Heads up: this isn’t a review of the movie Furious7. I’m an American, which means if I like something, I lose all articulation and just gush about how AWESOME it is. But I don’t add insight. And, in true ‘Merican format, if I hate something I can give you 1,000 reasons why it sucks.
(Seriously, ask me about Michael Bay or M. Night Shamalamadingdong.)
As stated in the title, I loved Furious7. I laughed through the entire move, so much so my long-suffering wife grew angry with me for “embarrassing her.” I couldn’t help myself; the movie was almost everything I wanted it to be: over the top action, cliched dialogue delivered with soap opera acting skills…
(Not by everyone. Statham, the Rock, Kurt Russell… they’re solid. But Vin? Oh, he’s deliciously awful. I almost think he’s trolling us with his performance, but I can’t quite tell. He might actually be serious. Either way, I couldn’t help replacing every line he growled with “I am Groot,” because that’s what it sounded like in my head.)
If this isn’t a review, then, what is it?
It’s my attempt, I guess, to understand the ending. When I say the movie was “almost everything I wanted it to be,” I mean I wanted more out of the film’s final moments.
Spoiler alert: If you don’t know how Furious7 wraps itself up, Paul Walker and Vin Diesel drive next to one another, glancing and smiling back and forth, then split off at a fork in the road to go their separate ways.
There is a nice montage to Paul, and a voice over by Vin explaining how Paul will always be his brother.
(“I am Groot.”)
I thought it somewhat fitting, but more lacking. And by that, I mean it was a nice tribute, but was it powerful?
It wasn’t. I wanted more.
I really liked Paul Walker. Obviously I never met him, and when I say I liked him I’m speaking in fanboy terms. I thought he was cool; I liked him on screen.
When he left this planet too soon and the franchise announced they were going to finish the film, I was curious to see how they would handle the emotional problems created. You have a cast and crew that has grown incredibly tight over the years, and you have to respect that.
Unfortunately, the studio played it safe, and bunted to advance the runner. They could have used the opportunity to really hit one out of the park, but didn’t. I was looking for a Henry Blake moment for a generation that has no idea what a Henry Blake moment is. Something that had weight, something that pulled you down into your seat and left you moved. Maybe even had you walking out of the theater on unsteady legs, a sinking feeling in your stomach.
I wanted to see Paul Walker’s death mirrored by the death of his character in the movie.
When I say that, do I mean I wanted to see it happen on screen? Oh God no. Absolutely not. There would be no reason to have something that too-close-to-home occur. But something could have been explained, something that would have added consequence to actions. Dialogue. An explanation. An off–screen incident.
Life has repercussions, and I wanted to see that honored. I wanted to feel it in the final screen goodbye to Paul Walker. As it is, the movie ended like a western, with everyone riding off into the sunset. It’s what we wish happened in real life, with an alive and well Paul Walker still out there. But it’s not real.
Is it too much to ask a movie that jumps cars between buildings and out of airplanes to take a moment and dial it back and be human?
But I would have loved to see the filmmakers swing for it.