UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

3-4-24 PDF
March 4, 2024
2-26-24 PDF
February 26, 2024
An inside look at Bobby B. Beacon’s insides. Illustrated by Bianca Oppedisano/ Mass Media Staff.
Bobby's Inside Story
February 26, 2024

‘Furious 7’ Ends on an Emotional Note

‘Furious 7’ is Out in Theaters Now

“Furious 7” is almost so much fun that the audience can forget the sadness surrounding Paul Walker’s real-life fate. The 15-year franchise has created a foundation on sharp-looking cars, good-looking people, and most of all, the characters that treat each other like family, grounding them in reality for audiences. It is the danger that keeps everyone on the edge of their seat, but viewers feel confident that the characters will keep each other safe and trust them as much as their fictitious personas trust each other.

The other aspect of the films that audiences can trust is the unspoken promise of ridiculous car chases, death-defying stunts, and at least a few scenes that laugh in the face of the laws of physics. Gravity is just a suggestion in a world where cars fly. The digital effects are able to keep up with the ambitious stunts, but the cameraman himself clearly got a workout as well. On more than one occasion, the camera is able to seamlessly move along with the actors—which is a feat in itself, considering that they not only don’t stop moving for most of the film, but that the manner in which they move is by no means simple. Just when it might seem as if there were no more windows to send each other through, they crash into a quaint table set straight out of an IKEA showroom and contribute to their business. There are occasions where it seems that the camera falls or barrel rolls with the characters, and while it was probably some form of rig setup, it is far more fun to imagine the cameraman spinning around and fighting along with the actors.

In what has come to be known as a stereotypical action film, the safe assumption is that the largest faction of the budget is used for the effects and computer generated action sequences. In this film with Paul Walker’s passing only halfway through filming, the budget had to be used for grafting his face onto body doubles, including Walker’s own two brothers, Cody and Caleb. Using the technology used to graft on the suit that Iron Man uses, it ruins the challenge of trying to guess when it is Paul Walker and when it is one of his brothers. At the opening of “Furious 7,” audiences are welcomed to a close up of Paul Walker’s iconic blue eyes, and it seems almost impossible that such a hue of blue could possibly be captured and replicated.

There is a darker tone in the film that juxtaposes the light humor that audiences have come to expect. It is evident that at times the “Furious 7” crew aren’t acting, and that aspect of the film usually presents itself during the more serious scenes. There are moments like when Roman says to Paul Walker’s character, Brian O’Connor, “No more funerals,” and with that statement the audience is made incredibly aware of  the tragic irony. This is how the “Furious 7” film is able to not only transcend its genre, but acts as a form of self-reflexive fiction. While Roman is referring to a fictitious character, the audience can’t help but think of Paul Walker’s death.
Death may loom over the cast of “Furious 7,” but the focus is still on the more fun traditions of the franchise. With Michelle Rodriguez’s character still without her memories after the incidents of the last film, it becomes a device of progressing the story to involve numerous flashbacks to reflect some of the most classic scenes. The best homages were left for the end of the film, which was mostly dedicated to Paul Walker and definitely tugged on a few heart strings. Paul Walker and his character Brian O’Connor were both given a family, which was self-evident on and off the screen. Paul’s families were certainly able to provide a respectable send-off for the late Paul Walker, as well as the on-screen character who would have a chance even if only in fiction to experience “one last ride” before spending the rest of his long life with his wife and son. Vin Diesel’s character, Dominic Toretto, sums up the sentiments clearly geared toward Paul Walker that are laced throughout the film when he says his farewell to Brian O’Connor, “You’ll always be with me and you’ll always be my brother,” and they ride off into the sunset.