How do you lose one of the anchors of your worldwide hit franchise and ensure success moving forward? Well, adding Jason Statham, Tony Jaa and Ronda Rousey isn’t a bad idea. But that still doesn’t make up for the loss. When Paul Walker died in 2013, very early in the principal photography phase, James Wan and the crew had to make some big decisions. Would they rewrite, reshoot and delay the process to write Brian O’Connor out of the franchise? Or would a crack team of visual effects artists use body doubles, existing footage and repurposed shots to create, essentially, a digital copy of Walker and finish the film? Thankfully, they chose the latter, and the results are wonderful. As has been the norm, the action sequences are glorious in their ridiculousness (including a so-awesome-I-laughed-out-loud scene in Abu Dhabi) and the fun factor is cranked up as high as ever. But the most impressive aspect of the entire entry is that you would never realize that who you’re looking at on screen most of the time isn’t Paul Walker. Remarkable care and effort went into the process, from what I’ve read, and I must say, they nailed it. There is a somber, terrific tribute to the late star before the closing credits that adds a great, emotional touch that may have hit me harder than I want to admit. This is a fitting send-off for Paul Walker in a franchise that belonged to him just as much as Vin Diesel.
Film of the Day Action Cars Cinema Dwayne Johnson Fast and the Furious Fast Five Film Film of the Day James Wan Jason Statham Kurt Russell Michelle Rodriguez Movies Paul Walker Racing Review Ronda Rousey Tony Jaa Vin Diesel