“Furious 7” is a mishmash of different ideas done in typical “Fast and Furious” fashion, filled with dashed-off story arcs, bland acting and cliché-filled plots, with sprinkles of mediocre action scenes served at a fast pace. For lack of a better word, the movie makes me furious to the seventh power. So I guess the title lives up to its promise.
The story, if that is what it can be called, is a mix of different subplots, callbacks to other movies, and filler villains to tie them all together. It focuses on Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and his gang after the events of “Tokyo Drift,” the third in the Furious series. Following a bombing attempt, Toretto goes after Ian Shaw (Jason Statham, who seems to have the power to be everywhere the team is), the man also responsible for the death of Han Seoul-o (pronounced the way you think it is). Then another plot line is thrown in (as if we need more), as the group also has to find a flash drive called “God’s Eye,” which is a weapon reminiscent of the TV show “Person of Interest,” a program that tracks all security cameras, phones and other electronics to locate any person anywhere at any time.
The movie moves from action set piece to action set piece without a care in the world, and somehow, the pieces always involve cars, which is what the franchise lives on. Every one of the action scenes is cranked up all the way, with cars dropping from planes, or cars stealing a flash drive by driving out of one building and into the next. All this non-stop action only results in dulling and numbing the viewer’s senses. What is left is dialogue that is unengaging at best, with Vin Diesel’s guttural noise that apparently is what he believes is speech. There is also the sub-sub par “comedy” pairing of Tyrese Gibson and Ludacris.
The movie tries its best without previous “Fast and Furious” star Paul Walker, who was killed in a real-life car accident after filming some footage for this movie. The director’s solution is to put him in the background for a lot of scenes. It definitely feels like he was destined for a bigger role that never saw its way to fruition.
At its core this movie is like a “Street Fighter” video game. It has a story, but the story’s purpose is only to make people fight, and everything else seems to get in the way. The homage of flashbacks at the end is a bit of a tearjerker, but only to contrast the better movies in the series with this one.
Josh Wilson is a senior at Evanston Township High School.