2015 action sequel / soap opera for boys
Plot: The brother of the guy our heroes put in a coma in the last movie wants revenge.
I didn't want to waste a lot of time on a plot synopsis because I want to obsess over a single glorious moment in this movie filled with glorious moments. Everything The Rock does in this movie is awesome, every line just deliriously silly. But there's one moment--"Daddy's got to go to work."--where The Rock has earned a special right. The guy could kill everybody in my family, and I'd still respect him because of that one scene. It's followed by scenes that show us that his character--and perhaps The Rock himself--is indestructible. And indestructible video game character.
The members of Vin Diesel's family who happen to still be alive are back, and there's an attractive new addition played by Nathalie Emmanuel. I'd assume this is Paul Walker's swan song unless they want to just to go with a full-CGI Brian for the 8th installment of this out-of-control franchise, the film I already titled Fast 8 Furious: Infinite Drift. They give him a touching--well, as touching as something as macho as this franchise can be--send-off. The new character played by Kurt Russell is cool, and Statham delivers as the villain. And yes, I'm going to focus on the characters because even though this is really about bringing nonstop action and adrenaline, the characters really do matter. They've grown into such a lovable ragtag bunch by this point, and as cartoony as all of this is, the characters still have a little room to grow and become something close to actual human beings.
Of course, this is really all about the action. And there's plenty of that. I'm excited to see what they're going to throw at us in the 8th movie because it seems as if they've reached the epitome of ridiculousness in this 7th one. Parachuting cars, cars flying from one skyscraper to another, bone-crunching fisticuffs, characters surviving things that no human being would survive. It's mesmerizingly off the wall with this artistic bravado. Furious 7 is the type of movie where you go 0 to 60 in about 3 seconds, and when you look at the drive as if to say, "Maybe you want to take it easy; there's a lot of movie left to go," the driver answers, "Oh, don't worry about it because this movie goes all the way to 600, bitch!" And honestly, I'm fine with a movie calling me a bitch just like I'm fine with The Rock killing my entire family.
Are the special effects perfect? No, and some of what they do with Paul Walker is very nearly inappropriate. You're not asked to suspend disbelief as much as you are asked to tie up your disbelief, throw it in the trunk of your car, and drive to drop it across state lines for a couple hours. You have to accept that these characters are living in a big macho sexualized Looney Tune world with characters all trying to out-comic-book each other while somehow the rest of the world doesn't seem to even notice. And there are times when this has the intelligences of one of those car magazines with scantily-clad women draped across hot rod hoods. But none of the imperfections matter. You find me another movie that so effortlessly can draw my testicles into my throat.
Rubber Duck, we're seeing Fast and the Furiouses 8-25 opening night from now on. Just assume it's happening. You'll have to put up with my giggling though.