Fast Cars and Arepas: Furious 7

Review by Sam Doob 

First of all, I have a friend who does an entire podcast about this franchise. It’s called “No One Likes The Tuna.” So you might want to go there if you want to hear about this movie in further detail. Because I’m going to make this brief.

I ate arepas before the movie. Then the theater smelled like feet.

Furious 7 had a credit sequence so weary of the modern day attention span that dozens of people were dead and blown up before we even knew who the casting director was. Patience is a virtue. And as Vin Diesel says — I’m paraphrasing now — “It’s not just about being fast anymore.” But the movie’s editorial staff could not take Vin Diesel’s advice and the result was like a shitty babysitter who races through the bedtime story when maybe the kid wants to examine the pictures a while before turning the page.

The main pleasure I got out of the movie was Vin Diesel, because he looked like he was having a total blast. I love Vin Diesel because of Find Me Guilty and The Iron Giant. Here he just seemed so tickled to be in the movie that some of his performances looked like they belonged on the blooper reel.

Dwayne Johnson was less of a joy. He was okay. I kept wanting him to turn to the camera and talk directly to the audience. Like Woody Allen in Annie Hall. But of course he never did.

I remember the first time I thought quietly to myself, “This movie sucks.” It was during a pointless and short lived car chase that begins in a cemetery. Someone was texting a couple rows ahead of me; and instead of being mad, I was curious what they were writing.

Ten minutes later, the car skydiving scene shook me out of it. It was incredible. However, once they hit the ground, there were the usual complications of fist fights, machine guns and jumping from moving vehicles, etc., etc. I started to think, “How can I be less of a control freak?” Then, “I need to be a kinder person.” These are good things to think about on a nature trail or in therapy, but not during Furious 7.

The characters often flew in midair in slow motion. That was good, but only at first. It’s like a movie kiss: you can’t have that same magic over and over again.

In terms of romance, there was a good scene between Vin Diesel and Michelle Rodriguez when they’re all dressed up to go to a fancy party. She says he looks good and Vin Diesel nails it when he says, “I feel awkward.” I mean imagine seeing Vin Diesel and telling him he looks good and he smiles and says he feels awkward. I’d be blushing for days.

At the party, the extras were terrible. I honestly think they were too dominated by Vin Diesel’s star power. The extras were doing the same thing earlier in the movie (at an event the screenwriter had the audacity to call, “Race Wars.”) It’s like, just because I’m dazzled by Vin Diesel’s star power doesn’t mean I want to share the experience with the paid extras.

Unfortunately, back to Vin Diesel’s awkwardness for a moment, (and let’s pause for another moment, take a deep breath, count to seven… Just joking, but I do want to take a moment and say I’m sorry this isn’t really being brief at all) Anyway, when Vin Diesel’s not in a tux, the wardrobe department often put him in an unflattering, long sleeve white shirt, that makes him look like he’s sucking in his gut to maintain his figure. Even if this is not true, I don’t like holding my breath in solidarity.

Finally, the Paul Walker memorial could have been serviceable-plus if not for the creepy CGI face, glowing at Vin Diesel as they cruise the secluded highway.

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