Goodbye, Paul Walker.
Universal’s biggest franchise continues on with its seventh instalment. Unlike previous entries, this film will leave one long lasting impression on you and that is its moving, heartfelt and emotional farewell to Paul Walker.
Paul Walker who plays Brian O’Connor tragically died in November 2013 before the filming of this picture was completed. His two brothers who have an uncanny likeness to Paul offered their services and assisted with the completion of the film along with use of special effects and good camera angles.
When you watch the final picture, you won’t be aware that Paul missed any of the filming because it has been put together professionally and seamlessly.
This franchise has turned in to the perfect summer popcorn flick. It has cars, it’s sexy, has action and humour. However, this film focuses on family. It has always been an undercurrent of the film that Vin Diesel’s Dominic Toretto holds his family most dear to him and that’s more apparent than ever in Fast and Furious 7. The film puts markers in to explain Walker’s exit to this franchise early on so you know what to expect, but that doesn’t make it any easier when it actually comes.
The heartfelt moments in this film feel real because they are. The words spoken are legitimate and don’t feel like they just came from the characters, but the actors. The emotional farewell in this film is done with style and class. It has been put in to explain Walker’s absence moving forward in the series but it has also been done to honour what Paul Walker meant to this franchise and those who he worked with.
The Fast and Furious franchise took a turn for the better in Fast Five where elements of a heist were brought in and street racing was not the main focus. Fast 6 continued in this vein and 7 is no different. Nonetheless, there are plenty of action set pieces which will have you ‘ooing’ and ‘ahhhing’.
If you try to watch this film with logic in mind, then don’t. You’ll only ruin the experience. This film is designed to entertain you with action ripped straight from a teenager’s overactive imagination. The humour works well and is still largely provided by Tyrese Gibson.
This entry sees a new villain in Jason Statham who plays Deckard Shaw, the protective brother of previous antagonist Owen Shaw. Statham comes readymade for this franchise and it feels like he walked straight off the set of the Transporter straight into Fast and Furious 7. Although, that can probably be said about a lot of films he has done!
Deckard promptly starts taking out members of Vin Diesel’s crew and forces him to tackle him head on. Cue loads of action and the destruction of more cars than you can count.
There will be big discussions whether this film would have been so warmly received if it weren’t for the horrific circumstances behind the camera. That will always be the case when these unfortunate events occur. Still, this film manages to provide everything you would expect from this franchise with bigger effects and more action than ever before, but it also gives a young actor who is sadly no longer with us the send off he deserves.
Watch it, love it, shed some tears and remember it.
Thank you Paul, you will be missed.