Directed by James Wan. Produced by Neal H. Moritz and Vin Diesel. Written by Chris Morgan. Release date: April 3, 2015.
Furious Seven did something that I never thought a Fast and Furious movie would do, as well as something that one hadn't before even come close to pulling off: it made me cry. Yes, for the first time in the franchise, genuine emotions are going to be felt by its viewers. Sure, it happens because the film's final scene acts as a touching tribute to the late Paul Walker, who died during production, but that doesn't make it any less stirring. Everything about Furious Seven's final scene is perfect, and even if you're not a fan of the series, it's almost worth seeing just for that - as a final send-off for an actor and his most famous character.
How's the movie before its conclusion? Well, it took seven movies, but the Fast and Furious team has finally made a genuinely great one. Yes, Furious Seven is a ton of fun from start to (almost) finish, and then concludes with one of the most touching scenes you may see in theaters all year. To call it a "masterpiece" would be to oversell it, but given that it contains at least the three best action scenes that this franchise has, it does stand heads-and-tails above any of the other Fast and Furious movies.
In case you're just jumping in, Furious Seven stars many of the same characters from earlier films - primarily the staples from the previous two films. Dominic "Dom" Toretto (Vin Diesel) is the leader of a crew of - you can't even call them "street racers" anymore, can you? - criminals who do bad things but look comparatively good because they're done to worse people. His best friend and driving mate is Brian (Paul Walker), who married Dom's sister, Mia (Jordana Brewster), with whom he has one child and another on the way. Roman (Tyrese Gibson) is another good driver who in this film serves as comedy relief, Tej (Chris "Ludacris" Bridges) is a tech expert, and Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) is Dom's amnesic girlfriend. They sometimes team up with Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson), a bounty hunter who was hired to catch them all in the fifth film, but grew to respect them.
If you stayed through the end of Furious 6, you know that a man named Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) is out for revenge after the team took out his younger brother, Owen (Luke Evans), in the last film. Deckard is a former military man who was trained so well that even 20 other military men couldn't take him out. Now he wants revenge on Dom and his crew. The co-villain is Jakande (Djimon Hounsou), who captures a hacker named Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel) in order to access a magical MacGuffin. Mr. Nobody (Kurt Russell) hires Dom and his crew to rescue Ramsey and retrieve the MacGuffin, promising that he'll help them find Deckard in exchange.