Okay, so rarely does a film give me those actual chills…the kind where you literally just stop and go, “whoa.” But…I just finished watching Furious 7 and well…yeah. Whoa.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not one of those mechanically inclined, car junkie type chicks or anything. I mean, I can change a tire…or probably could, I should say. I mean, I’ve watched how to do it and I’m sure if I really had to (and I had the right tools with me) I could probably follow along to some YouTube video instructions or something and get the job done. Probably. Once, many, many years ago, I had this crazy notion that I was going to learn how to do an oil-change myself…yeah. I think I got so far as buying all the stuff I needed to get it done…and that’s about it. Cars and me…well, I don’t have the best of luck with them. My very first car–totally blew up the engine/head gasket thingie. Yeah. Apparently cars really do need oil to keep running. Who knew. 🙂 Yeah. Then there’s my run-in’s with a couple of ditches that didn’t end too well…for the car, anyhow. And of course, let’s not forgot my little hydroplaning incident a few months back. Yeah, cars and me…no real love connection there. My brother and my uncle are the mechanics in the family. They pretty much know everything there is to know…which was always pretty convenient for us girls. Never really had to worry about that part. Even now, with AAA and road-side assistance and hell, even drive-thru oil-change stations–there’s really no need for me to really learn the mechanics at this point. As far as recognizing makes and models of cars…yeah, I suck at that, too. So basically when people ask me what kind of car this or that was, I’m usually like…um, an SUV/Truck? In other words, I’m totally clueless.
But just because I know essentially zip about cars, doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate a good racing/car action film. Having said that, I love the Fast & Furious movies. It’s not often that you find a film saga that ups the ante and–amazingly–gets better with each new film they make. The Furious saga is exactly like that. I mean right on down from the storyline and all the crazy-intense stunts to the incredibly talented actors…it’s all just soooo good.
The latest film, Furious 7, definitely did NOT disappoint. I loved it. It has a perfect balance of suspense and action and drama and even comedy. Maybe it’s just me, but the characters of Roman–played by actor Tyrese Gibson, and Tej–played by rapper-turned actor, Ludacris–are totally hilarious. Their characters crack me up each time. And Vin Diesel–the actor that plays one of the lead characters, Dom Toretto–gosh, he’s just total eye candy. Not gonna lie–for a 47-year-old, he’s pretty hot. Just sayin’.
Then, of course, there’s Paul Walker’s character, Brian O’Connor–an ex-FBI-agent turned street racing-junkie turned criminal and fugitive turned world-saving hero turned father and family man. Paul Walker played the character so well, which makes it more tragic and even more of a shame what happened to him. I just think it’s horrible that he died the way he did. I think the irony of it all is just plain cruel. An actor who basically rose to fame by playing a character that was front and center within the world of street-racing, dies in a high-speed car crash?? It just seems so wrong–like a slap in the face, you know? If nothing else, it just goes to show just how cruel and unforgiving fate and the universe can be sometimes, I guess. And the fact that it was a freak accident sort of thing that happened, makes it even more horrible. It all could have happened so differently, you know. So many if-onlys. If only that car hadn’t been having problems that day…if only he hadn’t gotten in that car or gone on that drive…he might still be alive. While I know it was just an unfortunate, tragic accident, I can’t help but wonder (as many others have, I’m sure) what they were thinking driving that fast on that stretch of road. I think I read somewhere that the car was going like 90 mph or about that when it crashed. Seriously…what were they thinking? How it even happened is what I don’t get. I mean, not only was the driver the owner of a racing team, but was an avid racer himself. So he knew what he was doing. Or should have known. As a racer–he had to have been used to driving at speeds nearly double what he was doing the day of the crash. In light of that, it just seems odd to me that he lost control like he did. But he did. I just feel really bad for that Rodas’ guy’s family and for Paul Walker’s family, especially his teenage daughter. It’s one thing to have to suffer the loss of a loved one…but to know that their deaths were the result of deliberate recklessness that could have easily been avoided…that’s got to make it even worse. I caught a bit of an interview Paul Walker’s dad did after the crash where he mentioned that the Furious 7 movie was going to be the last film his son was going to make for awhile–that he was planning on taking a break from acting so he could spend more time with his daughter. It’s sad that he never got that chance. Which goes to show, I think, just how short and fragile life really is. You never know what’s going to happen. You think you have all the time in the world, so you put off doing the things you want to do and add it all to the “someday” pile…then tragedy strikes and those “some days” are gone forever. There are no guarantees. You just never know. It’s almost like a curse and a blessing, at the same time.
Anyhow, back to the movie. I’m glad they retired Paul Walker’s character, rather than kill him off. And they did it in such an incredible, respectful, genuine way that just gives you the feels, so to speak. One of the best things about this particular saga is how, even though the movies are action films, they still manage to tie in this sort of genuine family element. The love and respect that cast of actors have for one another–on-and-off screen–really comes across in the films, especially so in this last one. I think it’s easy for people to get attached to these characters and their stories and forget sometimes that those actors are actually real people. Real people with feelings and emotions and families. I’ m completely in awe and impressed by that cast of amazing actors and all the heart they put into finishing the film. It couldn’t have been easy for them. And the way that they really about honoring their friend was truly and genuinely perfect. There are scenes in this last film, especially that very last scene, where you have to wonder how much of that is acting and how much is genuine. They were saying goodbye to the character obviously, but I think it was also that they were saying goodbye to their friend, someone they loved. It was a little heartbreaking to watch…and I’ll admit, there were some tears…but I’m human. And if you’ve seen all the movies–and I have–it’s true, you get a little invested in the characters and their stories. I mean, you know it’s not actually real…but it could be. And I’m sure that it is real for someone or some people out there, somewhere. Someone’s brother or friend or family. There are all kinds.
So yeah…great movie. If you haven’t seen it yet, I highly recommend getting off your behind and going to see it…if for no other reason than to see those incredible stunts. I mean…whoa. Big BIG props to those stunt people. Let’s just say that if it weren’t for the whole crash and die thing, I’d be adding “skydiving in a car” to my bucket list. That’s one of those thrills-of-a-lifetime things that you just know isn’t likely to end well…but you want to and still do it anyway because you know that life is just too damn short for regrets. And for wishing you’d done something when you had the chance. As those hipster teenagers these days like to say, YOU ONLY LIVE ONCE. It’s true. So take the plunge, take the risk, break the rules. That’s right, don’t think or over-analyze it all…just do it. GO. Live a little. Today, right now. It’s worth it. It’s all worth it.