If you had told me back in 2002 that The Fast and the Furious would go on to become not just the biggest earner for Universal Pictures, but also one of the most fun action-heist franchises around, I would have told you to stop huffing those burnt rubber fumes, because clearly they’re making you high. But that’s exactly where we find ourselves today, and a lot of that was due to due director Justin Lin who has been shepherding the series since Fast & Furious: Tokyo Drift.
But with Lin dropping out due to the franchise’s rushed production schedule becoming too much, the 7th film (and ironically the film that finally ties up the story started in Tokyo Drift) in the series has been handed over to James Wan (The Conjuring, Saw). With Wan only really being known for producing the type of screeching that comes from ghosts rather than tires (hell, his Twitter handle is @CreepyPuppet), the question was whether he could keep up the insane levels of fun that has turned the series into the global success it is.
And according to the reactions coming out of the SXSW Film Fest, where the film had a “secret” midnight screening over the weekend, the answer is a resounding HELL YEAH! [cue explosions]
While there are no full reviews out yet, Slashfilm has done a roundup of reactions found on social media. This includes established film press as well as just regular folks lucky enough to attend, and nearly all of them loved it. What’s really impressive is not just that Wan has nailed those ridiculously over-the-top action scenes that has become the franchise’s trademark, but many are commenting very positively on the emotion on display too, especially surrounding the send-off given to the late Paul Walker, whose brothers Cody and Caleb stood in for Paul (with some CGI help) to complete the scenes he couldn’t before his untimely death in December 2013.
World premiere of @creepypuppet‘s FURIOUS 7 played huge. No way you pay money to see this movie and walk out dissapointed.
— Steven Weintraub (@colliderfrosty) March 16, 2015
Well, I cried. #Furious7
— jen yamato (@jenyamato) March 16, 2015
FURIOUS 7 is so, so good at ensemble action. So many moving pieces all deftly managed. Sells the insane with ease, the emotion with grace. — Peter S. Hall (@PeterSHall) March 16, 2015
Furious 7 is the biggest, most over-the-top film in the franchise. The set pieces are insane. It’s also rightfully very emotional. — Talk Film Society (@TalkFilmSoc) March 16, 2015
Of course though, everybody has different tastes so not everybody will love this movie. But even with “negative” comments, there wasn’t outright hatred either. Just more of a case of “if this series has never appealed to you, this probably won’t change that”.
I’ve finally seen a “Fast & Furious” movie. and it was at SXSW. it’s whatever, I had it coming. — Katie Hasty (@TheKatieHasty) March 16, 2015
FURIOUS 7 never feel like a complete movie, lacking the ensemble-driven focus of the last two. It’s silly. It’s fine. It’s a little tedious. — Jacob Hall (@JacobSHall) March 16, 2015
I’ve seen a lot of dumb movies, and FURIOUS 7 is among the dumbest. That might be a compliment. I can’t even tell anymore. — Russ Fischer (@russfischer) March 16, 2015
I cannot freaking wait! Furious 7 opens locally on regular screens and IMAX on Thursday April 2, 2015.
Continuing the global exploits in the unstoppable franchise built on speed, Vin Diesel, Paul Walker and Dwayne Johnson lead the returning cast of Furious 7. James Wan directs this chapter of the hugely successful series that also welcomes back favorites Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster, Tyrese Gibson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Elsa Pataky and Lucas Black. They are joined by international action stars new to the franchise including Jason Statham, Djimon Hounsou, Tony Jaa, Ronda Rousey, Nathalie Emmanuel and Kurt Russell. Neal H. Moritz, Vin Diesel and Michael Fottrell return to produce the film written by Chris Morgan.
Last Updated: March 17, 2015