Sunday, December 1, 2013

He Was Fast, He Was Furious

Somehow, I got sucked into the Fast & the Furious franchise after watching the first movie. When you're involved in such a long movie series (the 10th longest franchise, starting in 2001; they are filming F&F 7 now), you get ensconced in the plot; you empathize with the characters; you start to believe they are real. Well, the actors are real, and Paul Walker (Brian on the show) died in a car crash last night in L.A.

Less than a week ago, he was rallying fans for Philippines Typhoon Relief. And, in fact, he died after leaving a charity event for the relief. (Side note: Vin Diesel had hoped to film F&F 7, 8 or 9 in the Philippines).

An unsettling quote from Walker in the video above: "Sometimes, you just have to check yourself."

The success of the franchise is undeniable; Buzzfeed says:

"Fast & Furious 6, which has pulled in $788 million worldwide. It has become the crown jewel franchise for Universal Pictures, affecting the livelihoods of not just the actors involved, but also the many artisans and technicians who make the films possible."

The question being asked is, can the franchise continue without him? I would say probably not, they've been lucky to see the long success they have and this makes more sense than letting it jump the shark. Buzzfeed goes on to say:

"It’s unclear how many scenes in Fast & Furious 7 that Walker had left to shoot. But even if the 40-year-old actor had wrapped his part of the film, Wan has the deeply unfortunate job of finishing a movie in which one of his lead actors died under circumstances that are profoundly close to scenes in which that actor himself undoubtedly took part."

It's hard to explain (to my non-blue-collar friends) why I'm so into the movies. Part of it, of course, is simple machismo - as a guy, I'm a sucker for a move that is, essentially, one long car chase. But there's something more to it than that, and the attraction to the series has been examined in a couple of blogs, including Complex.com calls the series "smart" and CriticWire says "It's not just smart; it's actually elegant. It's borderline ingenious" [in its complexity]. Even Variety weighs in with "5 Things F&F Got Right."

For me, in the end, I think it's the characters, and that's why I took time to write this blog today.

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