Long and slow. Those words summarize Furious 7 well. While watching, it might make one furious; the pace is anything but fast. Clocking in at more than two hours, it is astounding how little actually happens in that amount of time.
The bare bones of the plot are as follows: Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham), the brother of the team’s enemy from the sixth installment of the series, has vowed revenge against them all. A group of terrorists has stolen a surveillance program called “God’s Eye” and kidnapped Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel), its creator.
A mysterious government man (Kurt Russell), with plenty of troops at his disposal, promises to help Dom (Vin Diesel) get Deckard if Dom’s crew will save Ramsey and recover the program.
Most of the action scenes are overdone, drawn-out and ridiculous to the point of being dull. A small amount of the imaginative and engaging action the series is famous for is present in a few scenes, but it mostly is absent. Aside from those few moments, most of the movie just trudges on without any soul or vivacity.
The dialogue is beyond shallow and downright corny, especially in the scenes with Shaw.
The entire movie is riddled with one-liners such as, “Let’s do this,” and lame taunts such as, “You thought this was a street fight?” Rarely is anything of significance said, which is understandable considering that the characters hardly ever say more than one sentence (if that) at a time.
Statham’s gimpy lines are perhaps due to the cliché nature of the villain he portrays. The family member out for vengeance is a pretty damn prosaic concept for an antagonist.
It may be a good idea to cut the crew some slack considering that a member of the main cast died early in production.
Paul Walker, who portrayed Brian O’Conner, ironically was killed in a fiery car crash on Nov. 30, 2013. He was a key character in the series and in the seventh movie in particular. With the use of Walker’s brothers as doubles and impressive CGI work, the makers managed to handle the unfortunate situation remarkably well. One would hardly notice that Walker isn’t even in the film most of the time.
Even considering the production setbacks, the movie still could have turned out much better than it did.