Movies are not all about a realistic experience, we have documentaries for that. Movies are meant to be a fantastical journey, I get that. What I don’t get is how some reviewer at Rolling Stone, IGN or NY Times say that Furious 7 is a brilliant movie worthy of being a candidate for one of the best movies of 2015. I am sorry, but that is pure bull-shit. Furious 7 is by no means the ideal fun movie that these people made it out to be. I have been reading the movie reviews from Rolling Stone and IGN for years to decide if I really want to spend my money on theatre tickets, but from now on I am going to rethink, and then stop and just disregard their reviews. I can no longer trust their sense of quality (or integrity) to allow me to make any kind of judgments as to which movies to watch. SPOILER ALERT!
Don’t get me wrong, Furious 7 does a good enough job at what it tries to be and that is a stunt-fest. The sad part is that I never felt the Fast & Furious movies were ever JUST a stunt-fest. They never had exemplary story but they were never entirely illogical either. I always felt that these movies were a cross between “The Ocean’s Eleven” and car-porn. Now with the new movie it feels more like a cross between “The Expendables” and car-porn. I suppose there is a market for that kind of a movie, but it no way qualifies as a brilliant movie. The movie has its best moments when the cast keeps their mouth shut and just drives whatever car they claim to be a style icon, or even when they show some half naked women. At least those moments have reasons for being there. Scantily clad women starting drag races still has a reasonable meaning, as is a spring break like look at a drag racing festival as that gives a purported look into the world of amateur drag racing. A Fast & Furious movie unabashedly marketing American cars is not illogical either. It is after all an American movie made by people who I can assume are proud Americans and the movie has more than likely gotten some funding from Dodge. It is nevertheless a “bit” of a stretch to imagine anyone in their right mind will think that a Dodge Charger is in any way a comparable car to a Bugatti Veyron or even a Ferrari 458 or a McLaren, and then have the driver of the Veyron nerd out over a Lycan Hypersport. Even going as far as sounding like a fangirl over the Lycan’s unproven top speed of 240 MPH (The Veyron has a top speed of 254 MPH).
I am not going to complain about the logical or scientific shortfalls of the stunts, screw logic, they are fun to watch. I am not even going to ask how a garage mechanic (owner?) can get 6 foreigners into a private party without questions being asked, or how those people can so casually get inside secure (?) rooms, steal a fucking car (in one of Abu Dhabi’s highest buildings), drive the car across 3 buildings destroying millions of dollars’ worth of property, maybe even injure a lot of rich people (perhaps even kill a few) and then all get out scot-free. I really should question all of these, but I won’t because that stunt was amazing! The stupid stunt of throwing cars out of a plane and then parachuting perfectly down onto a road (How the hell did they control their parachute descent?). It was rather fortunate that the wind dropped them perfectly onto the road they wanted to be. None of that is really the problem. The problem though starts with the stupid acting by good actors. Nathalie Emmanuel is a brilliant actress, but it would be a major charity to say that she does her best to deal with the horrendous writing. It is not at all believable how she goes from being a tortured captive in a moving bus to happily trusting some nutjobs who “saved” her by throwing her down a mountain. Within minutes of waking up she even happily agrees to hand over her life’s work.
That work happens to be a computer program (device?) that can hack into every electronic device on earth simultaneously. If you have any semblance of tech knowledge then you should be asking WTF? If you watch CBS’s Person of Interest (you should) then think of it as a unification of Samaritan and The Machine programmed by God. The name is the most unimaginative name ever – God’s eye. Let us not ignore Statham’s Shaw. I suppose it’s only the hero’s prerogative that ensures that Diesel’s Dom can fight equally with Shaw, who happens to be a special force’s assassin. I can imagine Paul Walker’s Brian having had FBI training, but how do street racers like Diesel and Rodriguez keep up with professional assassins and bodyguards? The movie ends in a thrilling finale with a chase through the streets of Los Angeles, where the cops seem to be more worried about people overspeeding than people in armored helicopters launching armed drones and raining fire and death. I doubt the LA cops would be so nonchalant about some guys launching missiles in downtown LA and destroying half of downtown. The movie seeks to establish the US Air Force to be pretty incompetent given that in the movie they take ages before launching fighters (they don’t even make it to LA before our heroes save the day). As a resident of the greater Los Angeles area, that concerned me more than the shitty writing of the movie. That and the audacity of the people who gave this movie a perfect score (according to Metacritic). The most painful moment for me came when Dom gets injured (seemingly fatally) and Leticia pushes away medical help only to cuddle Dom and plead with him to live because she has suddenly overcome her amnesia and remembers everything and she loves him and doesn’t want him to die. I wish saving someone’s life was as simple as delivering a puke-inducing dramatic dialogue, I would be a world renowned medical expert (Just joking, I would fail at that too).
If all James Wan wanted was a collection of stunts, then I guess he did a good job, but the best of the series this movie is not. Calling it the best, is doing the rest of the series and Justin Lin a serious disservice. Do not watch this movie. Watch the stunts later in some YouTube collection, and someone please convince them not to make another.