‘Furious 7′ Review Roundup: SXSW Premiere

March 16, 2015

Furious 7′ had its world premiere at SXSW and the reviews are in. Marking the late Paul Walker’s final screen appearance, this latest installment in the ‘Fast and the Furious’ franchise has opened to largely favorable reviews from critics. Check out a roundup below.

‘Furious 7′ opens in theaters in April, but now critics and a fortunate audience have had a glimpse of the new movie in Austin, Texas as the famed at South By South West (SXSW) Film Festival. What would normally be intense fanfare and excitement is this time around tinged with sadness, as a member of the longtime franchise is no longer with us. The shocking death of Paul Walker in November 2014 in a fiery car crash looms over this world premiere.

Universal announced, months ago, that the existing scenes with Paul Walker — once again as LAPD undercover cop Brian O’Conner — would be included in the movie this marking his final screen appearance, and sadly a posthumous one. Although his scenes had not been completed for Furious 7, his look-alike brothers Cody and Caleb Walker served as stand ins for those scenes.

But nonetheless, Walker himself would no doubt want the show to go on, and indeed it does as quite a few of our familiar stars are reprising their roles including star and co-producer Vin Diesel, alongside Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster, Dwayne Johnson ( formerly “The Rock”), Tyrese Gibson, Chris Bridges (stage name “Ludacris”), and Elsa Pataky. They are joined by quite a few newcomers including Jason Straham, Kurt Russell, Djimon Hounsou, Ronda Rousey among several others.

So what did critics think of this new iteration of the ‘Fast and Furious’ franchise? Here’s a roundup.

“….Any moviegoer who didn’t know about the untimely death of Paul Walker would never guess it had occurred during production of Furious 7, a film that (whatever massive efforts were required to work around his absence) is as stupendously stupid and stupidly diverting as it could have hoped to be had everything gone as planned…..” — The Hollywood Reporter

“… Furious 7 almost certainly won’t be the last Fast & Furious movie. But at times it feels like the series’ farewell. There are numerous callbacks and homages to the franchise’s entire 15-year history. The setpieces are bigger and crazier than ever, and it’s hard to imagine anyone topping them. And before the chases really get rolling, the mood is often downright mournful….”Screen Crush

“…I count at least six or seven giant set pieces, any one of which might be enough for one film. All of them together is positively dizzying, and I salute James Wan for making a confident jump to big budget action filmmaking. He’s come a long way visually since “Saw,” and I like that his visual approach here is not just cookie cutter or off the assembly line. He pushes everything to make sure that each scene, whether it’s just dialogue or it’s one of the monster action scenes, has a sense of momentum. And when the film does finally reach its conclusion, the final moments have a great sense of peace and joy, and I think it will change the way people think about Wan and what projects he is offered…. ” — Hitfix

“….Minus the [story flaws], Furious 7 is everything you’d want in a new Fast and Furious film… But most important of all, the film actually means something. Furious 7 is certainly a popcorn movie geared towards delivering big thrills, but it’s also oozing with heart and passion. The characters in the movie care deeply for one another and that devotion is infectious….” — Collider

“….Furious 7 is at turns a celebration and a farewell, a film that goes for broke in using its many seemingly forgettable bits of established canon to tie together all of the films and pay its respects. The CGI augmentation used to finish Walker’s scenes is remarkable in its execution, and it allows the film to honor him in the way only these movies could; the film’s many acknowledgements of it being the “last ride” in a fashion (despite the fact that it’s far, far too entertaining to not become yet another sequel-spawning hit) are effective because this is a movie where Diesel can declare that “I don’t got friends, I got family,” and there’s nary a trace of irony involved. ….” — Consequence of Sound

The full first ‘Furious 7′ trailer video is below!

Pictures: PR Photos

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