For the casual onlooker that hasn't cared to pay attention to the Fast and Furious franchise in the last several years, this movie might seem as ridiculous. A seventh Fast and Furious movie? Did the world really need a seventh movie in this franchise. Well, the answer to that question is a resounding heck yes we did! If you've seen the last two movies, you'll know exactly why. In case you are one of the people that hasn't seen any of these movies, let me quickly catch you up to speed. The first movie was average. It was mainly dumb for most of it, then it had a good ending. The second one was honestly pretty bad. The third one I still haven't cared to watch because it has no returning cast. The fourth one turned things around by actually being a decent movie. Not amazing, but pretty good. Then holy freaking cow was the fifth movie amazing! Loved it! The sixth one was quite as good as the fifth, but it was still pretty darn awesome. So even before the tragic death of Paul Walker I was excited for a seventh one. The fact that he did die made this movie an absolute must see, which is why it just broke so many records. Also with that death brings a whole lot of emotion into this movie, which is why I think this will end up as my favorite in the series.
All things considered, I think they actually did a pretty good job with the plot in this movie. I say "all things considered" because I'm pretty sure they had a specific direction they were going with the movie before Paul Walker died and when he did die they had to re-write a lot of the movie, adding new elements so that they could seamlessly write his character out of the series. Thus the final result is a little out of whack. We don't have one clear focus like we did in the last two movies. Things are happening and I wasn't sure how we got there or why we really needed to go there, but we did anyways. Like I said, I don't really fault them too much because of what happened. In fact, I would really like to watch a special or read an article on the making of this movie if there ever happens on where they were planning on going with this and how much they had shot before Paul's death and what they did after to make everything work. That would be interesting. Speaking of which, in order to make it work, one of the things they had to do is use Paul's brother as body doubles while using CGI to finish Paul's scenes. I actually tried my hardest to figure out which was real Paul and which was fake Paul and I honestly couldn't tell. There's times that I could make a guess that it was fake Paul based on what was happening and the camera angles that they were using, but I really have to give them props for pulling that off.
All that said, this movie is very entertaining. In fact, it is so dang entertaining that I didn't even care that I didn't quite know what was going on. I was just having a blast! Now if you are the type of person that has to have everything in a movie make complete logical sense while following all the laws of physics, you're going to have a rough time because this not only ignores physics and logic, it takes them, throws them out the window, shatters them into a million pieces, and burns every piece until there is no semblance at all. Yes, this movie is absolutely freaking ridiculous. Yes, it makes no sense logically. But that's what makes it so awesome. You saw crazy things in the last two movies. With this one it takes things to a whole new level of crazy and it happens throughout the entire movie, not just in a couple of spots. Using trailer footage as examples, we had cars parachuting off airplanes, a character running up a vehicle as it was falling off a cliff, cars jumping between skyscrapers, and a whole lot more. Dang it was fun! I had the biggest grin on my face throughout the whole movie. On top of that, the movie was riddled with so many one-liners that had my laughing so hard. The dictionary really needs to update the definition of entertaining to include Furious 7.
As I referenced earlier, the icing on the cake for me was the emotion. If you didn't know, Paul Walker and Vin Diesel were not only like best friends and brothers in the movie, they were that tight in real life. The theme of this whole franchise is that of family and how important it is. More important than anything else. The actors in this were able to pull that off because they were really like family and so they didn't need to act like family. They were family and they were saying in the movie what they felt in real life. When Paul Walker died, Vin Diesel lost a brother and he was devastated. He has said since that this was the hardest movie he's ever had to do because of that. When he introduced the movie at its premier, he was chocking up. Yes, Vin Diesel is a very manly individual who proved that real men do cry. And I felt for him. I knew what he was going through because I know what it's like to a lose a brother to a tragic accident. It sucks. But you gotta move forward and realize that he's still there with you. That's why this movie is so beautiful because the whole movie is a tribute to Paul Walker and it's done perfectly. Vin Diesel gives a speech towards the end that is completely breaking the fourth wall because you know it's him talking to and about Paul. I don't cry at movies. Not that I have a problem with doing so, I'm just not a very emotional person. But this got me closer than any movie ever has. If you are a crier, then I recommend you bring your tissues with you to the theater because the ending will get to you.
In the end, this movie definitely knows what it is and it has a whole lot of fun with it. Because, you know, why not parachute cars out of planes and jump them between skyscrapers? This is the type of movie where you throw all logic out of the window and just have fun because you know they did when they made the movie. If a movie is trying to be realistic and fails, that's one thing. But this is another. If you are a fan of the Fast and Furious franchise, you are going to absolutely love every second of the film and you won't even care that it lacks a bit when it comes to plot, especially given the circumstances of the filming. And yes, this is the perfect send-off to Paul Walker, a guy that I've really to respect and appreciate as an actor and a person. The world lost a great man in November 2013 and this final performance is a great tribute from his family in this franchise. All this put together is why Furious 7 is my favorite of the franchise, but it's not by a huge margin. Thus I will give Furious 7 a 9/10.