Google+

Paul Walker’s Sentimental Swan Song Proves Well Worth the Wait

 

Furious 7

Film Review by Kam Williams

Paul Walker’s Sentimental Swan Song Proves Well Worth the Wait

 

The late Paul Walker (1973-2013) was best known for playing Brian O’Conner, a charismatic lead character of the Fast and Furious franchise. During a break in the filming of this seventh installment, he
perished in a fiery crash away from the set while being driven in a Porsche by his friend and financial advisor, Roger Rodas.

129634_oriPutting the production on hiatus, director James Wan (The Conjuring) consulted with Walker’s family before deciding to complete the project. After revising the script, he resumed shooting, using Paul’s younger brothers, Caleb and Cody, as body doubles.

Between the delays and complications flowing from the overhaul, the picture’s budget ballooned to over a quarter-billion dollars. Nevertheless, the rewrite was undeniably well-worth all the effort, since Furious 7 is easily the best offering from the series by far, for it’s the first to convincingly combine sincere sentiment with its trademark swagger and spectacular action sequences.

Yes, it’s remains mostly a muscle car demolition derby
featuring an array of sensational stunts, destroying 230 automobiles along the way. But it’s also a touching tribute to the much-beloved Paul Walker, poignant homage carefully crafted to ensure there won’t be a dry eye in the house when the closing credits roll.

At the point of departure, we’re reintroduced to Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham), a trained assassin hell-bent on avenging the death of his brother, the diabolical villain who met his demise during the climax of the previous episode. Deckard’s already killed Han (Sung Kang), so gang leader Dom (Vin Diesel) encourages his wife (Michelle Rodriguez) and the rest of his ragtag crew of mercenaries to regroup in order to avoid the risk of getting picked off one-by-one, since there’s strength in numbers.

However, coaxing brother-in-law Brian out of retirement isn’t easy, now that he’s settled down in 129633_orisuburbia and has already started a family with Mia (Jordana Brewster). By contrast, unencumbered playboys Roman (Tyrese) and Tej (Ludacris) are game for another round of bombastic vehicular warfare, especially given the addition to the team of a cute computer hacker (Nathalie Emmanuel) whose affections they can compete for.

After a bit of obligatory flirting and jive talk by the brothers, it’s not long before the plot plunges the mercenaries headlong into a familiar concatenation of fisticuffs and gravity-defying car chases punctuated by macho exclamations like “I’m back bitches!” and “Time to unleash the beast!” Yet, such simplistic non-sequiturs are effectively counterbalanced by tender exchanges with Brian (“You’ll always be my brother!”) during a denoument where he makes it clear that this dangerous adventure will definitely be his last.

 

A captivating combination of camaraderie and cartoon physics tempered by just enough nostalgia to tug at your heartstrings.

 

Excellent (4 stars)

Rated PG-13 for pervasive violence and mayhem, suggestive content and brief profanity

Running time: 137 minutes

Distributor: Universal Pictures

 

Entertainment

Key & Peele Co-Star as Slumming Geeks in Fish-Out-of-Water Comedy

  Keanu DVD Review by Kam Williams Key & Peele Co-Star as Slumming Geeks in Fish-Out-of-Water Comedy Rell (Jordan Peele) was so inconsolable after being dumped by his girlfriend that getting high didn't help ease the pain. But then, while crying on the shoulder of his cousin Clarence (Keegan-Michael Key), a cute, little kitten appeared on his doorstep. Seeing this as a sign of divine intervention, Rell adopted the adorable stray, which he proceeded to feed, … [Read More its Good for You...]

Books

Legendary Civil Rights Icon Reflects upon the Past as Prologue

  Joan Trumpauer Mulholland The “She Stood for Freedom” Interview with Kam Williams Legendary Civil Rights Icon Reflects upon the Past as Prologue Joan Trumpauer Mulholland was a little girl in the 1950s. When she saw that black people were being treated differently from white people, she promised herself that she would do something to change that. As a teenager, she joined the Civil Rights Movement and protested the injustice she saw around her. During the 1960s, … [Read More its Good for You...]

Art

ART EXHIBITION: 150 Years After The Civil War

  Cynthia Groya 150 Years After The Civil War: A Contemporary Perspective January 10 - March 6, 2016 Artist's Reception: Sunday, January 24, 3:00 - 5:00 pm Nassau Club 6 Mercer Street  Princeton, NJ 08540 The ideas reflected in Groya's paintings express a conversation about struggle for equal rights in our culture, in our time. The origin of this struggle can be traced to The Civil War in our country, which ended 150 years ago. The … [Read More its Good for You...]

Real Estate

New Home Sales Jump in April

  New Home Sales Jump in April By Burt Carey Sales of new homes hit their highest rate since 2008 in April, according to the Commerce Department’s U.S. Census Bureau. April sales increased 16.6 percent over March figures, which correlates to a seasonally adjusted rate of 619,000 home sales projected for the year. The median price of those new homes was $321,000, the highest median price ever recorded. That’s up 9.7 percent from sales one year ago. The … [Read More its Good for You...]

Lifestyle

Tow-manship and safety for skiers, wakeboarders

  Tow-manship and safety for skiers, wakeboarders by: Craig Lamb You are enjoying a laid-back day of boating away from the stress, drama and trauma of the rat race back on the streets of the big city. Ahead is a boat adrift. Hands wave, and it's obvious the other boat needs help. You can look the other way or go help.   What to do? The right thing to do is be a Good Samaritan. Be a smart boater first. You’ll end the day on a feel-good note while enjoying your … [Read More it Good for You...]

Outdoors

Tow-manship and safety for skiers, wakeboarders

  Tow-manship and safety for skiers, wakeboarders by: Craig Lamb You are enjoying a laid-back day of boating away from the stress, drama and trauma of the rat race back on the streets of the big city. Ahead is a boat adrift. Hands wave, and it's obvious the other boat needs help. You can look the other way or go help.   What to do? The right thing to do is be a Good Samaritan. Be a smart boater first. You’ll end the day on a feel-good note while enjoying your … [Read More its Good for You...]

Sports

Tiger Woods Opts Out of U.S. Open, Quicken Loans

  Tiger Woods Opts Out of U.S. Open, Quicken Loans By Burt Carey Tiger Woods isn’t ready to stage a comeback just yet. The 14-time major champion sent messages via Twitter and his website Tuesday that he would not be competing at either the U.S. Open at Oakmont next week or the PGA Tour’s Quicken Loans tournament the following week. "While I continue to work hard on getting healthy, I am not physically ready to play in this year's U.S. Open and the Quicken … [Read More its Good for You...]

Business

Calling All Entrepreneurs: Creating “Buzz” For Your Brands

  Calling All Entrepreneurs: Creating “Buzz” For Your Brands by Amy Lignor   This is 2016. This is an election year. “Shark Tank” is a top show on television. And more than ever people want to be entrepreneurs; be in business for themselves and make some money. But even after all this time in the computer-age, entrepreneurs are finding it difficult to see the ‘niches’ they can get into to build their brand so that all consumers know who they are and why their … [Read More its Good for You...]

Travel

The Ultimate Traveler’s Bucket List

  The Ultimate Traveler’s Bucket List by Amy Lignor   For many people, the organization UNESCO is one they rely on to see the most majestic and amazing sites ever to be located in recorded history. Well, this organization that is an official “protector” of ancient realms has now presented its newest list of World Heritage Sites that should positively gain spots on all Journeymen’s (or women’s) ultimate bucket lists!   These global locations fall into … [Read More its Good for You...]

Google+