Furious 7 and the future of the franchise

Furious 7 debuted last week to universal praise. The film passed over $800 million worldwide.

Furious 7 and the Fast & Furious franchise are either movies that you love or hate, but if you love them then odds are you really love them. Now days after release, people are posting on social media about how much they enjoyed the movie, how it made them feel, and want to see it again. This is becoming seemingly uncommon with most modern movies.

Furious 7 takes place all over the world, with the major action occurring in Los Angeles, California. However, the film opens up at Race Wars, an outdoor car festival. This was a nostalgic return to Race Wars, which the characters previously visited in the first installment, all-the-way back in 2001.

The plot of the movie is essentially this: Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) is out to kill Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and his whole crew (including Dwayne Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez, and Paul Walker) for putting Shaw’s brother in the hospital.

Meanwhile Dom and the crew are working with the government to secure the ‘God’s Eye,’ a program that allows you to hack into and use every camera in the world, from hacker Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel) in order to track down Shaw.

Needless to say, plenty of ridiculous car chases, fights, and physics-defying stunts take place somewhere in between all that (you’ve seen the trailers).

It is an interesting comparison, between the Fast and Furious movies, and that of Michael Bay’s Transformers, why when two franchise are so seemingly similar, one has a beloved following, and the other almost universally hated. Here’s why:

 

Characters matter

Throughout the Fast & Furious franchise viewers have been with Dom and his crew watching their many hijinks, their development, and their greatest most emotional moments. The characters in Bay’s films are completely static, undeveloped, and worst of all uninteresting.

 

Action you can follow

Although the stunts in Fast & Furious may at times be a little absurd (and yes they actually did drop cars out of an airplane), the chases and stunts are all well choreographed, purposefully thought out, and easy and entertaining to watch. In Transformers, however, most of the time the viewer is inundated with massive steel robots colliding into massive steel buildings, the sound of gunfire and explosions pollute the screen, and there is not much to make sense of.

 

Self-Aware

Most of all, Dom and his crew aren’t teaming up with an ancient race of alien robots to engage in an epic battle for the fate of the world. The characters are funny, the action is exciting, and everyone’s in on it.

There is one elephant in the movie: Paul Walker. Furious 7 release was actually significantly delayed after the untimely death of Paul Walker in 2013. To fans, the send off could not have been done more respectfully.

The film closes on Dom and Brian (Walker’s character) riding side-by-side down a strip of mountain road. Brian is driving an angelic white Supra (his character is known to drive Japanese cars). Walker’s brother was used in this scene and the cgi, although slightly noticeable is very well done and sophisticated

They come to an eventual fork in the road and the two split. Brian has a wife and daughter he can finally settle down with and get away from the action, while room is left for Dom and the rest of the crew to continue on their adventures.

Then fade to white and the screen reads, “For Paul.”

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