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.