Furious 7

by Jake Mulligan

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Wednesday September 16, 2015

Furious 7

One of the extra features included on the "Furious 7" Blu-ray, entitled "Inside the Fights," separates the action scenes in the film as though they were billed on a pro wrestling card: "Hobbs vs. Shaw," "Dom vs. Shaw," and "Girl Fight." Those monikers are telling. There's no movie franchise in existence that's ever felt more like the WWE -- and it's not just because The Rock walks around the frame flexing his biceps and dropping his catchphrases.

Jason Statham arrives in the "Furious" universe as Deckard Shaw, demanding a fight with the heroes of the series --Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel), Brian O'Connor (Paul Walker, making his final appearance in the series), Letty (Michelle Rodriguez), Tej (Ludacris), Roman (Tyrese Gibson), and Hobbs (Rock) -- so that he may reclaim his stable's honor. (The villain of the last film was his character's brother.) New fighters Ronda Rousey and Tony Jaa are brought in to fight singles matches with the mid-level members of Dom's gang. And the movie ends with a promise for a big tag team showdown -- the brothers Shaw against Diesel and the Rock -- in next year's installment. The movie isn't written -- it's booked.

The Blu-ray release features an extended edition of the film (though it's only two minutes longer than the theatrical release, adding a few stray lines and a few extra moments of violence), as well as a large selection of featurettes (aside from the aforementioned "Inside the Fights"). "Talking Fast," by far the longest, sits with director James Wan for a half-hour while he speaks on the practicalities of shooting the film's number of over-the-top-rope stunts. And in "Back to the Starting Line," the whole cast jumps in, commenting on the curious position that the series finds itself in-how it needs to reboot itself after the tragic passing of Paul Walker, but without invalidating the films that he featured in.

The rest of the extras are more specific, profiling individual sequences and shots from the movie: "Flying Cars" discusses the making of the scene where cars fly; "Snatch and Grab" looks to the way one of the more daring set pieces ends; "Tower Jumps" considers the scene where -- you guessed it -- the cars jump between towers; "The Cars of Furious" details the specific makes featured in the picture; and "Race Wars" provides a quick background on the eponymous series standard, which makes its latest appearance in the opening of Part 7. Spare parts fill the rest of the disc: four brief deleted scenes, a music video for the summer jam/"Furious" theme song "See You Again," and a look at the making of a "Fast"-branded theme park ride.

The theme park ride is an unfortunately apt comparison point for this latest film in the "Fast" series. Dispatching the sincerity that director Justin Lin brought to prior entries, Wan is all about what's "cool" -- more slow-motion shots of supermodel asses, and of our characters walking toward the screen for no reason, and of people being murdered in exceptionally stylish ways. There's a deep emotional core to the movie, given its status as a tribute to Walker, but these instances of crass pleasure-mongering only serve to undercut it. It's like attending an afterparty for a funeral.

"Furious 7"

Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy Combo Pack