Seven Things Parents Should Know About ‘Furious 7’

Furious 7 promotional image

Furious 7 is the seventh release in the highly popular Fast & Furious series of films. If you’re familiar with the previous movies, then you can proceed on cruise control, but if you’re unsure about what to expect, here are seven things every parent should know about the film:

1. What’s the movie about?
With all the adrenaline-coursing action, the plot is probably secondary to the fun. However, the gang of good guys featuring stars Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, and Dwayne Johnson, are being hunted by Deckard Shaw (played by action movie staple Jason Statham) who is seeking out revenge for his comatose brother. Also, there’s a somewhat confusing side plot about stopping a terrorist group from obtaining a high tech, super-secret surveillance system called “God’s Eye.” Mostly, though, the movie is about fast cars, big explosions, and over-the-top special effects.

2. Will I like it?
Probably. I had only previously seen portions of the first couple of films and only went to watch this movie because I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. I mean, there’s obviously something to these films if they’re successful enough to make seven theatrically released movies, right? I was a little confused about some character history (Michelle Rodriguez’s character has amnesia that isn’t explained, for example), but for the most part it was easy to pick up. If you’re an automobile buff, then this movie is definitely for you! In fact, there was an audible “Oh my God!” from someone in the audience during the reveal of a certain car. Some of the dialogue is super cheesy (example: “Time to unleash the beast!”), and everyone shoots magic bullets that defy logic. But If you can get past some glaring plot holes (where do all these cars come from?) and are able to suspend disbelief for a while, then buckle up for an enjoyable ride.

3. Will my kids like it?
Yes. Well, the older ones anyway. Due to the rising cost of taking a family to the movies these days, I try to make sure most of the films we see in the theater are ones that are best seen on the big screen. This movie is one of those movies that just won’t be served the proper justice with a later Netflix viewing. If your kids are totally against violence, then I’d steer clear. Tyrese Gibson and Christopher “Ludacris” Bridges provide plenty of comic relief and funny dialogue to break up the intense action. And, again, the plot lines are a little confusing, but most kids should be fine with following a simple “good guys vs. bad guys” storyline. With the incredible (and I do mean incredible) car chases, shootouts, and special effects, most kids will be wide-eyed at the fast and furious (sorry for that) action sequences.

Paul Walker in Furious 7

4. I see that it’s rated PG-13, anything really objectionable for younger kids?
I have a nine-year-old daughter that I would allow to see this movie with a disclaimer about language and movie violence prior to viewing, but I probably wouldn’t go much younger. With the PG-13 rating, you can expect moderate swearing and a decent amount of violence. People get shot and killed in this movie, but there isn’t any gore. Fists fly and countless things go “boom,” but the violence mostly reminds me of a typical ’80s action movie. There’s no sex in the movie, but there are plenty of gratuitous shots of bikini-clad women including a bouncy, slow-motion shot of newcomer Nathalie Emmanuel.

5. When is the best time for a bathroom break?
This movie is very fast-paced and doesn’t allow for too many slow parts. I would advise simply making a pit stop before the previews, but clocking in at over two hours, many folks will need a break. If you find yourself regretting your extra large soda, then I would make a quick break for it immediately following the mountaintop chase scene flowing into the group’s arrival in Abu Dhabi.

6. Do I need to stay after the credits?
Nope. There isn’t any post-credit scene, but you may find yourself sitting in your seat a little longer than normal when the credits roll as you wait for your tears to dry. With the 2013 death of franchise star Paul Walker, every scene he’s in feels a little special, and the final tribute to the actor brought grown men and women to tears all around me.

7. Any final thoughts?
To use a phrase contained in the movie, Furious 7 “can only be described as vehicular warfare,” but there’s plenty to enjoy in this popcorn flick. I doubt Furious 7 has a shot at winning any Oscars in the future, but the latest installment in the franchise offers plenty of fun and doesn’t take itself too seriously. If you’re looking for some big screen escapism, Furious 7 puts you in the driver’s seat.

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