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Monday, April 13, 2015

Paul Walker's Last Ride

Ka-ching!   Universal hits the jackpot once again with the seventh installment of its head-scratchingly lucrative cash cow of a movie franchise ‘Fast & Furious.’  Grossing over $250 million domestically and $800 million worldwide after only its second weekend, ‘Furious 7’ is already the biggest moneymaker of the series to date and on pace to become the first to break the $1 billion mark, all the while leaving its hapless box office competition in the dust much like Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and his souped-up ’70 Dodge Charger after a street race.
 
It’s hard to believe that the original F&F came out nearly 15 years ago.  After a rocky start which bottomed out with the third installment ‘Tokyo Drift,’ the series somehow staved off direct-to-DVD hell and really took off, with each follow-up setting a new box office record for the franchise.  Each subsequent F&F movie also managed to be even faster and furiouser than the one before, upping the ante in their unrealistic physics-defying set-piece action sequences.  The street-smart testosterone-fueled machismo of Dominic and his crew are again on display in ‘Furious 7,’ when they clash with Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham), a British rogue wetworks badass looking for payback against our homies for what they did to his brother in F&F6 (reviewed here: http://www.moviesaccordingtodave.blogspot.com/2013/06/carmageddon-it.html).  To wit, F7 includes such perfectly choreographed shenanigans as: 
 
Dominic and Deckard purposely smashing their cars head-on into each other in a game of chicken a la’ ‘Rebel without a cause.’  Two macho guys butting horns like a couple of rams is just too good a metaphor to pass up;
 
Dominic and his gang skydiving out of a military transport inside their cars to put the drop on a convoy and rescue a super hacker held hostage by bad guys;
 
Brian (Paul Walker in his last movie, RIP) running along the top of a bus about to tip over the edge of a cliff and leaping off in the nick of time, grabbing onto the spoilers of Letty’s (Michelle Rodriguez) perfectly timed fishtailing car;
 
Dominic and Tej (Ludacris) accelerating and crashing through multiple Abu Dhabi skyscrapers in their jacked Lykan Hypersport;
 
DSS super agent Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) kamikaze-ing a “borrowed” ambulance into a jet-powered drone in flight to stop it from taking out Dom and his homies.
 
But really, it is precisely for scenes like these that people pay to see F&F, the more preposterous the better.  And what about the plot, you ask?  Who cares!  Like “Nightshade” in F&F6, it’s some half-baked spy bullshit about the possession of a super spy program called “God’s Eye” which allows you to find anyone, anywhere, any time.  With F7, the F&F franchise proved yet again that story simply doesn't matter when you have mind numbing and stupid action sequences to spare.
 
Grade: B-
 
 photo furious7_zpsq8xgzqrh.jpg

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