Tuesday, June 22, 2021

‘Furious 7′: Critics Weigh in on Paul Walker’s Last Ride

furious-7-cast*The highly anticipated “Furious 7” is set to arrive in theaters Friday (April 3) with more action, faster driving and edge of your seat thrills for moviegoers take in.

Along for the ride in the James Wan-helmed latest installment of the popular franchise are Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Michelle Rodriguez, Ludacris, Jordana Brewster, Tyrese Gibson, Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham. Walker’s death while filming “Furious 7” resulted in a break from production. After the break, Walker’s brothers stood in for the late actor as filming resumed.

With Walker’s passing on the minds of moviegoers as well as excitement over “Furious 7,” the film is expected to easily top the box office this weekend with more than $100 million made. Adding to the hype are positive reviews from critics who have already seen “Furious 7.”

Walker’s last ride on the big screen struck a nerve with reviewers as TheWrap‘s Alonso Duralde praised “Furious 7” for giving Walker’s character, Brian O’Conner, a proper farewell as well as the film’s strategy of putting more into crowd-pleasing set pieces than “both logic and gravity.”

“If incoming director James Wan falls the tiniest bit short of what Justin Lin brought to the third, fifth and sixth entries, ‘Furious 7’ nonetheless ranks a very successful fourth place overall, with at least one gargantuan set piece that ranks among the series’ finest,” Duralde wrote in his review. “The death-defying nature of the stunts is, of course, underscored by the real-life passing of Walker, and the film gives both the actor and his character a beautifully graceful farewell. (Bring a handkerchief.)”

Digital Spy‘s Simon Reynolds was also taken with how “Furious 7” handled the real life tragedy surrounding Walker as he highlighted the emotional moment in his review.

“No spoilers here, but the closing moments are handled absolutely beautifully,” Reynolds wrote. “Heartfelt and genuinely moving, it works both within the context of the ‘Fast’ series’ family-centric ethos and, perhaps more powerfully, offers a moment of closure for fans. The final shot could not be more perfect. Tears will be shed.”

Despite the good feedback, there were a few critics that weren’t as thrilled with the extreme action sequences of “Furious 7.” Among the negative reviewers were the New York Post‘s Sara Stewart, wrote:

“As it is, the action in the seventh installment of the franchise is pretty by-the-book: car racing, vengeance, logic-defying stunts and stuff blowing up. Too much stuff blowing up, really. We came for the cars and their reckless, gorgeous drivers; we can get explosions anywhere.”

The bashing continued with BBC movie critic Nicholas Barber as he expressed how “Furious 7” was guilty of “swerving recklessly between two very different moods.”

“Just when you’re settling into a proudly silly action movie, somebody will make a grave speech about the importance of family. Then, just when you think that it’s actually a sober film set in the real world, someone will drive a car out of a plane and land safely on a mountain road several thousand feet below,” Barber wrote. “And then, just when you’ve accepted that it’s a Road Runner cartoon with added tattoos, a sombre scene will remind you that one of its stars, Paul Walker, died while the film was in production. The tonal lurches are so extreme that some viewers are bound to get whiplash.”

For New York Daily News critic Jacob Hall, “Furious 7” marks the point where it, as “the biggest, silliest movie in the ‘Fast and Furious’ franchise,” officially transforms the series into “The Avengers” with muscle cars.

“But what’s wrong with big and silly?” he wrote. “The film is a live-action cartoon starring caricatures rather than characters. But, hey, these are charismatic personalities played by actors in on the joke. They maintain straight faces as they sell their macho dialogue and drive sports cars off the Burj Khalifa.”

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