Director: James Wan
Cast: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Dwayne Johnson
Release Date: Available on Blu-Ray & DVD September 15, 2015
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 8/10
Disc Rating: 9.5/10
Vin Diesel, Paul Walker and Dwayne Johnson lead the returning cast across the globe in their most gravity-defying and emotional adventure yet. Targeted by a cold-blooded black-ops assassin with a score to settle (Jason Statham), their only hope is to get behind the wheel again and secure an ingenious prototype tracking device. Facing their greatest threat yet in places as far away as Abu Dhabi and as familiar as the Los Angeles streets they call home, the crew must come together once again as a team, and as a family, to protect their own.
After assisting Agent Hobbs (Johnson)in taking down a deadly criminal in London, Dom (Diesel), Brian (Walker), and the rest of the family are now once again residing freely in their hometown of Los Angeles, cleared of all criminal charges. Before they can get settled back in, their home is blown up and their friend Han murdered in Tokyo by the brother of the man they took down, a deadly and highly trained international criminal named Deckard Shaw (Statham) who will stop at nothing in order to take down the crew responsible for putting his brother in the hospital. While dealing with Deckard’s constant attacks on every front, the crew must also rescue and protect a hacker for a secret government employee called Mr. Nobody (Russell) who has promised Dom his full assistance in taking down Deckard in return for his assistance once the task is completed.
Taking over for Justin Lin who directed the last four installments of the ‘Fast & Furious’ franchise, James Wan (The Conjuring, Saw, Death Sentence) takes the helm for ‘Furious 7’ easily stepping in to the director’s chair and guiding returning series writer Chris Morgan’s script flawlessly and in a style perfectly suited to the series, while simultaneously incorporating his own touches. Most of the key cast once again returns reprising their roles including Paul Walker, Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster, Tyrese Gibson, Chris ‘Ludacris’ Bridges, and even Lucas Black reprising his role of Sean from ‘Tokyo Drift’ in one scene. The returning cast joins newcomers to the franchise Jason Statham, Kurt Russell (both of whom couldn’t fit more perfectly within) and more, providing no shortage of familiar faces and new additions to this continually improving series.
‘Furious 7’ delivers all the fast cars, scantily clad women and action-packed insanity as the previous two films which were easily the best in the series, and ‘Furious 7’ easily joins them in that position, while bringing some real heart and emotion this time around as a result of Paul Walkers untimely death. The change of director and sad loss of Paul Walker were sure to provide challenges during production, but you wouldn’t have guessed as much with how naturally the film plays out. As most are surely aware by now, it also ends with a tear jerking and respectfully done dedication and farewell to Walker which certainly ends the film on an unusually emotional note, although definitely with good reason.
Fans of the series will definitely want to make certain to pick up a copy of ‘Furious 7’ on Blu-Ray to add to their collections. The Blu-Ray release includes both the theatrical and extended cuts of the film, the extended cut actually running closer to two minutes longer this time around as opposed to the last two films wherein the extended cuts included well under a minute of added footage. The release also delivers outstanding high definition video and audio presentations, along with a number of fun extras including ‘Deleted Scenes’ and much more (more detailed information regarding the bonus content can be found in the special features section of the technical specification coverage below) making this a definite must own for the fellow ‘Fast & Furious’ fans.
The Blu-Ray release of ‘Furious 7’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 2.40:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks gorgeous as a whole, delivering a consistently rich and detailed presentation throughout. No faults to speak of neither small nor large are noticeable throughout, everything looking fantastic and holding up admirably even during the constant fast moving action sequences so common throughout the film, never resulting in anything occurring on screen to become negatively affected or indiscernible. Overall, this is quite the impressive high definition video presentation, it shouldn’t disappoint in the slightest.
The Blu-Ray release features a lossless 7.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This lossless multichannel soundtrack is outstanding, delivering a crisp, clean, discrete and insanely aggressive audio presentation throughout. All seven available channels are constantly utilized to their fullest potential in order to surround the viewer with everything from the constant hip hop music ever present in the series to a plethora of action and car related auditory effects, along with some hard-hitting bass you’re sure to feel throughout the room; while never resulting in any dialogue which may be occurring simultaneously to become distorted or rendered inaudible. Overall, this is a nearly perfect 7.1 DTS-HD MA soundtrack that should have the casual viewers and audiophiles alike with a permanent grin plastered on their faces.
The Blu-Ray release of ‘Furious 7’ includes a solid collection of enjoyable extras. Included on the Blu-Ray release is a number of ‘Deleted Scenes’ (running approximately 6 minutes altogether). Also included are numerous Behind the Scenes Featurettes exploring different aspects of the film and its production, including Behind the Scenes footage, interviews and comments with members of the cast and crew and more, these include: ‘Talking Fast’ (approximately 32 minutes), ‘Back to the Starting Line’ (12 minutes), ‘Flying Cars’ (6 minutes), ‘Snatch and Grab’ (8 minutes), ‘Tower Jumps’ (7 minutes), ‘The Cars of Furious’ (11 minutes), ‘Race Wars’ (7 minutes), and ‘Inside The Fight’ which is broken down into four segments exploring what went into bringing four different fights in the film to life ‘Hobbs Vs. Shaw’ (3 minutes), ‘Girl Fight’ (3 minutes), ‘Dom Vs. Shaw’ (3 minutes) and ‘Tej Takes Action’ (2 minutes). Lastly, we are treated to ‘Making of Fast & Furious Supercharged Ride’ (8 minutes) and the ‘See You Again’ Official Music Video.