Over Easter/Passover weekend this year, my dad and I watched four of the seven F&F movies. Why? Well, because we could! Okay, that’s not entirely true. I can’t remember how the topic came up, but what I do know is that I read this link to my dad. It’s basically a girl who (like me) is trying to get her dad to give the F&F franchise a chance, which makes it even more fun that I read it to my dad. It must’ve worked, because on Thursday night (April 2) we sat down and watched The Fast and The Furious aka the first movie.It was really enjoyable, actually! And it’s been so long since I’ve watched all these movies, it was pretty great. But what made it even more fun was that I got to watch them with my dad, who’d never seen them before.
I made the executive decision that we would skip 2 Fast 2 Furious and Tokyo Drift (I’ll return to that one, though) in favor of all the Vin Diesel + Paul Walker movies. Which means we watched 1 and 4-6 and it was GLORIOUS. No, really. IT WAS. I cannot wait for Furious 7 (maybe sometime this week! hopefully!). But, the point at hand is why do I love these movies? You could go read that link above and that would explain a lot of it (most of it), but I want to add something.
You know, a lot of people grew up with the Harry Potter movies, they watched the kids grow up as they themselves did. And, in a way, that’s a tiny bit of how I feel about the F&F movies. Why? Well, I don’t know. Maybe it’s because back in 2001 I was living at home, I’d graduated from undergrad the previous year and didn’t know what I was going to do with my life. And I basically saw all of these movies, most of them in the theater, as they came out. A friend of mine and I have gone to see a bunch of them, too. And every time they mention there’s going to be a new one, I get a little thrill.
When Paul Walker died, it was heartbreaking for me, as a fan (let’s not talk about how hard it hit the cast of the F&F movies), because I’d fallen in love with the found family of the F&F franchise. I liked these characters and their ridiculous and totally unrealistic antics. But at the same time the thing that binds them together — that makes these movies work even though they aren’t grounded in reality, is the whole theme of family — found family as the movies (and that link) explicit show us. The main characters of F&F are diverse in every way and they are all amazing and work together in such a fantastic way that they just make you root for them, even when they’re stealing cars and getting into fights.
Note: Spoilers for all the movies (except 7) in this paragraph. You can skip to the next one.
And so when we lose Letty in four (ignoring that she’s not really dead), it SUCKS. We lose Han in 3, but it doesn’t hurt as much as it will. Why? Because Han’s in 4-6. He’s THERE. He’s alive and he’s amazing. But in six he loses Gisele and that is awful and then we get that scene in the credits, which is “from” Tokyo Drift where we find out who and why Han was killed, it is equally terrible. Because we’ve grown to care for both Han and Gisele. Hey, at least Gisele wasn’t fridged, so we can be thankful of that fact. But it still sucks.
Note: End of spoilers.
I don’t know how they’re going to deal with Paul Walker’s death — I heard that they do a good job (there’s a link in next week’s post that talks a bit about it and maybe I’ll review the movie after I see it) and that’s all I can ask. It’s going to be hard — it was hard watching the first movie, to be honest, knowing that he’s dead. Actually, it was hard watching all of them know that Brian’s not going to be around for the ones after 7. That being said, if 7 is as enjoyable as people seem to think (at least so far) then I want more of them.
I love the F&F franchise and why not? It’s big on everything I love (in an odd way, similar to all those John Woo movies I love: bromance, hijinks and two gun action, with the added bonus of totally awesome ladies). If you think the F&F movies are just dumb, bro-y, car movies, you’re wrong. Sure, they’ve got the scantily clad ladies and the big cars. But they also have ladies who are awesome, a SUPER diverse cast (who are also awesome) and a focus on what’s important — family. What’s not to love?
Go see the movies. Don’t be ashamed. You should love them as much as I do. They’ve got something for everyone. I promise. Also, where else can you see Vin Diesel and The Rock sharing the same screen and being bromancey? No where else. It’s worth it, just for the two of them (The Rock shows up in Fast Five). Go forth and enjoy!