Furious Seven (Preview)
Directed by James Wan. Produced by Neal H. Moritz and Vin Diesel. Written by Chris Morgan. Release date: April 3, 2015.
It seems almost natural for Jason Statham would show up in a Fast and Furious movie, but through five chapters, it hadn't happened. That was finally realized at the end of Furious 6, when we learned that he is playing the brother of Owen Shaw, and that Han's death in Tokyo Drift was no accident; Statham's character was behind it, and he's coming after the rest of Dom's crew. That is the hook of Furious Seven. And what a hook. Deckard Shaw is Statham's character's name, and he and Dom will be in a race against time. Shaw wants to pick off each member of Dom's crew one by one, and Dom has to stop him before it's too late. If nothing else Furious Seven sounds like an exciting time. Most importantly, the chronology is finally right. Furious Seven is the seventh film, chronologically speaking.
Dominic "Dom" Toretto (Vin Diesel): Back living in America, Dom was ready to give up the criminal life. But with Han's murder, it's time to get the rest of the gang together in order to get revenge on Deckard Shaw.
Brian O'Conner (Paul Walker): A former LAPD detective and FBI agent, he's a member of Dom's crew. He and Dom's sister, Mia, have a son.
Mia Toretto (Jordana Brewster): Dom's sister. Has a child with Brian and lives with him.
Letty Ortiz (Michelle Rodriguez): After almost dying in Fast & Furious, she is suffering from amnesia. Worked for Owen Shaw in Furious 6, and is now back with Dom, even if she doesn't remember much, if anything, about their past life together, even though they were once a couple.
Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson): A DSS agent and bounty hunter who was once hired to take out Dom's crew. Dom earned his respect and was allowed to go free. They later teamed up to take out Owen Shaw; Hobbs is now a part of Dom's "family."
Roman Pearce (Tyrese Gibson): Brian's childhood friend who served time for crimes the two of them committed, but is now a free man after helping Brian take down a drug lord in the second film. A member of Dom's crew.
Tej Parker (Chris "Ludacris" Bridges): A former street racer. He becomes a member of Dom's crew since Fast Five.
Elena Neves (Elsa Pataky): A Rio police officer who was hired by Hobbs to take out Dom, became Dom's love interest, but after Letty's reappearance went back to working with Hobbs.
Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham): The older brother of Owen Shaw. Han's murderer. He's out for revenge after Dom's crew killed Owen. Furious Seven's villain.
Sean Boswell (Lucas Black): Not seen since Tokyo Drift, but since Furious Seven comes after Tokyo Drift chronologically, it makes sense for him to resurface, even if it's going to be hard to buy him as a 17-year-old now. He was Han's friend.
Kurt Russell, Tony Jaa, Ronda Rousey, Nathalie Emmanuel and Djimon Hounsou all have supporting roles, although the purpose and duration of these roles is relatively unknown.
Why Should You Care?
Han was a fan favorite character right after he was introduced in Tokyo Drift. In fact, the filmmakers kept pushing back when Tokyo Drift would happen, chronologically, just to keep him around. He had some of the best character depth in the series, and was just lots of fun. His death means something, even though we've been aware that it's coming for several movies at this point. Now that the series has put a face and a name to the murderer, we - much like the characters - want to see him brought to justice.
Meanwhile, on a much sadder note, Furious Seven marks the last film to star Paul Walker, who died during its production. The film will serve as a touching tribute to Paul Walker. If you were a fan of the actor or his character in this franchise, it's likely that this is going to be an emotional experience.
Finally, the series has been ramping up its action in each of its two previous movies, aiming to get bigger and better each time. While it hasn't always succeeded at the latter part of that statement, the action has certainly gotten bigger. Based solely on the trailer, that appears to be the case this time around. Action junkies of all kinds will likely get their fill.
If you want more of Matthew "Marter" Parkinson, you can follow him on the Twitter @Martertweet and check out his weekly movie podcast.