The latest Furious movie features Jason Statham thoroughly enjoying his role as villain Deckard Shaw enacting revenge on the crew for their escapades in the last movie...but there really is no point to going into the story as the movie itself cares so little about plausible plot. In fact, Furious Seven falters and drags when it tries too hard to build a backdrop for the movie. It really packs a punch and proves its relevancy in its over-the-top, jaw-dropping stunts. Half of the movie feels like they observed a sample group of five-year olds and how they interacted with a cluster of Hotwheels cars. That doesn't take away from the magnitude of them and since I went into the movie cold without having seen any of the trailers, they had much more impact.
The dialogue gives as many groans as chuckles, but this is the kind of movie that's far more enjoyable with a group of people that will cheer equally at how awful the movie is and how impressive the stunts are. I promise that if you can stand to hear Vin Diesel say lines like "I don't have friends; I have family", there are enough car drifts in there to make up for it. Director James Wan is a newcomer to the Furious franchise and to action movies in general, which might be seen as a fault, but he offers some interesting shots and sequences that made me go "Oh", especially some camera turns and angles in the fight scenes.
The question of course is how much Paul Walker's death affected the production of the movie, since he passed away in the midst of its filming. The movie isn't great at taking your mind off of it with its narrative drive, but it does provide what I believe is a respectful and sentimental tribute to their friend and family member.
I would have liked more involvement from Jordana Brewster, but the story provided a plausible excuse for her absence from most of the movie. We at least have the return of Michelle Rodriguez, who will always be my favorite stand-in for tough female action hero. This seems to be the fodder for most of the movie -- actors and storylines providing exactly what they're known to do, and that's completely okay. There's a reason after all that they do so much of what they do.