ridiculous stunts get three featurettes. Hint: they didn’t actually drive a car into a building.
Inside the Fight (11:03): The fight sequences get four mini-featurettes. Call me crazy, but I feel the hand to hand combat scenes in the furious movies might be the most exciting parts.
The Cars of Furious (10:40): A ten minute featurette dedicated to the cars in the film.
Race Wars (6:34): This featurette focuses on this event and how it has been featured in the franchise.
Making of Fast & Furious Supercharged Ride (8:15): They’re pushing this amusement ride hard on this disc.
Music Video “See You Again” by Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth.