Furious 7: Extended Edition (Blu-ray Review)

Furious 7 Blu-ray ReviewFurious 7 is the little engine that could in my opinion.  Not even the untimely and tragic death of one of the franchise’s main stars, Paul Walker, was able to completely derail this speeding train from moving forward and becoming an unstoppable global phenomenon grossing over $1.5 billion dollars worldwide at the box office.  Make no doubt about it.  The Fast and the Furious franchise has been quite the global exploit in the past two entries, but the nagging question still remained for me going into this last April.  Does the seemingly unstoppable train ride lose any speed or momentum with James Wan helming the project and the loss of Walker, or does it continue on in the quick, speedy and high-octane fashion we’re all accustomed to?  These questions and many more will be addressed down below.  So men, women and children, I need to ask you to buckle your seat belts please, put all your appendages inside the car and enjoy the ride as it’s about to get very fast and furious in this post.  Vroom!

Furious 7


So we may be a year delayed here, give or take, but hallelujah doesn’t it feel good to be back with the old gang again?  Vin Diesel, Paul Walker and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson lead the returning cast of Furious 7, written by Chris Morgan, with horror sensation James Wan sitting in the director’s chair, although I hardly doubt he was sitting a lot.  This highly successful, globe trotting series welcomes back fan favorites such as Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster, Tyrese Gibson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Elsa Pataky and Lucas Black.  This time around they are  joined by international action stars new to the franchise, which include the likes of Jason Statham, Djimon Hounsou, Ronda Rousey, Tony Jaa, Nathalie Emmanuel and Kurt Russell.

Before we go on here, there’s something y’all need to know just in case it wasn’t clear at the conclusion of the sixth film in 2013.  The previous three installments were set between 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003) and The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006).  Yep.  That’s right.  The timeline goes like this: 1-2-4-5-6-3-7.  So just make sure you are cool with this knowledge I have either reminded you of or enlightened you with.  Furious 7 is the first film in the series to take place after Tokyo Drift.  As I mentioned up above, and it should come as no surprise (no spoilers here), Furious 7 also marks the final appearance of Paul Walker (as we know of at least).  He died in a freak, but tragic car accident on November 30, 2013 with filming only half-completed.  Immediately following the news of Walker’s death, filming was delayed for script re-writes, and his brothers Caleb and Cody Walker were called up as stand-ins to complete his remaining scenes.  This is what intrigued me most initially about going into Furious 7 for the first time, not if the movie would be any good, but how they would handle his character’s departure from the series as well as how the stand-in moments would look.

So before we talk about what works and what doesn’t here, let’s talk about the story first.  Don’t hold it against me, but I don’t know what was 100% changed or not in the story due to Paul Walker’s tragic accident.  All I can report on is the facts as to what we see go down in the movie and make my own best guess of what could/would have been if not for the tragedy.  In the previous adventure, after defeating Owen Shaw and his crew, Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel), Brian O’Conner (Walker) and the rest of the crew were allowed to return to the United States and live normal lives again as they had all wanted in exchange for their cooperation.  After the credits in that movie we also catch up with the events in the third film in the series, Tokyo Drift, and we see Deckard Shaw (Statham), Owen’s older brother, taking out Han in Tokyo.  That’s right folks.  Deckard Shaw is after Dom and his family, seeking bloody revenge for his brother’s death.  Don’t worry if you don’t remember that because these events and more are replayed and creatively interwoven (it was awkward but really cool at the same time too) into the beginning of Furious 7.  In the Blu-ray movie we’re here to discuss today, these events ultimately puts Dom and the entire crew in “fiery” danger.  The newly domesticated Brian places his wife and kid into hiding as the rest of the bunch come up with a plan to find Deckard before he takes them out.  This is where things get a little messy for me.  Let’s hit the return key to start a new paragraph and I’ll tell you why.

Jason Statham’s character here is like a combination of Michael Myers and Steven Seagal in just about any of his movies before the latter became fat.  LOL.  You can’t touch the guy and interestingly enough, he’s seemingly able to be everywhere no matter where on the globe your physically at, however, although he has no problems clearing out armies, he does have quite the hard time with Dom and gang.  We can chalk that up to good ole movie magic and move on, but therein lies the problem.  If Deckard is everywhere Dom and gang are, then why the hell do they need to devise a way to “find” him?  All they have to do is look around.  LOL.  I’m serious (and kidding at the same time because there is a plot point here to be had)!  So here enters Kurt Russell’s character.  He’s the reason why to my question 5 sentences prior.

If they were setting up Kurt Russell’s character for future films, I’d be more forgiving, but since I don’t have any proof of that in the pudding I’m not going to be 100% tolerant of it (although I am pretty sure of it).  Every consequence and interaction revolving around Russell’s character, which I did like, basically shoehorns the action sequences into the story.  And those action scenes are hella fun!  That’s the thing with this franchise.  You have to just throw everything you know about physics and logic out the window to enjoy this.  If you cannot, then you’ll be in utter misery throughout this one as it seems to have topped all the previous entries in ridiculousness and over-the-top, unbelievable scenes.  How many times can Dom crash and walk away from it?  Haha.  I digress.  However, I have to say this about this entry despite my enjoyment of it.  After the great writing of the last two entries, I expected more.  That’s all I’ll say on the matter.

Let’s chat about our gang next.  Darn did the group ever feel small and tired this time around.  My thought is that the writers are growing exhausted trying to figure out ways on how to top the craziness of the last entry as the Third Act of this feature is proof of that alone, but I’ll digress for the moment.  The gang feels small because this time out of the gate MIA are Hans, Gisele (Gal Gadot’s character who met her demise in the last film) and Mia (Jordana Brewster) because she’s mostly hiding out in this one.  The Rock’s character isn’t even a major player in this one so we’re only left with Vin, Paul, Ludacris, Michelle and Tyrese.  Thankfully the action is dialed up for this one to 11 so we have little time to breathe and fixate on the mundane here.  So if you don’t mind, I want to talk about the action next.  Of course you don’t.  It’s my Blu-ray review after all.

The Michael Bay style action is where it’s really at here.  If you can forgive  the problems with the story, things are really glossy and good looking as ever in the Fast and Furious universe.  Make no doubt about it, the action scenes while wild and plain  crazy play out “fast and furious” and I love them so for it.  I honestly underutilize the word crazy when I describe the action sequences, but make no doubt about it, you’ll see why I say what I do in the sequences filmed in the towering city of Abu Dhabi.  What goes down in there is just plain insane.  I also want to pay complements to the choreography of the heavy hitting hand-to-hand combat scenes.  They are near perfect here.  Most memorable for me was the fight scene between Rodriguez and Rousey.  Things really go down there!  The scenes shared between where Walker and Tony Jaa were pitted against each weren’t shabby either.

Now I made reference to Michael Bay here and I want to explain why.  Yes, the action here was complete lunacy like just about everything he did in the Transformers series thus far, but more evidence to support my claim can be found in the film’s Third Act.  It’s like we just went through a rampage of destruction through a major city with no concern at all for innocent bystanders, etc.  It was like the “Battle of Chicago” all over again, but on a much more minuscule scale of course.  Let’s just face it, whether it’s in the vehicle or fighting on the streets, it’s a movie, folks.  In the real world there’s no way anyone would survive any of this.  There’s obviously more to nitpick about, but nevertheless it was still a lot fun too no matter how insulting it was.  However, it’s a summer popcorn flick.  It’s supposed to be over-the-top, farfetched and ultimately crazy!  And I can be very forgiving at all the Michael Bay-like a$$ shots too.  So let’s move on now that I made my point and I’m pretty sure you’re all agreeing thus far.

We already covered the shaky storyline, but we didn’t touch upon how things looked here in particular with the scenes Paul Walker was unfortunately unable to complete.  The filmmakers did well!  With the exception of a lot of shots of him near the end from the rear and some previous stock footage employed, things looked natural throughout and if you didn’t know the history of the production, you’d probably couldn’t tell at all.  Of course we all know it has to come to an end here for Walker’s character.  That was probably the biggest apprehension for me throughout.  I was watching what I knew would be my “last ride” (o pun intended but I can’t get that damn song out of my head) with him and I had a hard time shaking that sadness, however, I found this memorial to him here much sadder than the way they ended his character’s story arc in the series.  So maybe that’s a testament to the filmmakers.

They didn’t go out of their way to make Paul Walker’s farewell a boohoo moment, but rather just a gradual goodbye to a character we loved all these years much the way a favorite sitcom or television series would most likely end.  Thankfully, the only tears I continue to shed in this one are tears of joy from the exhilaration of the stunt sequences and the slapstick comedic moments and one-liners at times like one the Rock utters “I’m going to make his momma wish she never opened her legs.”  LOL.  Honestly, that’s what these movies are all about, having a good time, and that I did.  Mission accomplished!  Despite the problems present in the story, I look forward to where this franchise travels to next (I’m hearing NYC).

Furious 7


Universal literally knocked this Blu-ray out of the ballpark in the video presentation category and here’s why.

  • Encoding: AVC MPEG-4
  • Size: BD-50
  • Resolution: 1080p
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Clarity/Detail: Oh wow!  Where do I even start with this section?  The clarity and amount of detail on display rivals any other top notch Blu-ray presentation I’ve seen this year, including Mad Max: Fury Road.  If you have spent any time with that Blu-ray review, then you already know that’s a very hard feat to live up to in this calendar year of 2015.  Let’s start with the gory, detailed scars on the body of Luke Evan’s character.  They are gross!  And if you’re a pore whore,  then you already scored!  But let’s not stop there.  Oh no!  Let’s talk about the stubble, the minute details in the pavement, the heat you can literally feel in the desert, and heck even the primer on the hood of Dom’s car.  Yes!  I said primer!  There’s even detail in that!  I’ll be damn, huh?  Best of all, image sharpness is consistent throughout with closeups making this presentation even more insane from complex textures in clothing to the terrain upon which this vehicular manslaughter all transpires on.  It doesn’t get any better than this folks.
  • Depth: Equally impressive as the level of detail here in this presentation is the insane depth of field prevalent through the runtime here with the characters all benefiting from that three-dimensional pop we all know and love in our favorite Blu-rays to moments that go on seemingly forever like the dark terrain and streets in DTLA to the funeral where our gang is all united to pay their last respects to Han, a character sorely missing from this franchise now as we have come full circle with Tokyo Drift.
  • Black Levels: Black levels were like a wet dream here.  I mean that in a good way.  Haha.  They were deep and inky throughout with brilliant examples ranging from when Statham breaks into Rock’s police headquarters to an intimate scene shared with Dom and Letty in the cemetery.  I could go on, but you get the picture.  Haha.  Get it!  You get the picture?  I crack myself up!
  • Color Reproduction: Like the hot cars and models cheering them on in celebration in the Race Wars, the colors popped here with vibrancy and gorgeous deep hues such as the red dress employed by Rodriguez’s character in an integral female showdown scene.  You gotta have those in a Fast & Furious film.  You know that, right?  Just checking!
  • Flesh Tones: The flesh tones can get a bit hot, but nothing ever distracting.  The action is pumped here so it makes sense the flesh is jumping as well.  It’s Michael Bay like action after all.
  • Noise/Artifacts: For the record, there’s no noise, macroblocking, banding or any other artifact that’s going to stop you from enjoying this showroom perfect presentation.  I can’t wait for you to test drive it!

Furious 7


I can’t believe I’m saying this, but Universal’s bombastic audio treatment here provides some serious competition to Mad Max: Fury Road‘s Blu-ray product.  Like the boxing fight of the century that wasn’t this year, this maybe the Blu-ray heavyweight fight of the year between these two competitors.  In this corner it’s Universal’s Furious 7 going head-to-head with Warner Bros.’ Mad Max: Fury Road.  Haha.

  • Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1, English Dolby Digital 2.0, Spanish DTS Surround 5.1, French DTS Surround 5.1
  • Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
  • Dynamics: Well what can I possibly say here that my intro paragraph up above really did not cover?  LOL.  Let’s start with the basics.  From the most intimate of moments and tender caresses to the most insane action on the planet and V8 engines revving, this dynamic surround track chews you up and spits you out with it’s bombastic wreckage it throws at you.
  • Low Frequency Extension: The LFE channel NEVER sleeps.  Yes, that’s right ladies and gentlemen.  Your subwoofer will get an exhaustive workout with this one.  It takes a beat and keeps on ticking, much akin to Rocky Balboa, huh?  I know!  That was dumb comparison.  Sorry.  The many fight scenes and explosions to be had throughout here in this presentation make your LFE work some very mandatory overtime.  That’s all I’ll say on the matter.  Like they say in the film…”it’s time to unleash the beast.”  Haha.
  • Surround Sound Presentation: Here’s where things really heat up.  The rears are so engaged throughout it’s like being in the center of the ring with a live, captive audience all around you chanting your name.  From glass shattering, gunshots ringing, crowds cheering at The Race Wars and cars zipping on by to a soundtrack that will literally engulf you in the action, swallow you whole and put you in your element like it’s nobody’s business, there ain’t no messing with this surround sound presentation.  Flo Rida never sounded so sweet.  He got me hooked on that “G.D.F.R.” song.  It’s going down for real with this surround track.  Believe it!
  • Dialogue Reproduction:  Spoken words are always loud, clear and intelligible throughout.  That’s right!  This is a perfect track!  Bam!

Furious 7


The Furious 7 Blu-ray features the all new Extended Edition of the movie billed with even more explosive thrills, along with the official music video of the tear-dropping, chart-topping “See You Again” performed by Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth and over 90 minutes of exclusive bonus features, making an indispensable addition to your Fast franchise Blu-ray collection.  Even better, there’s a DVD included for travels in the minivan (so you can pretend your Paul Walker in the pivotal action scene at the day care center…haha) as well as a redeemable Digital HD voucher code for the film good for use with both iTunes and your UltraViolet library.  The only thing I can conceivably in addition ask Universal for is a director’s commentary, but instead we get the all too brief, very cool 30-minute documentary with James Wan, which you’ll read about in more detail down below.  So what are you waiting for?  Start your engines and move your eyeballs down below with me.

  • Extended Edition (HD) – Selectable as the first choice of Universal’s Blu-ray menu, there are two editions of the film here, the Extended Edition (2:19:54) and the theatrical cut (2:17:26).  I watched the Extended Edition for this review, but quite honestly I’d be hard pressed to tell you what I noticed different about it compared to the theatrical version I saw twice in the theaters.
  • Deleted Scenes (HD) – There are a total of four deleted scenes to be found here: Letty at Clinic (2:09), Ramsey/Dom (2:15), Dressed Up (0:57) and Letty Call from Nurse (0:38).  I know what you’re probably thinking.  What’s so special about Letty, huh?
  • The Cars of Furious (HD, 10:42) – The car coordinator and his team join the cast and filmmakers for a closer look at the film’s spectacular cars.  With a title like that, what else were you expecting this to be about?  Gotcha!  In reality, the cars are almost characters in themselves.
  • Flying Cars (HD, 5:42) – Here’s the extra I was most interested in seeing how this extravagant action scene was done (not to mention all the other flying car moments in this film).  People jump out of planes all the time, but not while sitting behind the wheel of a car.  This featurette shows how the Furious 7 team pulled off this jaw-dropping sequence.  I won’t lie.  It was pretty cool to see people jumping with the cars in the air to capture this footage.  No, I’ll correct myself.  This was completely insane to watch!  I could never do this in my wildest dreams.  The gimbal work was also equally amazing too.
  • Tower Jumps (HD,  6:53) – Here’s yet another signature action sequence in the film.  Here we have a look at how one of the most exciting stunt sequences of the film, the Abu Dhabi tower jumps, became a reality.  It’s kind of funny to see the stunt doubles disguised as patrons react to a car come flying through the glass windows.  Jumping out of a spinning car doesn’t look easy either.
  • Inside the Fight (HD) – Here we have a combination of fight training footage and interviews that takes viewers inside the fierce hand-to-hand fights and include the following four segments: Hobbs vs. Shaw (3:15), Girl Fight (3:20), Dom vs. Shaw (2:52) and Tej Takes Action (1:36).
  • Talking Fast (HD, 31:47) – This one starts off with Wan in front of a Minority Report-like computer screen talking about the opening theme stated in the first scene from the movie with Statham and all his hell bent destruction.  Haha.  No kidding!  In this half hour, behind-the-scenes documentary, Director James Wan and the cast of Furious 7 break down the movie’s most memorable moments and chat about how the Fast franchise has evolved over the 14 years complete with interviews from cast members, clips from he film, the locations and behind-the-scenes footage of the production, including Tyrese’s improv overseas (LMAO).  It’s too bad this one couldn’t be longer, but nonetheless it’s pretty bad-a$$ and is required viewing for all fans.  And wow!  It was surprising to hear Michelle Rodriguez admit she didn’t even know she was in the fifth film until she saw it in a theater in Paris.
  • “See You Again” Official Music Video (HD, 4:05) – Here we have the very sad music video of the song “See You Again” by Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth.  Every time I hear this song on the radio, how can I not think of Paul Walker with a sigh…heave heart?
  • Back to the Starting Line (HD, 12:11) – Producer Neal Moritz, Chris Morgan and the cast join franchise newcomer director James Wan as they look back at how far the Franchise has come in bringing this latest installment to life and how important it was to stay true to history here, but exceed expectations.  In this, it discusses the new cast members, the new villain, Kurt Russell and of course the tragic loss of Paul Walker.  It’s hard to believe when you hear in this that the first picture in this franchise only cost $28 million.  That’s unheard nowadays, even with stinkers such as Jupiter Ascending or Tomorrowland.  I got to admit though, it was heartbreaking and surreal to see all the Paul Walker footage.  Sob!
  • Race WarsFurious 7 (HD, 6:34) – Furious 7 brings 2 cast members back to Race Wars, the iconic, fictional racing event from the very first film.  That’s right!  Vin Diesel and a couple hundred friends are back for a full-throttle celebration of all things Fast with special guest-star Iggy Azalea, behind-the-scenes footage of the cars, the sweat and of course…the girls.  Vin Diesel actually promised this scene to the fans at the premiere of the last film, where it all started, a place of familiarity.  There were 300 cars here along with the diehard fans serving as extras.
  • Snatch and Grab (HD, 7:31) – Here we have yet another behind-the-scenes look at shooting one of the premier action sequences in the film that follows the flying cars piece mentioned up above.
  • Making of Fast & Furious Supercharged Ride (HD, 8:15) – Here we have an interesting look inside the Fast & Furious-themed amusement park ride at Universal Studios.

Furious 7


I want you to put yourself in my shoes and quite honestly tell me what more can I say about Furious 7 on Blu-ray that I have not said already?  Wow!  I’m stunned at how awesome this Blu-ray presentation looks and sounds, not mention the good time you’ll have globe trotting with your favorite gang again despite the heartfelt, emotional ending that sees us saying goodbye to an integral part/character in this historic franchise’s success.  Never in a million years did I think I would be writing about a seventh entry in the Fast & Furious franchise.  My expectations have been exceeded and I cannot wait for what roads are left yet to be travelled in an eighth installment.  If you want girls, you got it!  If you want unbelievable action, you got it!  If you want muscle, you got it?  If you want blood, sweat and tears, you got it?  Wait!  Let me stop!  I’ll even throw in the kitchen sink and say you have it all with Furious 7 on Blu-ray.  Saying it rivals Mad Max: Fury Road on Blu-ray should have been all it took to sell you on this Universal release, but I went the extra mile (no pun intended) to let you know this is a Blu-ray you mustn’t pass on.  You must take this chance card, pass Go, collect your $200 and pre-order Furious 7 today so it’s waiting for you upon coming home from your mundane existence of a life on Tuesday, September 15th.  Just do it like Bo Jackson would!  If not, then do it for Paul.  Yes I said it.  Honor Paul, you will.  Thanks for reading!  Rev those engines!  Until next time when I “See You Again”…









Furious 7 Blu-ray Cover Art


Owner/Writer/Reviewer/Editor, Dreamer, Producer, Agent of Love, Film Lover, Writer of Screenplays and a Devoted Apostle to all things Ford Mustangs (the real ones with V8's!). Some of my favorite films include FIGHT CLUB, MOULIN ROUGE, THE DARK KNIGHT, STAR WARS alongside television shows such as SEINFELD, 24, SANFORD & SON and even the often loathed in the geek community BIG BANG THEORY. Outside of my three lives I live I also enjoy spending time with my girlfriend and our three girls (of the furry kind).

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