Director James Wan might be new to the “Fast And Furious” franchise, but for “Furious 7” he was all for upping the stakes of mayhem and pandemonium. “We threw cars out of the back of a plane, no joke,” Wan, the filmmaker behind low-budget horrors like “Saw,” “Insidious” and “The Conjuring” explained to the L.A. Times just a few days ago. “We had skydivers photographing these cars as they were falling down. It’s as insane as it sounds.”
Yep, in case you missed the inaugural trailer for “Furious 7,” it’s nutso; an adrenaline junkie’s delight, and it’s actually kind of easy to see why some cinephiles adore the visceral and balletic camera choreography behind these films. Like “Mad Max: Fury Road” and the new “Star Wars” films, there seems to be a return to practical, in-camera action and effects, and a minimal amount of green screen to achieve the desired effects of head-spinning viscera.
“We were trying to get as much texture and tonality of practical photography into the film as we could,” Wan said of his ambitious car sting. “When you’re dealing with action scenes that are pretty out there, the more you can ground the actual filmmaking of it, the more the over-the-top stuff will play on a more realistic level.”
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The ‘Furious’ aren’t really known for being realistic, practical or logical, but you’ve got to admit, he’s got a good point. In case you’re unaware, the “Fast & Furious” franchise likes to jump around in time a lot. ‘Furious 7″ picks up after the events of “The Fast And The Furious: Tokyo Drift,” the third film in the series shot back in 2006. And yet the main villain (played by Jason Statham), is seeking revenge for the death of his brother (Luke Evans, who died at the end of “Fast & Furious 6”) putting the entire crew in danger once more. Wait, how does that time-line mangling work then? No clue. Maybe it just doesn’t matter?
The film stars Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris, and Lucas Black along with Paul Walker, who was killed in a fatal car accident before filming was complete (the movie was finished with his brothers as stunt doubles and a bit of CGI trickery). Martial artist Tony Jaa, UFC fighter Ronda Rousey, Kurt Russell, Michael Jai White, and Djimon Hounsou are also part of the cast. Iggy Azalea also reportedly has a cameo appearance in the film.
“Furious 7” opens in theaters on April 3rd via Universal pictures, and more installments of the series are coming, too. How will they deal with Walker’s characters absence going forward? We’ll have to find out in “Furious 7.” Watch the Super Bowl trailer below.