“Furious 7” is everything that you expected from a movie that had to make “Plan 9 from Outer Space” style changes to accommodate the death of its lead. Jason Statham shows up as Statham by another name and he wrecks up the place. Han dies, Paul Walker’s house blows up and The Rock gets hurt. Vin Diesel gets all Groot and accepts an offer from a government spook played by Kurt Russell. If Vin Diesel Groot recovers the surveillance God’s Eye device for the government, he can use it first to take down Jason Statham. Vin Groot will eventually have to give it back, but not before some sweet car porn.

There’s only one part of this film that didn’t work for me outside of the ending. Iggy Azalea shows up for a cameo at an early drag race that just makes me cringe. I don’t hate Azalea like some people, but there’s an art to the cameo. This cameo is on par with Mark Hamill showing up in “Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back”, but not played for laughs. But, I’m getting distracted. This film will fall apart for the critical thinkers when they start examining the God’s Eye device.

If the opening of the film makes it clear that Jason Statham is coming for the team, then why use a device to hunt him down? He’s a stranger in a strange land. Walk his ass into a trap and then destroy the dude. That’s not to mention how poorly used Tony Jaa was in this film. America goes through all of the trouble to get him out of Thai cinema and he functions as a second rate Richard Kiel in this one. If that wasn’t the worst, Dwayne Johnson misses a solid hour of the movie.

But, that ending. The action leading to the ending was pretty amazing, but the forced sincerity and artful touches created something fake. The CG stunt doubles for Walker weren’t terrible, but this movie is plagued by forced edits that destroy the kind of tempo that 5 and 6 were allowed to build. Also, Paul Walker’s death being given more weight makes all of the tragedy and torture that the other team members suffered feel slight in comparison. While that might not have been intentional, I have to applaud Wan and company for doing the best with what fate dealt them. Now, let’s pressure Universal into making “Crank X Furious 8”.

The Blu-Ray comes with an extended edition of the film. You get deleted scenes, featurettes and a music video as the special features. The A/V Quality impresses with a stunning 1080p transfer. However, the DTS-HD 7.1 master audio track is among the best audio tracks of the year. In the end, I’d recommend a purchase.

Release Date: 9/15/15

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