Furious 7: Shameful and dumb

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BY NICK BYGRAVE (’15)

I wanted to start this article with “Where do I begin?” because I’m lazy and that’s an easy way to ease into a rambling. But using that phrase would lead some people to believe that I have many points on which to elaborate, which is decidedly not the case. “Furious 7,” the most anticipated and highest grossing film of 2015, was a big, cumbersome, obvious, dumb and outright shameful pile of garbage.

As I settled into my seat, I wondered what I assume a lot of people where wondering: Will Brian O’Conner, Paul Walker’s character, die on screen? I sort of assumed he would because any other ending to O’Conner’s legacy would seem sort of unjustified. However, this was not the case. But more on that later.

The movie has one of my least favorite lazy premises. The baddie the team routed in “Fast & Furious 6” has a brother who’s mad as hell and coming to kill the good guys. And while seeing Jason Statham in the end credits of “Furious 6” made me admittedly a little excited, seeing his angry bald head on screen in this film made me have a “well, here we go” moment.

This series arguably has two themes: kick-ass and family. The kick-ass part of the series has had a gradual increase since the first film, starting from the occasional fistfight and car crash to the sky-scraper exploding, million-dollar car destroying and WWE-influenced behemoth that the last installment is. And as for the family aspect, I’d say the hug to crash ratio is nearly one-to-one. The Fast and Furious family is so expansive and racially diverse it would make a synergy-obsessed CEO’s knees quiver.  And while the love and care for each member is admirable, it can border on annoying at times.

This next part is where I will be the harshest on this well-meaning film. The action sequences and stunts in this movie are so ridiculous and so impossible that they are insulting to anybody with an IQ in double digits. Seriously, if I were an executive in the writing room for this movie, I would have half the room tested for hallucinogenics. For example, after landing an ambulance onto a hell-bent military drone,  Mr. Dwayne Johnson grabs an automatic turret machine gun and begins to fire it (which is impossible, considering it was fitted to the undercarriage of a drone and fired electronically), after screaming a catch phrase that would make even Arnold Schwarzenegger blush.

Don’t worry, there are a few redeeming parts of the movie. As much as the fight sequences are ridiculous, they are undeniably enjoyable. There were even parts where I gave out audible yelps in excitement. The cinematography, editing and CGI work make this a very pretty film, relative to the vehicular pornography being displayed.

And most of all, the last 10 minutes of the movie, in which a truly beautiful farewell is made to Paul Walker, is especially memorable. Instead of killing off Brian O’Conner, he retires to his life as a father. After his “family” accepts his departure from any further adventures,  Dom and Brian go for one last ride together. The final shot of Dom in his Charger and Brian in his Mark IV Supra is one that nearly had me in tears.

Overall, you couldn’t get me to call this a good movie if you had a gun to my face. However, those final 10 minutes make the one and a half hours before it seem like a bit less of a problem.  Mentally and emotionally, “Furious 7” leaves you, well, wrecked.

What is your favorite Fast and Furious movie? Read Nick’s guide to the Fast and Furious franchise and then vote below.