The first time I saw one of these movies I was in Jr. high and The Fast and The Furious and 2 Fast 2 Furious were on repeat on late night TV. It was love at first sight, not only did my friend and I watch the first two movies, but then we watched the first one again. That obsessive behavior basically sums up my fan attitude.
Now flash forward ten years later, and here I am planning to see Furious 7 twice in a row in theatres; obsessive I know. But I just haven’t been able to get enough of the adrenalin pumping, fast-car chasing, The Rock-infused, series. You probably think I’m joking and just amping this up for the release. But for anyone that knows me, they no this is furiously serious. Since I first laid eyes on Paul Walker intensely racing his car, it has become my favourite movie series. And I am not the only one, the first film was released in 2001, somehow they have kept the street racing magic alive for 14 years grossing $2.3 billion; that’s a pretty impressive feat. Directed by James Wan, the Universal release is expected to gross $115 million.
“I’m going to tell you something, last year it was really hard to come back to work,” Vin Diesel said as he gave tribute to Paul Walker at the world premiere on Wednesday night (watch his whole speech here). “This movie is more than a movie,” said Diesel. “You’ll feel it when you see it. Something emotional happens to you.” Paul Walker’s tragic car crash in 2013 happened during the middle of filming and many people, myself included, didn’t know if they would finish and release the film. I think its great that the movie was completed, and now can be watched and enjoyed as a tribute to him.
Since it is the last film, although that’s a little doubtful (where else is Vin Diesel going to get to star in a movie), we should probably talk about the greatest (and maybe not so great moments) of the Fast and Furious movies. What the filmmakers excelled in, besides the action parts, was the ability to find the right group of characters that were endearing, charismatic, and relatable, as well as multi-ethnic.
My favourite scenes (probably like every single other viewer) are the climatic car chases at the end of the movies. The top one for me still is in 2 Fast 2 Furious where they release all the cars from the garage at the same time and Brian and Roman aren’t in their usual cars. Its simple, and not even a grand car chase, but I love it.
What Furious 7 brings us is nothing short of the greatest action scenes so far–the craziest, most implausible car-flipping action that has made these films so exciting. Everything that makes the movies what they are were captured within the first ten minutes: the cars, the girls, and the fights. Even though parts of the film were a little dramatized (maybe it isn’t realistic to drive a car through three glass buildings…) but it encapsulated the culture around the movies. Including the characters that we have all grown to love. Mr. Roman Pierce kept up the comedic relief throughout the whole film, and Dom stuck to his loyalty to family. Obviously the Rock was the Rock, and did what he did best: save the day by blasting through the enemy either with an ambulance or with the stolen drone machine gun.
Being a long-time fan, I appreciated the inside stories that you would only know if you have watched all the movies, and watched the characters grow up. Brian and Mia reminisce about the sandwiches he used to by from her when they first met, the history behind Han and Giselle, etc. As hard as it was to see Paul Walker up on the screen for the last time, the producers of the movie did a good job in keeping the action going but still honoring his memory with a video montage at the end.
All in all, if you were expecting a Fast and Furious movie, that is what you got; and it was amazing.
As I was reading what the internet thought of Furious 7 I came across a few cool articles that are worth reading:
Filmmakers destroyed 230 cars for ‘Furious 7.’ A look at where they are now
The best stunts from the series (and then the article goes to break down the plot of the movies, which is unnecessary since there is limited plot to analyze)
The unlikely story behind the “Fast and Furious” franchise; from the guy that started it all
What is your favourite Fast and Furious moment?