Week 10 Student choice project (Fast and Furious 7, and the Death of Paul Walker)

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One of my passions in life is film, and although I do not currently wish to be involved in it or have a major/minor it, film still always holds my attention. I love to hear how movies get made, how directors get chosen, who writes, who acts, how much money gets made, and what goes on behind the scenes. Fast and Furious 7 presented something that was both tragic, rare, and left me completely unsure as to what would happen. Because if you did not already know, Paul Walker one of the lead actors in the franchise died unexpectedly in a car crash reportedly only halfway done filming his scenes. As a film enthusiast I was shocked, horrified and at a loss. I did not know what would happen next, would they restart filming, cast another actor, or even kill of his character? These where the questions I asked leading up to the film.

And it is my firm belief that director James Wan, and writer Chris Morgan handled it beautifully in way that was both tasteful and made sense from the story perspective. (From here on I will delve deeply into Furious 7 spoilers) The main plot of the film revolves around the “crew” of the Furious movies facing off against the brother of the villain of the previous movie who vows revenge. Paul Walker’s character Brian must exit his current domestic family life to help the crew take down the villain. Right away the film expertly shows how much Brian loves his family and how much he will do to protect them, and makes him protecting them the main reason why he chooses to go after the villain. Then throughout the film in a series of epic action stunts we see Brian face death multiple times, and see his friend Dom nearly die as well. In fact there is even a most likely posthumously done scene set up where Dom talks to an out of focus Brian about the dangers of going after bad guys. This culminates to a scene where Brian’s wife calls about her new pregnancy, and how she does not want him doing anymore dangerous missions. And finally the film ends with the villain defeated, and Dom watching Brian play with his son. Dom realizes that Brian will no longer be going out on adventures, leaves silently because he does not like goodbyes. However as the he is driving away Brian drives up right next to him saying they are brothers no matter what, and they both drive together for a short time before Brian takes turns in a separate direction. Clips of Brian throughout his appearance’s in the franchise play afterwards.

There are so many things done right in this situation. The director, writer, and actors all came together to keep the film going, and make it a proper send off to their friend. In terms of story, they expanded on Brian’s family giving it more importance, and emphasized the danger of that comes from all the car chases they preform. Paul Walker’s character is given a legitimate reason as to why his character would choose not to go on any more adventures. This is even reinforced a second time by the announcement of a second pregnancy from his wife. And in the end we get the bittersweet symbolic scene of Brian driving off to start a new stage in his life, while Paul Walker heads to the afterlife. While the story is made in a way that makes perfect logical sense, credit must also be given to the production team. Only by Looking closely can one notice that in quite a few scenes you see Paul Walker’s head from the backside. Or how you can notice that a few of his lines don’t seem to synch up with everyone else’s dialogue. However these are things I found mainly due to me wanting to find them. Most movie going audiences would probably not notice many of theses small imperfections. All in all I view Fast and Furious 7 as a triumph of various artists both actors, writers, and a director turning a tragedy into one of the best send offs any actor could possibly hope for.

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