After his beloved by both critics and audiences horror movie The Conjuring, director James Wan steps in Justin Lin's place and takes over the latest installment of the Fast and Furious franchise. He transitions really well from the low-budget horror movie genre to the massive, action blockbuster one. This results in an enjoyable experience at the movie theatre where you just go with the action and stop thinking for two and a half hours.
Furious 7 follows the gang after the events that happened in Fast and Furious 6. Owen Shaw's brother, Deckard(Jason Statham) is out for blood, wanting to revenge his sibling's crippling by Vin Diesel's family and Hobbs. And after Deckard kills Han and destroys the Toretto home, Dom is also on the hunt. Consequently, this takes everyone except for Mia, who is in a safe heaven in the Dominican Republic, to a variety of exotic locations like Abu Dhabi and Azerbaijan where a lot of the action and mayhem occur. You get sky-diving cars, flying cars and lots of action.
On the other hand for the first twenty minutes or so I noticed something odd for this type of movie - character development. The characters are shown living their lives with the few difficulties they had. By the end you feel emotionally connected to most of the characters. The acting is great, but I felt the Rock was underused. I have to applaud Wan's desire to incorporate everything into one feature film. However, this is also the biggest problem; the movie is something between action, comedy, drama and thriller and therefore the tone is inconsistent.
After Paul Walker's devastating death many were concerned about what would happen to the character. The studio and the filmmakers were considerable enough not try to commercialise Walker's death by promoting the movie as his last one. They've managed to pay a tear-jerking good tribute to him at the end of the movie.
The directing is well done but it lacked Justin Lin's slick look. Even though it's one of the franchise's trademarks, I felt the camera lingered a bit too much on the behinds of the hot girls. The other problem I had was the quick-cut hand combats; the fistfights are cut way too often, there is a lot of shaky-cam and those reminiscent of Michael Bay and Nolan when they are doing human fights. Conversely, the movie is, most of the time, gorgeous to look at. The soundtrack and visual effects are favorable too.
Furious 7 is a nice continuation of the Fast and Furious series which pays a wonderful tribute to Paul Walker. For the over-the-top franchise this is, the movie is ingenious enough to make the paid money for the cinema worth your while.