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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

Fast & Furious 7 (aka Furious 7) movie review: head-on vehicular hard-on

Fast and Furious 7 red light

Too long, too convoluted, too sentimental, and too ridiculous. Some will say those are its good points. Will they embrace the homoeroticism too?
I’m “biast” (pro): nothing

I’m “biast” (con): mostly not a fan of the series

(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)

We are through the looking glass here, people. We have reached peak Hollywood. There is nothing negative anyone can say about Furious 7 (aka Fast & Furious 7) that cannot be taken as a positive. There is the “review-proof movie” that will gather a massive audience no matter what we egghead critics think of it, and then there’s the movie that is actually hardened against reviews like it’s coated in Teflon: scoffing just slides right off it.

I could say that this is the kind of movie in which, when someone says to a child who has just tossed a toy, “Hey, buddy, cars don’t fly,” you may rest assured that cars will indeed fly, in more than one scene… and there are those who will think that clever. (The A-Team movie made a tank fly, and that was fun, and funny. Here it’s not only obnoxious overkill but doing a thing that has already been done, and better. A car crashing into a helicopter in midair? Also been done.)

I could say that Michael Bay would be jealous of how director James Wan — who has specialized in horror movies (Insidious: Chapter 2, The Conjuring) and has not made a movie on this colossal scale before — makes a virtue out of fetishizing cars and guns and grenades and even USB flash drives, for Hef’s sake, in the same way that he fetishizes the bikini-clad asses of anonymous women… and there are those who will think that this will add to their enjoyment of the film.

I could say that it’s completely ridiculous how a movie series that started out as a scrappy little film with a cheesy Roger Corman-esque energy has now somehow morphed into a tediously clichéd global superspy action pileup, like The Dukes of Hazzard meets James Bond… and those who applaud the intersection of American exceptionalism and American disregard for fuel economy will cheer.

I could say that the massive amount of collateral damage spread among multiple cities around the planet doesn’t even rise to the level of being ignored by the “heroes” because it’s ignored by the movie itself… and there are those who will cry “Woo-hoo!” All those times that Vin Diesel (Guardians of the Galaxy, Riddick) here mumbles something about “family,” as in “better not mess with it”? Should we presume that the loved ones of all the faceless innocent bystanders and cops-just-doing-their-jobs who are grievously injured or killed here feel the same way? May we presume that Furious 8 will be about one or more of them getting revenge on the great Dom Toretto (who will totally deserve it)?*

I could say that Furious 7 is about nothing so much as two men having sex with their cars, and by this I do not mean two men have sex separately with their own automobiles, though there’s definitely an undercurrent of that, too. I mean that two men — Diesel as the “hero” and Jason Statham (Wild Card, The Expendables 3) as the “villain,” though they’re barely distinguishable in action or motive — use their automobiles to have violent sex with each other, by crashing into each other head-on in penis-substitute vehicles not once in this movie but twice, they liked it so much the first time. And, well, some will cry, “Vin and Stath ain’t no fags!” But c’mon! You cannot explain away the homoeroticism of the scene in which Vin grumbles that a sportscar is a “beast” that he is about to “unleash” and which he then smashes into not one but two other non-car penis substitutes. You just can’t. There’s nothing wrong with two men loving each other very much, but let’s at least be honest about it.

Like Bay, Wan — and screenwriter Chris Morgan (47 Ronin, Fast & Furious 6) — is more concerned with cool than with common sense, even for action-movie values of common sense. The flick opens with the revelation of some massive infrastructure damage caused by Statham, as a former special-forces assassin turned brother-avenger. At first this seems inventive and funny but almost instantly it becomes mystifying. It’s supposed to be ensuring the well-being of his brother Luke Evans, who was the bad guy last time out, but it seems rather more likely to hinder that. Soon, government MIB Mr. Nobody (Kurt Russell: The Art of the Steal, Death Proof) is enlisting Dom Toretto (Diesel) and his street-racing gang to get back a piece of highly sensitive and even more highly classified surveillance technology from the terrorist (Djimon Hounsou: Seventh Son, How to Train Your Dragon 2) who has stolen it — because that would totally happen. The payment? Vin can then use that tech to track down Stath so they can have the aforementioned car sex– er, I mean, so that Vin can kill Stath in revenge for Stath’s revenge on them, which is being expressed in explosions. Through the looking glass, people: Why not trust a guy like Dom with technology so godlike it’s actually called God’s Eye? Why not have a fleet of brand-new way-cool muscle cars ready to go at a moment’s notice in a farflung place like, oh, Abu Dhabi in case Dom brings his brand of car-nage there and needs to refit his gang? Don’t all street racers have a U.S. Federal black budget to operate with? Of course they do.

(“Mr. Nobody,” by the way, is not as funny as Penguins of Madagascar’s “Agent Classified,” and it’s kinda pathetic that a cartoon about escaped zoo animals is wittier than this. And if Kurt Russell makes you think, as it did me, “Hey, is this turning into an Expendables movie?” and then you have to look it up to remember whether Russell has actually been in an Expendables movie — he hasn’t — then you are through the looking glass too.)

When I say that Furious 7 is absurdly convoluted, there are those who will reply, But that’s part of the fun! When I say that Furious 7 is too long — two hours and 20 minutes is just plain uncalled for — there are those who will say, Can’t have too much Furious! The only truly emotional moment in this aggressively sentimental movie — see above for all the menacing mumbling about family — is the tribute to the recently deceased Paul Walker (Brick Mansions, Vehicle 19) at the end, which brought an actual tear to my eye… and when I say that the movie ruined that, too, by dragging it out too long, there are those who will call me heartless.

Fine. But I’m not the one who made sure that vehicular warfare would be brought to downtown Los Angeles when it could have taken place in the middle of the desert with no uninvolved parties around. That would be “our heroes.”


*Following on from the nomenclature of this film, we can guess that the next film, ‘Fast and Furious in Space!’ (because there’s nowhere else to go), will be entitled ‘F8’ (aka ‘Fate’). And then the ninth will be just ‘Nth,’ and after that will come ‘X,’ then the title for ‘11’ will be simply two short grunts from Vin Diesel.


See also my #WhereAreTheWomen rating of Furious 7 for its representation of girls and women.


red light 1 star

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Fast & Furious 7 (aka Furious 7) (2015)
US/Can release: Apr 03 2015
UK/Ire release: Apr 03 2015

MPAA: rated PG-13 for prolonged frenetic sequences of violence, action and mayhem, suggestive content and brief strong language
BBFC: rated 12A (moderate violence, moderate bad language)

viewed in 2D IMAX
viewed at a private screening with an audience of critics

official site | IMDb
more reviews: Movie Review Query Engine | Rotten Tomatoes

If you’re tempted to post a comment that resembles anything on the film review comment bingo card, you might want to reconsider.

  • MaryAnn, the homoeroticism is the most important part.

  • I think many fans would deny that.

  • RogerBW

    Love it. Which is more than I expect ever to say for the film.

    The worrying thing is that I can see exactly how the In Space instalment could happen. A small dose of Armageddon, and “we kept the controls like the ones you know” quickly turns into “bootlegger reverse in space”.

    I think it was #3 in this series that introduced me to Advanced Scriptwriting Class. If you can complete this phrase: “If you’re gonna live in my house, ___________” then you too can be a Hollywood screenwriter and make big money!

  • Donnie

    Old people like u need to take a chill pill and let dumb movies like Fast and Furious be. Sure it’s insane, but who gives a crap? Go back to watching daytime soap operas or documentaries you old turd

  • RogerBW

    Well, there’s an early N5/G5.

  • LaSargenta

    Not this fan! That’s what I watch it for!

    :-))

  • Jeremy

    Since when people expected logic in F&F. If the scale is heightened up to Bay’s mindless action then I’m paying for it!!!

  • Whyamihere

    Jesus, you just admitted it’s a dumb movie. You can acknowledge that but others can’t? It’s a review, not a synopsis.

  • Jurgan

    ” And, well, some will cry, “Vin and Stath ain’t no fags!””

    At which point you inform them that Vin Diesel is, in fact, gay, and watch their brains explode.

  • Neo Racer

    Theres always one who goes against the grain and looks like yup, yourrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr it! Have fun egghead lol

  • you’re not exactly representing people who like the franchise well right now…

  • Rick Fort

    Your review of this movie weirdly mirrors the movie itself. It’s overly long, convoluted and contains many homoerotic references.

  • Nyx Nax

    My god, sometimes we need to remember its just a movie and that some are best meant to sit back, enjoy, and not pick it apart to a million pieces. I mean you wrote a paragraph on comparing Vin Diesels love of family, as cliche as it is, to possible bystanders being killed in their wake of destruction. And that closing paragraph –
    “Fine. But I’m not the one who made sure that vehicular warfare would be brought to downtown Los Angeles when it could have taken place in the middle of the desert with no uninvolved parties around. That would be “our heroes.””

    I mean you have got to be kidding me…Critiquing logic and common sense in a movie like this?? You don’t have to like the movie at all, I don’t even know if I will, but maybe taking movies less serous and less literal, you might find more joy? I really don’t want to be rude, but reading this review.. snobby prig is what comes to mind..

  • This one features multiple instances of “They say…” followed by something that’s meant to be deep and wise advice for life, and is just banal and all but meaningless.

  • You’re so cute. I would delete your comment, but it’s too amusing.

  • I’m squinting, but I can’t tell if this is satire or meant seriously…

  • I don’t think you get how criticism works. Why do you read reviews?

  • As I’ve said many times before, there’s no such thing as just a movie. And if you truly believe that, why are you wasting your time reading reviews? Are you simply looking to have your own opinion reinforced?

    snobby prig is what comes to mind..

    What a small world you must live in.

  • LaSargenta

    Bi.

  • Milton

    I believe it was actually the 1991 low-budget effort “Stone Cold” with ex-NFL star Brian Bosworth which actually pioneered the car-into-a-helicopter stunts.

    I liked the first Fast and Furious film, but too find the growing critical appreciation over the last few films somewhat baffling. The stunts have improved, but everything else has gotten worse; that might have sufficed in 90 minute movies, but these things keep getting longer.

  • RogerBW

    Rambo III (1988) has tank-into-a-helicopter (spoilers!); does that count?

  • RogerBW

    O5, N5, probably G5 and I5 as well. Shame we’re not getting a B5 for this one.

  • smek2

    What’s wrong with homoeroticism?

  • *I* don’t think there’s anything wrong with it. Some people do seem to have a problem with it, however.

  • a

    Your should add it go gendered abuse.

  • Ranger565 .

    Maryann, thank you for your honest feel on the review. I have a question?
    I know it’s your job to review movies and tell the world how you feel. How come you picked to review this movie if you are not a fan of the series or genra? You must be aware of the backlash you are going to endure. And with this movie it could turn ugly on a reviewer very quickly. Rottontomatoes tomatoes has had to change its forums and policy due to situations like this. You know this movie will be successful no matter what you print.

    Thank you and hope to hear a reply.

  • Bluejay

    use their automobiles to have violent sex with each other, by crashing into each other head-on in penis-substitute vehicles

    Large hard-on colliders!

  • Constable

    I’m squinting, but I can’t tell if this is a complement or meant to give offense…

  • Jurgan

    Because she’s a professional film critic and reviewing major releases is part of her job?

  • Ranger565 .

    Movies are for entertainment, so yes in the eyes of the beholder, no matter what you feel, movies can be just movies. People go to escape. The go to remove themselves from problems and issues of the world. When critics put down a movie, you are in away putting down what people love to have as an escape from the world or someone’s enjoyment. You will only end up angering people who have a love for something. Am sure someone could upset you very easily on something you use to escape or enjoy, by putting it down. And it does not have to be a movie.

  • MaryAnn reviews pretty much every new release. She doesn’t simply pick movies that look appealing. The problem with most web based film criticism is that the reviewers only review movies from genres that interest them. As such there’s far too much applause for mediocrity online.

  • Ranger565 .

    All it’s going to do is cause backlash, and it looks it may already have started. Remember when that critic recieved death threats? People become so involved with critic reviews that Rotton tomatoes had to change policy. That fim critic had to have police protection and for her family for 6 months. I feel in these times of bulling and threats maybe major film reviews should not be reviewed. These movies never get Oscar nods anyway and make Hollywood more money then 70% of thoes nods, with a few exceptions. People are going to see this movie if she likes it or not. Yes it’s her job, I understand that.

  • Jurgan

    You are literally advocating surrender to terrorists. You really want people who send death threats deciding which movies it’s okay to review?

  • Bluejay

    You said it yourself: it’s her job to review movies and tell the world how SHE feels. Why should she care how OTHERS feel about it, or whether they agree or disagree? Why does it matter how successful a movie is? Her job is to state HER opinion on the movie. Period.

    If a critic gets backlash from fans who have the opposite opinion, the solution is not for the critic to silence herself. The solution is for those fans to learn that they can express their disagreement POLITELY, without hostility or personal attacks. If they can’t do that, then the problem is THEM, not the critic.

  • Ranger565 .

    No, I just think it’s poinless to review movies like the avengers, Star Wars, it’s just going to make people angry when you put it down,

    Birdman won best picture, I think? Don’t watch the oscars much due to work schedule, And people did not go crazy with backlash if someone did not like it. So why take the absurd abuse and then have to be sarcastic in your responses if someone did not like your review.

  • Danielm80

    You seem to mean well, but you’re in danger of transforming from a concern troll into a mob enforcer: “I would hate it if something happened to you and your little film site.”

  • Bluejay

    I just think it’s poinless to review movies like the avengers, Star Wars, it’s just going to make people angry when you put it down,

    Which people? All people? There are people who didn’t like The Avengers or some of the Star Wars films. Maybe they would be happy to see that their opinion is shared by some critics.

    It’s not a critic’s job to please everyone, or to make sure no one gets angry. People just have to learn that not everyone thinks the same way, and that’s okay.

  • Ranger565 .

    Just to make clear I have not attacked her. Just asked a question, it even states that she is bias against this film. So I just wanted to know why she would review it. Simple question not once have I been a troll.

  • Bluejay

    I don’t think you’ve been a troll. Your comments have been very civil so far. But you were talking about a backlash from fans, and so I was talking about that in general.

  • Ranger565 .

    Bluray your showing aggression for a simple question that I asked her.

  • Bluejay

    How am I showing aggression?

  • Ranger565 .

    You are fighting her battles for her. She has not even replied yet. And I have not put her down.

  • Bluejay

    *shrug* It’s an open forum, not a private conversation. I’m just putting in my 2 cents. If you’re not interested in my comments, you don’t have to respond. :-)

  • Ranger565 .

    I was referring to Danielm80″, sorry if I got that reply wrong

  • Ranger565 .

    I respect them. I just wanted to hear from her. You are correct, you should have the right to your say. Thank you for bringing that to my attention.

  • Danielm80

    People don’t turn off their brains when they watch a movie. Look at the way public support for gay marriage, and gay rights in general, has gone up as the representation of LGBT people in the media has improved.

    That’s a positive example, but there are way, way too many negative examples, and a lot of them have to do with the way women are depicted. Some of them seem really innocuous. A lot of sitcoms have an episode where a man feels threatened because his wife or girlfriend makes more money than he does. It’s easy to say, “It’s just a dumb sitcom!” but women are still paid less than men in many fields. When 70% of movies have male leads, it’s not a big shock that women are underrepresented in the workplace, too.

    We can argue about how much movies affect the world and how much they’re a reflection of reality, but we can’t even begin to have a discussion if we turn off our brains.

  • Danielm80

    It’s true. You’ve found a very polite way of saying, “Shut up and don’t say anything that could possibly offend anyone.” I have no doubt that your intentions are benevolent, maybe even kindhearted. I just really hate the message.

  • Bluejay

    If you have the time and the patience, I highly recommend reading this long comment, from regular commenter amanohyo. I think he perfectly describes the mindset of fans who get angry when other people don’t love what they love.

    A grown-up can (1) love something, and (2) accept that the thing they love may have problems and not be perfect, and (3) not get angry when other people point out those problems. I think more fans should try to be grown-ups.

  • Beowulf

    I “is bias” against people like you. Aren’t you afraid that by showing us your opinion people might want to track you down? That you might need police protection? Just sayin’.

  • Ranger565 .

    I just go to enjoy and escape. A movie is a movie to me. If I don’t tent to like something I don’t comment on it very often. I let other people duke it out! Only time I have had an issue with a movie is the new FF movie comeing out. But I do turn off my brain in movies like this.

  • Ranger565 .

    I stated a true fact that is backed up by how people acted with batman. I, at no time said this was going to happen to her. But you have people whom could come on here and bash her for an review of this movie. This is not a movie people should put down and not expect backlash. You know the audience who see this film. Look at the demographic.

  • Bluejay

    Just to let you know: MaryAnn gets backlash for her reviews all the time. When you warn that she’s gonna get backlash for this review, it’s not something surprising or unexpected. She’s used to it. She can handle it. Time to move on to another topic.

    So, do you want to talk about the movie? What did you think of it? Do you agree or disagree with her review?

  • LaSargenta
  • LaSargenta

    *groan*

  • Nah, guys can be called “old turd,” too.

  • I like escape, too. I didn’t see it here.

  • So why are you reading reviews?

  • From your comments responding to others below, you seem to think that you’re asking questions here that I have not answered a thousand times before. Why do I review movies? Are you serious? You come to the site of a professional critic, and you ask why do I do my job?

    And then you have the temerity to imply that I should not review certain movies unless I can say things about them that will placate fans? Do you have any idea how intellectually offensive and indefensible that is?

    You don’t have to tell me about ugly backlashes. I deal with them all the time. I’ve been reviewing movies on the Web since 1997. I’ve been a Tomatometer critic since around 1999.

    I don’t care one tiny bit if some people don’t like what I have to say about a movie.

  • I would have used that, except another critic beat me to it!

  • Mike

    Reading your responses to these comments, makes me wonder why you are featured on Rotten Tomatoes. You have wacky homo erotic theories that very few others recognize, and you childishly respond to any negative comment with a pseudo-intellectual, faux moral high ground, thinly veiled insult. Don’t you have better things to do with your time, or is this part of your job description as critic? See, that’s what you sound like.

  • Bluejay

    You have wacky homo erotic theories that very few others recognize

    Very few others like the Telegraph and the New York Times…

  • Ranger565 .

    Good luck to you. Still did not answer my question. Sorry you got offended.

  • Ranger565 .

    Why are you responding as if you are offended? When you say you are not.

  • You think critics should all think alike? That’s an interesting theory. Can you explain how that would be enforced?

  • In what way did I not answer your question?

  • I’m thisclose to suspecting you of trolling.

  • Mike

    Can’t tell if this bigoted bitch is being serious or not?

  • Mike

    Did you just latch onto 1 small point I said, respond to that, and ignore the rest? I did not imply that I expect all rottentomatoes reviews to be the same. That’s all you hun. I said that I think you have wacky homoerotic theories, that not many others share. Another, quite vigilant, commenter, informed me that 2 other publications share your theory. I wouldn’t say that ruins my point. Calling a car a penis substitute, and that crashing into another guy is unresolved homosexual frustration, is ridiculous. It’s like me saying that a woman sitting down in her room to sew, is a lesbian fantasy because she delicately and gently pushes thread through the eye of a needle. Sometimes she even licks the string to get it stiff enough to make it through. See, anyone can make up bullshit to support their gender based paranoia. You come off as a feminist who adamantly does not like male culture and probably males in general. It sounds to me like you included the homoerotic parts of the review so that you could attempt to offend a certain, vocal and hotheaded, group of men into proving your point. Youre also a hypocrite of the highest order. I come here telling you my opinion, which is exactly what the comment section is for, and you comment insinuating my opinion is wrong, or that I don’t know what I’m talking about. Sounds familiar to every one of your comments against those who do not agree with you. You’ve responded to people on here with “why do you read reviews, if you don’t like differing opinions.” By your childish commenting, I would have expected you to be relatively new to being online, not someone “who has reviewed on the web since 1999.”

  • Bluejay

    It’s like me saying that a woman sitting down in her room to sew, is a lesbian fantasy because she delicately and gently pushes thread through the eye of a needle. Sometimes she even licks the string to get it to make it through.

    Damn, that’s hot. You describe that so vividly and lovingly. More, please.

    I come here telling you my opinion, which is exactly what the comment section is for, and you comment insinuating my opinion is wrong, or that I don’t know what I’m talking about.

    So, basically, you wanna dish it out, but you don’t wanna take it. Poor baby. Here’s how it works, kid: You say what you think, and then she gets to say what she thinks back. And so does everyone else.

  • Mike

    Hey thanks for the compliment on the hotness of my description! I liked it but not that much. I was comparing what she had been commenting to people, to what she did to me. She commented on other people’s comments asking why they were reading reviews that did not agree with their opinion. I was basically comparing those comments with her own response to me, which was saying the same thing that those commenters were saying about her review, but about my comment. That’s hypocritical. I’m sorry if my wording is confusing. I’m doing my best to describe what I’m thinking. You are quite the defender here! Mary Ann is lucky to have a fan as devoted as you.

  • Bluejay

    She commented on other people’s comments asking why they were reading reviews that did not agree with their opinion.

    That’s not what she did. You need to work on context comprehension.

    You are quite the defender here!

    Thank you. MaryAnn is more than capable of defending herself. But there are many commenters here who aren’t shy about speaking up and pushing back against hostile stupidity, so get used to it.

  • Are 2 men that are engaged in a sword fight to the death, also attempting to slam their penis substitute deep into the other?

    Maybe! It would depend on the subtext.

    It’s like me saying that a woman sitting down in her room to sew, is a lesbian fantasy because she delicately and gently pushes thread through the eye of a needle.

    Again, depending on the subtext, it *could* be a lesbian fantasy.

    I come here telling you my opinion, which is exactly what the comment section is for

    No, it’s not. It’s for an intelligent conversation about the movie and my review.

  • She commented on other people’s comments asking why they were reading reviews that did not agree with their opinion.

    No, I wonder why people read reviews when they post comments suggesting that some movies are above criticism, that some movies demand we turn our brains off, or that criticism should not delve deeply into a film.

  • Mike

    At what point does a person’s opinion comment about your review become intelligent conversation about the film and your review? I would say that’s a matter of personal preference. I would also say I’ve followed the criteria since the entirety of my comments have been about your review and the movie.

  • It is most certainly NOT “personal preference”! If you cannot see the difference, try lurking here and reading the comments sections before you post again.

  • Mike

    Who’s preference is it then?

  • You need a boss to keep you in line? Fine. It’s me. My site. My preference.

    Or you could just follow the lead of the many other commenters here who manage to behave like adults.

  • Mike

    I don’t need a boss, thanks. I merely wanted you to say that it was you who decides what is and what is not intelligent.

  • Bluejay

    At what point does a person’s opinion comment about your review become intelligent conversation about the film and your review?

    At the point where it’s actually ABOUT THE FILM instead of personal attacks.

    As MaryAnn said: read around. Here, I’ll help you out: here’s her positive review of Godzilla which I myself strongly disagreed with. Know why she’s not attacking me there? Because I’m not attacking HER.

  • Bluejay

    I’ll bid you farewell. Tomorrow I assume there will be another idiot like myself to put in their place.

    You’re damn right there will be. What a refreshing display of self-knowledge.

    Bye.

  • LaSargenta

    Lots of people disagree with her reviews. Here’s the Thor thread: http://www.flickfilosopher.com/2011/04/thor-review.html She loved the movie. I thought it was a con and abysmally dull. Others on that comment thread ALSO didn’t like it and told her that. somehow, they did it by talking about the movie, not by accusing her of being incompetent or of having some obsession with one particular theme within, etc.

    And, as far as following the criteria, I’d say the psychological speculation you indulged in this comment http://www.flickfilosopher.com/2015/03/fast-furious-7-aka-furious-7-movie-review-head-on-vehicular-hard-on.html#comment-1939155056 would definitely be outside of “about your review and the movie”.

    How hard is it to communicate your opinion about the movie and stay courteous? What’s the big deal?

  • Danielm80
  • Dr. Rocketscience

    You’ve never heard of “comment section moderation”? Rule 11, bro.

  • Mike

    I was never talking to you and could care less what you have to say. You responded to almost every post I made. Insufferable twat.

    Bye.

  • yup

    Well… gues what??…

    Your review is invalid…

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  • Franks N Beans

    How can the same critics blast Will Ferrell and say it is the same old shtick then praise this for being fresh and original at movie #7. LMFAO Rotten Tomatoes is a joke

  • RT has issues, but it’s only reflecting what critics are saying. Blame the groupthink of criticism if you want something to blame. We see what happens to critics who veer from the consensus on a popular film. (I’m far from the only one who has taken abuse in that regard.)

  • alienesque

    Not this fan either. Perhaps you’re making assumptions on what kind of fans enjoy the Furious 7 franchise? Mm?

  • alienesque

    I loved the film and believe it to be one of the better in the franchise so far. If the conditions of a good film is to be entertained then Furious 7 has succeeded by all accounts. I’m not looking to be intellectually stimulated or enlightened in anyway when I head into a film where the main weapon of choice is car. If anything a series like Fast and Furious should be commended for not only defying the laws of physics and making you not care but defying the racial and class inequalities of our time, where the majority of the cast are people of color and their methodology and skill-set are never questioned or made to be inferior. What’s more is that this is a franchise made reborn specifically by LISTENING TO ITS FANS. Since the 4th film, these films have only ever been made FOR THE FANS and it shows, for better and for worse. Ultimately, anyone expecting more than what the fans have accepted from a series of films that revolve around a “found family” mentality of individuals in a highly stylistic lifestyle narrative are not only going to be sorrowfully disappointed but are demanding an elitist view of what makes for a “good movie” they haven’t a right to, because no one forced them to buy that ticket.

  • If the conditions of a good film is to be entertained then Furious 7 has succeeded by all accounts.

    It did not succeed for me. I was not entertained.

  • Nina

    Okay, I doubt anyone will read this, seeing as how this review’s been up for a while, but anyway.

    To all of you chauvinist douchecanoe man-children who are attacking MaryAnn for her review of the film, do you not understand that MaryAnn’s beef with the film is not that it’s a “guy flick”, but that it’s a guy flick which develops the male characters largely at the expense of the female characters, and that much of the female presence in the film is relegated to shots of their body parts, namely their boobs and rear ends? Why is that necessary? Why can’t it be a fun guy flick with a strong female presence, too?

    This may come as news to you Cro-Magnon urinal cakes, but lots of women like action flicks. Lots of us like to imagine ourselves as tough as nails action heroines with agency and fast cars, and not as the hood ornaments. And that’s NOT to say that we hate men. We just want to be part of the fun, too. Why is this so difficult for you morons to understand? And the fact that you’re so threatened by a movie review from someone on the Internet speaks volumes about how secure you all are in your masculinity.

  • Matt Clayton

    Your review cracked me up, MaryAnn. The ongoing success of this franchise puzzles me (and it does nothing for me action-wise), but your analogy of Vin and Jason having guy-on-guy sex with their cars is spot on. (Would Statham and The Rock’s earlier tussle qualify as foreplay?) And Brian’s final scene was very poignant, one of the few saving graces of the film.

    I would’ve thought James Wan would’ve had the sense to emphasize more strong female characters (especially since Vera Farmiga was so good in The Conjuring), but I guess that was a fluke. This movie was such a step back for Wan in many ways.

  • Robbie

    I have to tune out after comparing the head-on collision to gay sex. That scene wasn’t about homoeroticism, it was a car-movie version of two gunslingers at High Noon and was more about setting up dualism (two avatars of their cause standing off) and similarity (they have exactly the same style of conflict resolution, which means Vin Diesel has met his true opponent). This reminded me more of Picard driving the Enterprise into the Romulan predator ship in Nemesis. This wasn’t about sexual references people, it’s a structural element of the classic Hero’s Journey.

    I’m sure many reviewers will love to fantasize about Diesel and Statham having sex, but this really was just a car-themed adventure that made pretty effective use of mythological structural elements.

  • The the opening weekend audience in North America was evenly split between men and women. So, yeah, women like action movies.

  • Brian’s final scene was very poignant

    It was… if it had ended on the beach. But they had to flog it to death.

  • Subtext. It’s a thing.

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  • SaltHarvest

    Reported to Disqus in the hopes they kill it with fire.

  • LaSargenta

    Ice will suffice.

  • Beal Janssen

    MaryAnn Johanson is always right. It’s not a thing.

  • Beal Janssen

    Nice name calling, Nina.

    Anyway, why does a movie have to develop male and female characters equally to avoid criticism?

  • You’re saying that subtext doesn’t exist?

  • It doesn’t. But it’s not a coincidence — and it *is* a problem — that the vast majority of movies treat men and people and women as less than.

  • Nina

    Not every character needs to be developed equally. We’re not pie charting this. If the main focus of the movie is a friendship between two male characters, of course they’re going to receive the most development. The criticism stems from the fact that – and I don’t think you’re gettin’ it – the female. Presence. In. The. Film. Is. Mostly. Relegated. To. Fanservicey. Shots. Of. Boobies. And. Butts. See? You have fleshed out male characters, and then you have female body parts. If the women in the movie don’t add anything to the story and are there merely to titillate the viewer, then just don’t include any women.

  • Thomas Watson

    The tribute to Paul walker at the end was amazing, and the best part of the movie by a mile. Lets hope for better things in Furious 8.

  • bob

    Tina, why are you bringing gender roles into a movie such as fast 7. I think we know who the target audience is.

  • bob

    The subtext is the Hero’s Journey. I love how in everyone of your reviews you like to put down men. That scene was not a metaphor for gay sex and even if it was, what is wrong with that? Do you hate homosexuals?

  • bob

    If the franchise did nothing for you at all, why have you watched seven movies from the same franchise. This is MaryAnn’s reader base right here, super dense.

  • I presume you are trying to say that because women don’t see these movies, it’s okay for the women onscreen to be treated like sex toys.

    Except the audience for *Furious 7* has been evenly split between men and women.

    Try harder.

  • David C-D

    This was a very interesting article. I agree that I tend to pay closer attention to arguments that I disagree with than to ones that I agree with, but not necessarily because I am looking for ways to dispose of them. Often, I am looking for new information or perspectives to incorporate into my thinking. This, for me, correlates with a skeptical mindset (I am doubtful that anyone has a very good understanding of the truth of things). I wonder if such a perspective can be taught?
    I would be interested to see an exploration of how this “backfire effect” relates to the phenomenon that you mentioned below in which, for example, exposure to positive portrayals of (for example) women or gays seems to correlate with greater acceptance. Do stories have a power to influence thinking where arguments and evidence fail?

  • Someone132

    Kind of agree with a lot of points, but it was still ridiculous enough on the whole to barely pass for me. I would say Fast Five was actually significantly worse in regards to brushing off massive collateral damage (I counted at least 50 people getting killed in total) and a worse film on the whole. Still a dissapointment compared to far superior sixth one.

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