Furious 7

by | Apr 13, 2015 | 0 comments

The Film Sends Off Its Deceased Star Paul Walker In a Tender and Tearful Way

I don’t think a lot of people have said this phrase: “I cried during a Fast & Furious film.” I have the honor of being one of the few that will claim ownership to such a statement. The latest film in the Fast & Furious action franchise, Furious 7, will be prominently known for being Paul Walker’s final film (he tragically died (how else?) in a car crash on December 1st, 2013). The film serves not only as entertainment for the audience, but also as a proper send off for the 40-year-old.

You don’t go to see a Fast & Furious film expecting to see a cinematically logic and quality film. You go for the sake of awesome (and very unbelievable) action sequences. I have to admit, the franchise deserves credit for never failing to surprise us. This seventh film stuck thematically with flying cars (out of: buildings, parking lots, airplanes, etc.) and having this thematic idea is what keeps audiences going. The premise and stakes for the story start simple enough; Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham), Owen Shaw’s (Luke Evans) older brother, seeks revenge after the events in Fast & Furious 6 left his Owen comatose. Fast & Furious 6 ended with Han’s (Sung Kang) death at the hand of Deckard. In Furious 7 we pick up with Deckard continuing to avenge his brother and hunting down the remaining crew that battled his brother: Dom (Vin Diesel), Brian (Paul Walker), Letty (Michelle Rodriguez), Roman (Tyrese Gibson), Tej (Ludacris), and even the, now mother, Mia (Jordana Brewster) and the policemen Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) and Elena (Elsa Pataky). As self-defense the crew gets back together and goes on a search for Deckard. Apparently, Deckard is a hard man to find (was in the British Special Ops). This is where the plot complicates. The American government, represented by Kurt Russell and John Brotherton, employs the crew in order to find a device called “God’s Eye” which is “a tracking device on steroids” as Russell’s character explains, and uses all the electronic and connected devices in the world to track someone. From there on the story complicates immeasurably. The plot is forced to places ranging from LA to Azerbaijan, and the incredibly hard to find Deckard appears in every heist Don’s group does.

As said before, it would be cruel to judge this film in contrast with the likes of Boyhood or even Interstellar. Instead, one should simply sit back and enjoy the incredible stunt work. The acting is fine as far as I’m concerned (Vin Diesel needs to learn to enunciate), the cinematography was acceptable and in some places daring (when filming fight scenes and car chases). The film is a fun ride that one goes for diversion rather than immersion. Speaking of diversion however, the Fast & Furious franchise is also known for having made Tyrese Gibson a comic. The script, however, is so scrappy that the jokes are as good as last film’s “that’s not a plane, that’s a planet!” (when talking of a large plane). Tyrese’s comic lines are extremely forced in this film, although more than once they end up working (A couple are bound to end up working right?)

But this film is different from the other movies in the franchise. Paul Walker’s death is present throughout. People trying to spot his doubles or his CGI scenes shouldn’t be looking at Paul Walker, but at his castmates’ facial expressions. You can tell which scenes were filmed after his death by the look his cast-mates give the computer image or double they are working with; looks of mourning, of love and admiration, of longing. The last scene brought me, and the rest of the audience, to tears. We see the film and co-stars give Walker the send off. The lines spoken in the final minutes aren’t acted out, the actors weren’t speaking to Brian, they were talking to Walker.

We see Walker get into the first car his character owned in the first film. We see him smile as he prepares to race Diesel. A smile we’ve seen so many times, but which now is ghostly and touches us more than ever. The film ends with the message “For Paul” in the clouds.

But as Vin Diesel says in the film, “it’s never goodbye.”

  • OVERALL MOVIE RATING 62% 62%

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What is your favorite Vin Diesel movie? Let me know in the comments section.

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