I cried in front of Fast & Furious 7 [critique]

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Take out the handkerchiefs: the blockbuster with Vin Diesel, Paul Walker and Dwayne Johnson will return Sunday evening on TF1.

On the occasion of the cinema release of Fast & Furious 9, which was screened this week at the Cinéma de la Plage, within the framework of the Cannes festival, the first channel reprograms the most moving episode of all the franchise, the n ° 7, marked by the disappearance of one of its principal actors, Paul Walker, died in an accident of car in 2013.

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We will not try to take you in a car. To make you believe that Fast & Furious 7 is something other than a product of (very) great consumption, we will not seek to theorize on the symbolism of the gear lever and the place of the car in the reports of class. FF7, it’s industrial porn, a succession of scenes of voracious pursuits at the cash register interspersed with thin intrigues plastered there, sometimes embarrassing like that of the amnesia of Michelle rodriguez. In its perspective of mass destruction, FF7 rarely reaches extremes: either the peaks of delirium in a way Torque of Joseph kahn or Death Race 2000, or the down-to-earth and violent realism of old school box office films at the Zero Limit. FF7 is similar, oh surprise, to FF5 and FF6.

Under the hood of Fast and Furious

Fast Food & Furious

Everything is in its place, we have it for our money (and that I parachute you cars, and that I ravage you Los Angeles with blows of Predator drone) even if we can always quibble on tics tics: a management of the completely WTF space, and the melee scenes, necessarily PG13, are over-cut and do not pay homage to the martial talents of the guests Ronda Rousey and Tony jaa. We will also waste our time looking for the director personality of James wan, putting himself completely at the service of a heavyweight production dominated by the stuntman and second-team director Spiro Razatos (Captain America: The Winter Soldier). The eternal shots of female buttocks in bikinis with big rap in the background are there; fortune cookie dialogs Vin Diesel too (“We have eternity in this moment”, “I have no friends, I have a family”, et caetera), the facial expressions of Dwayne johnson itou (the so-called plaster scene is already cult), Jason statham is a big bad guy as we like (the hospital intro scene could emerge from a High Voltage 2.5). At the same level as its predecessors, we repeat, Fast & Furious 7 acts in a fantasized, autoparodic space, where violence has no consequences (three bloodstains in 120 minutes). It’s not great pop cinoche, it’s Fast Food & Furious cinema: we’ve always been used to this kind of violently meaty product, which we devour in groups to better distribute the guilt.

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Walker’s Memoir

A data disturbs the machine. The death of Paul walker in November 2013. You have to want to look for sleight of hand to realize its absence in certain scenes. And this is where the film finds, in a somewhat morbid way, its raison d’être. This rare moment when we say goodbye to an actor via the screen, where the cinema connects to reality and thus finds one of its oldest and most powerful magics in a total dialectic with its audience: if you liked a somewhat Paul (there is something: Hell blue, A trip to hell, Fear in my stomach…), the epilogue of the film in the form of farewell to Walker risks – as has happened to us – of making you shed tears at the vision, inevitably awkward, necessarily melodious, of the actor’s ultimate steel blue gaze . At the moment Fast & Furious 7 commits the fine feat of total empathy with the room. What reminds us that the real star of the film, deep down, is its audience.

Sylvestre Picard (@sylvestrepicard)

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