The Fast and Furious series has become one of the miracles of modern blockbuster cinema. What started as a decent pulp thriller about youth street racing that made Vin Diesel into a star has become a globe-spanning genre-busting soap opera featuring the most multicultural cast you’ll find at cineplexes. After its splashy start, the series muddled along until The Rock joined the cast in Fast Five as some kind of an international police officer or something, and then it went absolutely nuts. And now Furious 7 is here and it’s the craziest, most nonsensical, most action-packed film in the series.
I mean that as a compliment.
You’ve probably read X-Men comics with less of a convoluted backstory than Furious 7: a vengeful killing machine named Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) targets Dominic Toretto (Diesel, who seems to learn his lines phonetically,) his amnesiac girlfriend Letty (Michelle Rodgriguez,) his street-racing compatriot Brian (Paul Walker, who died as the movie was being filmed,) and his whole crew (Ludacris, The Rock, Tyrese Gibson) for putting Shaw’s brother in a coma. Happily, you don’t have to watch any of the previous Fast and Furious movies to get what’s going on in Furious 7—hell, I’ve seen all the movies and I barely get what’s going on in Furious 7. It’s a global cat-and-mouse chase, stretching from LA to Tokyo to Azerbaijan to Abu Dhabi and back again. And it co-stars a very game Kurt Russell as a secret government agent named Mr. Nobody. What’s not to love?