In a few days it will finally arrive: Furious 7, the latest and biggest installment of the Fast & Furious franchise. And while the death of series star Paul Walker does put a damper on some of the excitement, this is still a great time to celebrate one of Hollywood’s most reliable and inventive franchises. In 15 years, Fast & Furious has evolved from a simple B-movie about a couple of street racers to an international crime epic spanning multiple continents and dozens of characters.
Fast and Furious 7
When it’s all said and done, the summer of 2015 will be remembered for a few things. The way Jurassic World dominated the humanoid world; the ocean of tears that flooded theaters showing Inside Out; Straight Outta Compton topping superheroes and reboots at the August box office. What’s likely to get overlooked amidst those stories is the summer’s biggest theme, one that ran through many of the season’s biggest hits and flops: Terrible parents.
When viewers head to the theater to watch Jurassic World this weekend, they’ll find a movie that transports them, almost literally, back to the first Jurassic Park. Colin Trevorrow’s new film is a sequel to Steven Spielberg’s 1993 original — and only that film. In an interview with ScreenCrush, when Trevorrow was asked about whether his movie pretended The Lost World: Jurassic Park and Jurassic Park III never happened, Trevorrow explained, “Our film is just more of a direct sequel to the original Jurassic Park.” He made a similar comment to Yahoo! Movies; he told them the earlier sequels “aren’t being written out of continuity so much as placed to the side, as they both unfolded on a different island.”
For the third week in a row, Furious 7 took the top spot at the box office and made it look easy. Not even a trio of newcomers could slow down the latest entry in the crowd-pleasing action series, which has become the fastest film to reach $1 billion worldwide. On the domestic box office, it’s equally impressive. It’s a juggernaut. A cultural event. At the end of the day, Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 may make some money, but it’s making that money in the shadow of a genuine phenomenon.
Universal took the “Fast” out of the Fast & Furious title for Furious 7, which makes this news all the more ironic: Furious 7 didn’t just gross $1 billion worldwide, it’s the fastest (and, presumably, the angriest) movie to that milestone in history.
Furious 7 had one of the biggest box office openings of all time last weekend, earning a jaw-dropping $392 million worldwide. Somehow, Universal’s silly car-racing franchise has officially grown up and has the monetary clout to stand alongside the biggest movies of all time. So yeah, of course everyone wants a Fast and Furious 8, but fans hoping for a quick turnaround need to get comfortable. The next film is stuck at a red light and it’s going to be a little while before it turns green.
If you go see Furious 7, there’s a lot to enjoy. From cars parachuting out of airplanes to Vin Diesel and Jason Statham fighting to The Rock walking down a city street shooting a helicopter out of the sky with a giant gatling gun. But, there are some smaller moments you might want to keep your eye out for too. Namely, some fun Furious 7 easter eggs for fans of the franchise and The Rock.
Furious 7 almost certainly won’t be the last Fast & Furious movie. But at times it feels like a series finale. There are numerous callbacks and homages to the franchise’s entire 15-year history. The setpieces are bigger and crazier than ever; it’s hard to imagine anyone topping them. And before the chases really get rolling, the mood is often downright mournful. Two different scenes are set in graveyards, and characters talk about taking “one last ride” together.
We talked to Wan about what changed in Furious 7 after Paul Walker died, whether he'd return for Fast and Furious 8 and what he wants to do with The Conjuring 2.
In honor of Furious 7, we’re taking a look back at all the major Fast & Furious fights (one or two punches doesn't count) in chronological order to see how this series has transformed. Major SPOILERS for all films ahead.