We made our way to the cinema on April 5, 2015 to watch “Furious Seven” and we finally had enough time to share our thoughts about Jason Statham taking over the seventh installment.
Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) sets out to revenge his brother Owen and goes after Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and gang, who put him into the hospital.
The opening scene was THE highlight of the whole film. It introduced Jason Statham’s character in such a visual way that there was no doubt about his abilities to cause serious damage to those he was after. The opening scene was truly breathtaking as well as exhilarating and Statham knew how to make a haunting impression with his body language alone.
What followed shortly after was another fantastic treat, which was the fight between Statham and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. There was no need for much dialogue because the tension between them spoke louder than words. Their close combat was one of the realest and most well executed fight sequences we had ever seen (in the “Fast and Furious” franchise) and it captivated us until it was over. We were left wanting more.
As for the humor and lighter scenes, Tyrese Gibson was the master of laughter. He had the best lines and delivered them so naturally that we couldn’t hold back our laughter whenever he opened that big mouth of his. We truly enjoyed all of his scenes not only because he always knows how to shine but it’s his witty charm that makes his role essential and endearing.
The new cast additions of Kurt Russell, Nathalie Emmanuel, Tony Jaa, Ronda Rousey and Djimon Hounsou were definitely a great bonus but it didn’t make up for the lack of interaction between the characters. We always loved the “Fast and Furious” franchise because it was about family and the special moments between the members, but “Furious Seven” was an utter disappointment in that regard. We felt the insane car chases – more unrealistic than ever – and explosions mattered more than the heart of the story, which was always about the people and the special bond they shared.
Of course we were thrilled when “Furious Seven” ended on an open end because we always said that Jason Statham needs to be in “Furious 8.” He wasn’t a typical villain or bad guy who hurt others for no apparent reason. He took revenge because his family got hurt and he had the skill set to do so, and we could relate to him. Clearly, the addition of Statham was one of the best decisions the studio made, because he is not just an actor but someone with an extensive skill set on his own and that makes him a valuable asset.
Our conclusion is that bigger and better might work for other films but not for this franchise that was built on realistic characters and their relationships to one another. Yes, the tribute to Paul Walker was beautiful and very touching, and the many different filming locations in Abu Dhabi were stunning, but it wasn’t enough to let us forget about all the over-the-top action and obvious neglect of what really mattered.
So we give “Furious Seven” a 5/10 rating because we found ourselves bored at times (whenever Jason Statham or Tyrese Gibson weren’t on the screen) and left the cinema quite dissatisfied. “Fast Five” is still our favorite and we hope the franchise will find its way back to its original roots. However, we want to give a BIG shout-out to all the stuntmen who literally risked their lives to make this film entertaining. We have nothing but respect for them and know they worked the hardest and are the unsung heroes.