The Fast & Furious franchise was originally known for its modified cars, street racing, and crime induced thrills from its first movie. Justin Lin, director for the Fast & Furious installments 2-6, focused on modern cars that take "fast" to the next level. James Wan, the new director for the 7th installment of the franchise, proceeded to take the series into a more action driven direction. A few notable death-defying moments in Furious 7 were creatively written to add more thrill to the film. In the beginning of the movie, Hobbs, played by Dwayne Johnson, jumped out of a police building seconds before Deckard threw a grenade at him. When Toretto and his team needed to ambush Jakande undetected, they decided to skydive in their cars to Jakande's location. The most memorable scene for me was when Toretto and Brian drove off Abu Dhabi's Etihad Towers in a Lykan Hypersport car. The cinematography of the beautiful sunset and glossy towers while the car was in slow motion midair was breathtaking. It really showed the extravagance and majesty of Abu Dhabi. With the movie's thrilling car flying scenes and intense fight or flight moments, James Wan successfully keeps us at the edge of our seats.
The movie ties up all the previous installments to lead the plot into one intertwined direction. When looking at the time line of the story in each installment, the movies follow the plot starting from the 1st movie, to the 2nd, 4th, and then the 5th. Afterwards, the storyline moves on to the 3rd & 6th simultaneously. From the storyline of its 3rd and 6th installments, Furious 7 connects the time line and adds elements found from the previous movies. A scene in Furious 7 involved Toretto's team in a high speed chase that allowed one of the cars to slip right under a moving truck, which is an element found in the first movie. In Furious 7, another scene depicts one of the Toretto members driving backwards to rescue the programmer of the God's Eye. A similar circumstance is found in the 2nd installment when Brian drove his car backwards to rescue Roman. It was very clever of Wan to embed elements like these from prior movies. The decision to include these creative elements conveys the connection that bridges the franchise under Justin Lin to this "new" and developing franchise under James Wan.
In every Fast & Furious movie, Toretto emphasizes his focus on family. Family is the number one thing he protects and risks his entire life for. However, in Furious 7, it is presented in a different but more elaborate way. In the 7th installment, the theme of family transforms into closure for Han, Letty, and Brian. Han's death was a terrible loss for the Toretto family, and Toretto's answer for his death was revenge. After discovering that Han's death wasn't an accident, Toretto set out to settle the score with Deckard Shaw who murdered him. Letty's closure dealt with getting her memory back, as she was diagnosed with amnesia from her incident in the previous movie. Toretto needed his number one support system during the movie and was greatly concerned over Letty's stability. He struggled with Letty's condition because he couldn't let go of their history. When Letty got her memory back, Toretto and Letty got married, which solidified Toretto's family values. Brian was the biggest loss to not only the Toretto family, but to the Fast & Furious franchise as well. The writers and director were able to adapt to the sudden and unfortunate loss of a main cast member of the movie. Paul Walker, who played Brian O' Conner, was unfortunately involved in a fatal car accident shortly before the completion of the film. The director did a wonderful job of casting Walker's brothers Caleb and Cody to complete Brian's plot line. As a tribute to Walker, the movie ended with Toretto parting ways with Brian. The ending suggests that Brian settles down with his family. Many people may not agree with the transition on the focus of the movie. Moving from high-speed car races loaded with modifications and cleverly planned heists to high action packed scenes and impossible death-defying dangerous escapes, the Fast & Furious series is evolving into a typical genre we can find in many action movies today.