Call me Johnny-Come-Lately, but it’s better now than never. I finally watched the movie that’s been a blockbuster since it came out but I took my time. When something gets talked up a lot, I feel as if I’ve already seen the movie. This seventh sequel to a movie franchise that started 14 years ago is the best compared to the others, but also the saddest since we know what happened to Paul Walker–he died from a car accident during the filming of this movie, which is well-edited and produced. Renowned horror film director, James Wan, directs this movie and he succeeds in making your pulse race, as well as creating a beautiful ending that pays tribute to Walker.
For those who may be unfamiliar with this movie series, Walker’s role in the first film is as an undercover cop who teams up with the FBI to catch the hijackers repeatedly stealing from truckers hauling top-notch electronic equipment. Turns out to be Vin Diesel, who plays Dominic “Dom” Toretto, as the ringleader; he is also a big-time street car racer. As the movie series continues, we see some of the regular characters die and new ones added.
This franchise isn’t weaved as a tightly coherent sequence; there are some tangential stories that don’t necessarily feature the main characters, Dom and Brian. However, these two are key characters in the majority of the films. In short, they eventually become a family, as Brian marries Dom’s sister, and Brian and Dom team up to help collar hard-to-capture criminals so they can redeem themselves in the eyes of the law, as well as to themselves.
The guest cast alone makes this movie worth seeing—Kurt Russell, Jason Statham, Tony Jaa, Djimon Hounsou, Nathalie Emmanuel, and Ronda Rousey. Great action actors, Jason Statham and Tony Jaa, are fun to watch in their choreography of fight scenes. Having seen them in other movies playing the protagonists sometimes makes it difficult to root for the good guys. For example, Tony Jaa is really good in Ong-Bak: Muay Thai Warrior, The Protector, and The Protector 2. And, who doesn’t know about Statham’s movies? I’ve seen almost all of them; there are five of his very early films that I may yet view.
To wrap up, this movie is full of incredible stunts that defy the law of physics but are great fun to watch. Against the glamorous backdrop of muscled-up cars and frequent opulence, the movie’s plot is basically that of revenge. Jason Statham is after Dom and his team to avenge his brother, who was the villain in the sixth installment. Revenge films like this can be over the top with their bigger budgets and even bigger action stars, but so what. That’s entertainment.