Noah Yantis –
Disclaimer: This article contains spoilers to the Fast and Furious series.
Since 2001, the Fast and Furious movie franchise has maintained a firm grip on the action movie industry in the United States and worldwide. The series has grossed over $2 billion and is a winner of multiple awards from many different academies.
Currently totaling seven movies with plans for an eighth in the works, Fast and Furious follows Dom Toretto, Brian O’Connor, and their crewmates and family across the globe in action-packed racing and fight scenes.
With the death of Paul Walker (O’Connor) in 2013, many people questioned whether the series would continue and if the seventh movie would be released because it was more than half way done at the time of Walker’s death in a high speed traffic accident. The decision was made to use Walker’s younger brothers as body doubles and use CGI on Walker’s body to finish the film.
Two years later, Furious 7 hit theaters and opened with resounding success. This movie was the direct successor to Fast and Furious 6 which ended with a physics-defying scene of the crew taking down a C-130 plane. In Furious 7, and ‘the crew’ is trying to remain wholesome. Through multiple action scenes, dropping cars out of the sky, fast paced racing, and flying a $3 million supercar in between two skyscrapers in Dubai, the movie trots all over the globe. In the end, the bad guy is in prison and the crew is still together.
But that is not where the story stops.
Curiously enough to almost all viewers, Brian is still alive at the end of the movie. The crew is gathered on a beach watching Mia and Brian play with their son Jack. Dom looks on and leaves, but Brian notices. The next scene is arguably the saddest in any action film ever.
Dom is taking a cruise in his 1969 Camaro (always a favorite of American muscle) and comes to a stop sign. Brian pulls up in a white Toyota Supra (and of course his love of tuners is portrayed) and looks over at Dom and says, “Think you could leave without saying goodbye?”
Tears. Suddenly this movie is not about racing and action, it is about Paul and Vin’s real life relationship.
The two begin to race, just like in the first installment with the Charger vs the Eclipse, and in the sixth with Brian in the GT-R and Dom in the Challenger. Dom is giving a monologue, but its Vin speaking to Paul.
“I used to say I live my life a quarter-mile at a time. And that’s why we were brothers. Because you did too.” A flashback begins with clips from Brian and Mia in Toretto’s shop in East L.A., to Brian and Tej fist bumping after a Miami race. All of this is happening to the tune of “See You Again” by Wiz Khalifa.
“No matter where you are, whether its a quarter mile away, or halfway across the world, you’ll always be with me, and you’ll always be my brother.”
Brian merges left and Dom stays on course. The two depart but never really leave each other. Vin and Paul’s friendship is a result of the movie series. The franchise produces their friendship and made them brothers, just like in the movies themselves.
What is important, and the real plot of Fast and Furious, is family is the most important thing in life. That’s one of the reasons why this franchise, in my mind, is the greatest series ever. The ending of Furious 7 tugs at the heart in the most brutal way possible.
I wish they would not make an eighth movie because seven was the perfect tribute to Paul Walker, my favorite actor. But, Furious 7 was for Paul. Furious 8 will be from Paul.
After Brian and Dom finally split on the road, the words “For Paul” appear on the screen.
You will be missed by so many, Paul. Even though you were a buster in the first movie.
Salute, mi Familia.
Noah Yantis, from Arthur, Illinois, is a freshman majoring in History with a minor in Political Science and Communication and Rhetorical Studies. Noah is Treasurer of The Rambler and Public Relations Chairman of Student Senate.