xXx: Return of Xander Cage
The last forty minutes of the movie do come together in a pretty diverting way.
“Furious 7” is a glorious overcompensation, a film so concerned about its rampant machismo that the casual viewer might miss how it Tokyo-drifts atop soap opera bubbles. Like Lee Daniels' hit TV drama “Empire,” “Furious 7” is stuffed with situations that require go-for-broke absurdity, but even Daniels and his nighttime soap predecessor Aaron Spelling would pause before attempting the level of “get the f—k outta here!” style shenanigans director James Wan and writer Chris Morgan employ.
Standing atop this installment of the series is its own Cookie Lyon, Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel). Like Cookie, played by Taraji P. Henson on “Empire”, Toretto will protect those he loves at any cost. He spends the entire film seeking revenge. Those unfamiliar with the franchise will be left to their own devices as to why. There’s no “last time on the Fast and the Furious” recap to get you up to speed, and one shouldn’t expect it from a movie with "7" in its title. Viewers of “Fast and Furious 6” will know that the Tokyo-set demise of Han (Sung Kang), one of the main characters, sets this new installment’s plot in motion. After a package mailed from Tokyo nearly blows Toretto and his comrade-in-arms Brian (Paul Walker) to smithereens, Toretto senses a connection and is immediately out for blood.
The bomb, and Han’s death, are courtesy of Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham), an Englishman whose first stateside order of business is to hack the computer of Luke Hobbs (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson) to find Toretto and his cohorts. Hobbs has this information because—last time on "The Fast and the Furious"—Hobbs’ DSS agent practically blackmailed Toretto and company to help him take down a mercenary organization run by Deckard Shaw’s brother, Owen (Luke Evans). In exchange for succeeding at this job and killing Owen, Hobbs cleared the criminal records the Toretto Team acquired two movies ago. For having this information, Hobbs is severely injured by Deckard in one of “Furious 7”’s numerous fight sequences.
Toretto reassembles his crew, which includes Brian, IT guy Tej (Chris “Ludacris” Bridges), smooth-talker Roman (Tyrese) and Dominic’s partner, Letty (Michelle Rodriguez). Letty has amnesia because, previously on "The Fast and The Furious," she got blown up and was presumed dead. Though she has no memory of her former romantic life with Dominic, he holds out hope she’ll regain her memory.