Okay, fair warning, if you haven’t seen Furious 7 and you want to, now is the time to turn away. I will spoil the entire thing if you keep reading. You have been warned.
Still here? Okay, here we go. So, between the fact that Paul Walker died while still filming and the fact that the tagline on the DVD case was “One crew. One last ride” I went into this fully expecting Brian to die. I just didn’t know when or how. I’m sure I’m not the only one. And then there was so much that really seemed to be foreshadowing his death. Starting with his wife telling Dom that she’s pregnant again, but she hasn’t told him yet because something about making him feel trapped. I admit that I was too busy flailing to fully understand the reasoning she gave. Because of course, my thought was “Dear Gods, he’s going to die without ever knowing about the baby, isn’t he?”
And even before that, the assumption that they were going to be killing Brian off made his first appearance in the movie heart-breaking. We first see him as he’s dropping his son off at preschool. I was already tearing up just from seeing Paul Walker’s name in the opening credits. (My first clue that this was going to be a very rough two hours.) So, the whole “Oh Gods, he has a KID” was just… yeah. I was crying. And then we find out he’s about to have another one. Right before his (or was it Dom’s? I’m a little unclear about this) house explodes. Which gave Mia another reason not to tell him about the baby, because she knows he has to go deal with this, and she doesn’t want him distracted. By this time, all I’m hoping for is that Dom will end up telling him right before he dies, or something.
And it just gets worse. One of their friends dies and at the funeral, Dom says that he can’t go to another funeral. And I’m thinking “You still have one more to go to, Dom.” Because, I’m expecting this. Not to mention that this is how foreshadowing works. Somebody saying something like that at the beginning of a movie, usually means that there will be another funeral before the end. And we all know whose funeral that is likely going to be, don’t we?
And then the yelling at the tv starts. Because we get to a scene where Brian is trapped on a bus that is about to go over a cliff. And my reaction was “No! Not like this. I know he’s going to die, but not like this.” I am so caught up in waiting for him to die, that I totally forget that there are scenes he’s in that haven’t been seen yet that were in the previews. It wasn’t until after the scene was over that it occurs to me that THAT scene was in the previews.
So, they all survive that mess, and they’re back in LA. Now Dom and Brian are going to go after the bad guys without the rest of the team. Well, apparently Dom thought he was going alone. But as soon as he said why he was going alone, I knew that Brian was going, too. He said the rest of the team were just drivers, they weren’t prepared for a war. Well, Brian is, or at least was, a cop. Of course he wasn’t going to let Dom go alone, because Dom’s reasoning for leaving the rest of the team out didn’t apply to him.
So, Brian calls Mia. She finally tells him about the baby, so at least he isn’t going to die not knowing. And he tells her he loves her, and she says he sounds like he’s saying goodbye. She tells him to say something else, and he tells her to hug their son for him. Which still sounds like a goodbye, actually. And at this point I’m very glad I’m home alone watching this, because I don’t even try not to cry, anymore.
So, a whole bunch of action stuff happens. Including a fight for Brian while he’s trying to get to a satellite thingy to give their hackers access to something that I don’t fully understand, but was actually the whole point of the movie. (But, I was too busy waiting for horribleness to really notice the plot. Plus, I haven’t seen 4-6, so really had little idea what was going on, anyway.) And then the unthinkable happens. It looks like DOM is dead. And I lose it. I’m yelling at the tv again. “Oh Gods, I was prepared for Brian’s death, but not Dom’s too. I don’t think I can take this.”
And then… nobody dies. Dom recovers, and Brian was never actually in all that much danger – at least once he got off that damned bus. The movie was over for a while before it really sank in that nobody died. The writers and director were magnificent bastards who played their audience like a fiddle. And it was beautiful. You spend the entire movie on the edge of your seat waiting for the inevitable. And then the inevitable never comes.
And yet, the ending is rather bittersweet. It takes a while for it to sink in that they gave Brian Happily Every After. He’s retired from racing, and from the FBI, and from everything about that life. He’s living on the beach with his wife and son, and with a daughter on the way. But of course, the actor that plays him is dead, and the real reason they ended it the way they did was to retire the character.
Plus, you can tell that the last two scenes were actually filmed after Paul died. They’re supposed to be happy scenes, but you can see on the actors’ faces as the other characters are watching Brian, Mia, and their son that this… is them saying goodbye. And then it ends with Dom driving away, presumably to go home. He’s stopped at a red light, and another car pulls up next to him, and you just know that it’s going to be Brian. They have something of a race, but actually pace each other. And again, there is that LOOK on Vin Diesel’s face. That “this is goodbye” look. And the final shot before it goes into a tribute to Paul Walker is this symbolic, sad in context, shot of the cars. The road splits, and Dom takes one branch off to wherever he’s going, and Brian takes the other one, presumably to head back the way he came. The camera follows Brian’s car for a minute, and then it goes right into the tribute.
And that did it. I was gone. It was an awesome movie, and I need to watch it again after watching the other six. So, I’ll know what’s going on, and I can actually WATCH it without waiting for the horribleness. But it was so sad, and I cried my way through it. Because I am a huge dork, that way.