Furious 7 (2015)

Furious 7 is, by far, the best entry to the franchise—it’s loud, exuberant, brutal and devastating with a playful, over-the-top action bravura on the top of a family drama. And, oh, rest in pride, Paul Walker.

This time it ain’t just about being fast,” said Dom.

After a long-running franchise, finally Dom (Vin Diesel) said that peculiar line about ‘not just being about fast.’ For the longest time, Fast & Furious (FF) franchise has always been a synonym to the phrase ‘fast luxurious custom car’ films; no doubt about that, yet, time finally shifts it.

The franchise’s perplexing structure is one thing. The series started as a back-to-back action-crime about night race along with neon-glared sport cars in The Fast and The Furious then 2 Fast 2 Furious,  before the barely related FF3: Tokyo Drift was released and considered as a spin-off. The turning point was, undoubtedly, Fast & Furious (a.k.a Fast and Furious 4) which injected heist and more adrenaline-pumping action set-piece to the series as well as opened a new trilogy with Fast Five and Fast and Furious 6. Time helps the series to grow, to be more mature, and to be more exhilarating. The peak (currently) is no other than Furious 7—stripping off the ‘Fast’ attribute—with a playful, over-the-top action bravura on the top of a family drama.

The setup was dangerous from the beginning; Furious 7 served as quintessences of two different timelines in FF universe: following the event in FF6 as well as in Tokyo Drift simultaneously. A new villain, Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham), brother of Owen from FF6, targeted Dom’s team as he sought for vengeance to what they did to his brother. The plot was, obviously, generic until they introduced Mr. Nobody (Kurt Russell). Frankly, it didn’t help to raise the tension meter; it only helps raising the damage meter since, by far, this is the most destructive entry to the franchise.

Furious 7 never tried to be effective—it’s (literally) exuberant, brutal and devastating. Yet, what I like most from this film is director James Wan’s treatment to action genre. What’s left of his Conjuring or Insidious dreadful performance is the camera work—creating atmosphere and highlighting camera movement to enhance viewer’s experience (note: The Rock Bottom scene or the 360 degree camera movement—which reminded me to the first Raid). With that camera work, who would mind with ample of over-the-top action sequences that gave us tons of fun?

Save the last 15-minute drama as a farewell to Paul Walker and his Brian O’Conner, then Furious 7 only loved the destruction with vicious cinema spectacles. In the end, I must admit that Furious 7 works well as an entertainment; if it isn’t, at least, it works as the most brutal yet entertaining car opera for action aficionados.

VERDICT: Furious 7 is, by far, the best entry to the franchise—it’s loud, exuberant, brutal and devastating with a playful, over-the-top action bravura on the top of a family drama. And, oh, rest in pride, Paul Walker.

Furious 7

a.k.a Fast and Furious 7

Action, Crime, Thriller Directed by: James Wan Written by: Chris Morgan based on characters by Gary Scott Thompson Starred by: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Michelle Rodriguez, Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham Running Time: 137 mins Rated PG-13 for prolonged frenetic sequences of violence, action and mayhem, suggestive content and brief strong language

IMDb | Official Site

Setelah franchise-nya berjalan sampai seri ketujuh, Dom (Vin Diesel) akhirnya bisa berkata “this time it ain’t just about being fast” pada krunya. Aneh memang, tapi mau di kata apa lagi; selama ini, franchise Fast & Furious selalu diasosiasikan sebagai film pengumbar mobil mewah super cepat. Tapi, akhirnya waktu juga yang mengubahnya.

Mengubah jadi bagaimana? Jadi lebih besar. Struktur franchise-nya memang merumit; awalnya hanya diproyeksikan sebagai film action-crime tetap balapan liar di dua film pertamanya, sampai di Tokyo Drift yang banyak kurang dianggap. Turning point pertamanya tentu saja Fast and Furious 4 yang menambahkan lebih banyak heist dan aksi yang non-kebutan, yang disempurnakan Fast Five yang menyambung semua instalasi FF (termasuk Tokyo Drift) dan membentuk trilogi awal dengan Fast and Furious 6. Puncak dari semua itu (sampai saat ini), tentu saja Furious 7—tanpa embel-embel Fast lagi—dengan pesta action-nya yang over-the-top dengan drama keluarga yang sentimental.

Setupnya sudah berbahaya dari awal—Furious 7 take off sebagai sekuel FF6 sekaligus Tokyo Drift. Villain baru, Deckard Shaw (Statham), abang dari villain FF6, mengincar Dom dan krunya untuk pembalasan dendam. Plotnya memang generic awalnya dan malah sedikit kedodoran ketika tokoh Kurt Russell dan Djimon Honsou diperkenalkan secara terpisah. Sama sekali tidak membantu menaikkan level ketegangan, kalau tidak karena bantuan kedua tokoh baru itu menaikkan level kerusakan. Jujur saja, inilah film paling destruktif di franchise ini.

Soal destruktif, Furious 7 sengaja tidak berusaha tampil efektif—karena filmnya memang suka tampil jor-joran, brutal, dan gila-gilaan secara harafiah. Tapi, treatment James Wan dalam film non-horror pertamanya patut diacungi jempol. Camera work-nya masih tetap prima, membuat aksi di layar terasa vivid sampai-sampai penonton dibuat sama pusingnya dengan karakter di layar (in a positive way).

Di sisi lain, tidak dipungkiri jika kehilangan sosok Paul Walker adalah kerugian besar bagi franchise ini. Namun, siapa tahu kalau kehilangan itu bisa menjadi berkah? Simak footage khusus untuk Paul di akhir. Karena selain bagian itu, Furious 7 hanyalah tentang destruction yang menarik secara visual. Filmnya sangat menarik sebagai hiburan, kalaupun tidak, film ini tetap jadi car opera ter-badass sejauh ini.

VERDICT: Furious 7 jadi entry terbaik di franchise FF sampai saat ini—brutal, jor-joran, gila-gilaan dengan drama keluarga yang sama besarnya. Sekali lagi, beristirahatlah dengan bangga, Paul Walker.

2 comments on “Furious 7 (2015)

  1. Am I the only one who think that the film is almost…plotless? I love the action, the car chasing, and the explosions, but I think that there’s a little room for characterization and all that jazz.

    Hmm, perhaps I should watch some of the previous films.

    1. I didn’t even remember any plot of the previous films when I watched this one. It’s true that you said it’s plotless, ’cause in fact, the plot just went with untidy structure, yet, I always love James Wan’s treatments to the camera work here to create illusions.

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