Fast and Furious races onto the spotlight

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The Fast and Furious franchise took theaters by surprise when films began to attract more and more fans to what was previously a cult-hit. Yet, now the film has taken in much support because of its adherence to popular tropes and a willingness to move away from common clichés in film today. As of April 6 the new film Furious 7 has grossed $161.2 million in North America and $245.1 million in other territories for a worldwide total of $406.3 million, against a budget of $250 million. Universally, Furious 7 was released across 810 IMAX theaters – the largest worldwide rollout for any movie in IMAX’s history and the largest for Universal.

The film could have been an explosive failure, further diluting the public perception of action films. However, the casting and over-the-top action may have contributed to taking the film to greater heights. Starring Dwayne Johnson, Vin Diesel, Jason Statham, and other big-name Hollywood action film actors, the film has received commendation for its impressive casting choices.

The plot blasts off as if a race not finished from the previous film. After defeating Owen Shaw (Luke Evans) and his crew and securing their amnesties in Furious 6, Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel), Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker), and the rest of the crew are able to return to the United States and live normal lives again. Brian begins to accustom himself to life as a father, while Dominic tries to help Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) regain her memories by taking her back to Race Wars and to her old grave. Having started off as a sequel, it soon reaches its fast pace once again. Overall, the pacing of the film was one of the most impressive ones considering the genre, which would otherwise have been expected to be confusing.

Undoubtedly, the film score and the visual effects are well made but not overused, as some Michael Bay films have been. Explosions, car chases and gunfights are so subtly included that the action seems like a supplement, not the focus. It is for this reason that the Fast and Furious seems a less blatantly obnoxious film than did other action films. While Transformers took on a too-serious tone, Fast and Furious takes on a comedic tone. Indeed, self-awareness of ridiculous action seems like a beneficial thread in modern action films, and films like Fast and Furious have excelled at this, while films like Transformers have utterly failed at creating this tone.

And it seems that fans are not unaware of this quality: the sequel, Furious 6, took in $780 million worldwide, making it the 49th highest grossing film of all time. This year, Furious 7, the recent film, now seeks to reach that record by grossing over $500 million in the box-office making it the second highest-grossing film of 2015 as of April. Released in theaters on April 4 in Seoul, Furious 7 is set to be an interesting watch for lovers of the action genre.

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