Opinion: ‘Furious 7’ Should Be the Final ‘Fast and the Furious’ Film
Coming off a gigantic opening weekend – one that even box office pundits had underestimated – it seems like a foregone conclusion that they’ll be a Furious 8, 9, and probably 10. Franchises are important to Hollywood, and that’s only part of the reason I’m against a sequel.
There’s obviously a sentimental argument added into the equation given the tragic passing of Paul Walker midway through filming of the latest action film.
Coming off my viewing of what I’d actually consider to be a bit of letdown – save the last five minutes – I’m still in accordance with the many voices calling for a quit to the franchise. And it’s really hard to voice my opinion without using the unfortunate phrase: let the franchise die.
I’ll start by comparing The Fast and Furious movies to another revered action franchise, Die Hard. The Bruce Willis-fronted franchise rocked Hollywood back in the 1988 and followed that up with a serviceable sequel in 1990. Since then, the franchise has tapered off, most recently showing off the abysmally unnecessary adaptation that was A Good Day to Die Hard. The irony of its title and the aforementioned “let the franchise die” is just too easy to exploit.
Back to Fast and the Furious, though. There are rare – and I mean rare – franchises that get better with time. Sure, the first Fast and the Furious was actually pretty decent; however, it’s a miracle the franchise survived through 2 Fast 2 Furious (which has to be in the running for worst title) and the even worse movie, The Fast and the Furious: Toyko Drift. Yet, the franchise endured and somehow got better as it went on.
It’s admittedly been a few years since I revisited all the films but my gut feeling has Furious 7 falling short of its predecessor (although, yes, the Rotten Tomatoes scores speak differently). Given its thrilling, and heartfelt, conclusion (which I’ll talk about in a second, I promise), I think the franchise has finally peaked. It’s best to let the franchise down easy before it starts to inevitably tread water.
The elephant in the room is definitely Paul Walker’s passing. The filmmakers had to put a bunch of extra work into reworking the script and using an impressive amount of technology to ensure Walker had not just a working role but took on an integral part of the plot. In the end, it helped create a much more emotional end to the film, although nobody is suggesting Walker’s death was handled in a manipulative manner.
When the credits close on Furious 7 in a touching tribute to both Walker and his character, Brian, the franchise finally hits a highpoint when it comes to emotional connection. The Fast and the Furious movies haven’t really been known for their emotional core and to finally find it in the seventh movie is an impressive feat.
It’s too bad Hollywood will use this emotional core and its millions of dollars worth of loot to justify the franchise going forward. If it were up to me, the franchise would be laid to rest in a fitting manner just like how Furious 7 laid its brother to rest.
What are you thoughts? Sound off below!
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