A Paul Walker Tribute


The Fast and Furious series has become an institution in American cinema. Arguably considered the greatest and most well-known action series, Furious 7 has absolutely destroyed the box office and earned the highest opening for any movie in over two years. A significant amount of buzz has surrounded the latest installment of the polarizing series, all due to the untimely death of the titular actor, Paul Walker. A tragic motor accident ended the young actor’s life and thus the series was faced with a dilemma: to continue on or cease filming all together? But they were too far in. Paul Walker had already filmed the majority of his scenes, they had spent the majority of their budget and so they decided to venture on. Using Paul Walker’s brother as a stand-in, and with some clever CGI work, they were able to finish production on the film and release it to an almost unanimous amount of praise and critical acclaim. The final scene of the film featured a touching tribute to the late actor that many considered the perfect send off to both the character and person.

Furious 7 became the film’s highest grossing and most critically acclaimed film of the series but
where do its predecessors lie? Many have chosen to forget the series’ second installment, 2 Fast 2 Furious, as some of the original cast had abandoned the project and the plot was far too unimaginative to follow. The third film, Tokyo Drift, also worked extremely hard to kill the series, with the entire cast
noticeably absent and the film forcing the series to do a chronological mix up to make sense of it all. For future reference, Tokyo Drift comes after the sixth film chronologically, and before the latest installment, Furious 7.

The fourth film brought Vin Diesel and most of the original cast back. It also laid the foundation for what the following films will be: more of an action-packed roller coaster than a movie about street racing. The problem with this film, however, and the reason it is the series’ most forgettable installment, is that it did not quite work out the way it was intended to. It isn’t as action-packed and wild as the following three films and it doesn’t have any of the soul and heart of the preceding three. It just is.

The following three films – Fast Five, Fast & Furious 6, and Furious 7, increasingly upped the game and delivered more on the action front. The Rock was brought in, we were introduced to flying cars,
there are train heists, professional assassins, etc. These film have everything you want in an action movie. Finally, The Fast and the Furious, the series’ first film, and the revered original that introduces us to the endearing characters we will all grow to love, mourn the loss of, and cheer on, is regarded by many as the series’ best installment. Starting out with some minor feuds with a local gang over stolen DVD players, you can certainly see how far the series has come. This film had the most heart, was the most grounded, and fooled us all into thinking Vin Diesel is an actor. The series has come a long way and there will be many more to come but one thing is for sure, we are all, still, very much along for the ride.