The Fast & Furious crew takes fans on an emotional ride down the Ultra HD physical media roads in their latest installment, but unfortunately, the supped-up HEVC H.265 encode falls slightly short of expectations set by the previous UHD release. While there is a noticeable improvement in definition and clarity, with sharper detailing in clothing, buildings, and vehicles, the overall leap to 4K is not as significant as one would hope.
Shot using a combination of traditional 35mm and various digital cameras with different resolutions, the film exhibits some inconsistencies in image quality. Certain scenes appear softer, while others have a smoother digital look, making the differences apparent. Moreover, the presence of CG Paul Walker is more noticeable and stands out in this presentation. Some instances of shimmering on the sharpest edges of windows and cars can be slightly distracting, along with occasional instances of pronounced film grain.
Despite these setbacks, the real highlight of this 4K physical media disc lies in the improved high-dynamic range, which delivers brighter whites and specular highlights that showcase the shine of metal chrome on cars and the intense glow of headlights. The film captures a sense of richness and opulence in the cars and clothing, while aerial shots of the city skyline at night are breathtaking. The color palette, however, doesn’t exhibit a significant boost in brightness, as it remains faithful to the intentional photography of the movie. The primaries are well-saturated, secondary hues are accurately rendered, and flesh tones appear excellent, resulting in an excellent 2160p video.
While the 4K presentations may not be a groundbreaking leap forward, it still offers a discernible improvement over the standard Blu-ray counterpart. The increased definition and clarity bring out finer details, making the clothing, buildings, and various vehicles appear more lifelike. The legibility of lettering in signs and billboards is enhanced, contributing to a more immersive viewing experience. Facial complexions also benefit from the upgrade, as they appear more natural and accurate, revealing subtle blemishes, wrinkles, and pores. However, it is important to note that the jump to 4K resolution does not revolutionize the film’s visual presentation. The movie’s varied shooting techniques, utilizing both traditional 35mm and digital cameras with different resolutions, resulted in an inconsistency in the visual quality. Some scenes appear softer than others, while a few moments exhibit a distinct digital aesthetic, appearing smoother in comparison. This discrepancy in image quality can be a bit jarring at times, especially for keen-eyed viewers. The use of CG Paul Walker in certain scenes becomes more evident in this 4K release. While efforts have been made to seamlessly integrate the digital rendering with the live-action footage, there are instances where the differentiation between the two becomes more noticeable, affecting the overall visual cohesion.
This physical media disc’s most significant improvement brought by this 4K presentation lies in the enhanced HDR. The brighter and more brilliant whites add depth and realism to the on-screen visuals. The specular highlights, particularly the reflective surfaces of cars, showcase a realistic sparkle, while the intensity of headlights is preserved without sacrificing intricate details. This heightened brightness contributes to a sense of opulence and richness, especially evident in the depiction of cars and select clothing items. The night-time aerial shots of the city skyline are nothing short of breathtaking, imbuing the 2.40:1 aspect ratio with a cinematic quality that truly captivates the viewer.
Visuals Review: 3/10
When it comes to the audio for this physical media disc, the DTS:X soundtrack, while still excellent, feels slightly underwhelming compared to its DTS-HD 7.1 counterpart. The surround channels are heavily utilized during various sequences, creating an immersive experience. Quieter moments benefit from subtle atmospherics, while action scenes come alive with the roaring sounds of racing cars, shooting drones, and whizzing bullets. Although there are instances where the object-based format effectively widens and enhances the sound field, the overhead speakers remain relatively silent, with the city mayhem in the last quarter being the standout moment for this audio feature.
The new lossless mix greatly improves the dynamic range and fidelity, resulting in better separation and clarity between the loudest and quietest scenes. Explosions, gunshots, and revving engines gain incredible detail and sharpness, amplifying the intensity of each moment. The low-end adds weight and impact to the action and music, though it falls slightly short of being truly commanding. With well-prioritized vocals in the center, the lossless mix complements the video exceptionally well.
Audio Review: 3.5/5
Furious 7 on 4K Ultra HD delivers an enjoyable and adrenaline-fueled experience, showcasing the enduring appeal of the Fast & Furious franchise. While the visual presentation falls slightly short of expectations and the audio may not fully utilize the potential of the DTS:X format, the overall package remains a solid choice for fans who want to enhance their home theater experience. Whether you’re a devoted fan of the franchise or simply seeking a thrilling action film, Furious 7 on 4K Ultra HD is a fitting tribute to the late Paul Walker and a satisfying addition to any collection.
|Two-Disc Combo Pack|
|UHD-66 Dual-Layer Disc||BD-50 Dual-Layer Disc|
|Video Resolution/Codec||2160p HEVC/H.265|
|Release Country||United States|
|English DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1|
|English SDH, French, Spanish|
|UltraViolet Digital Copy|
|Movie Studio||Universal Studios|