Did Furious 7 get Paul Walker sympathy praise?
Is the latest “Fast & Furious” film that good or is Paul Walker’s death the cause of so much praise?
I know many of you may think I’m being a bit insensitive with the headline but just hear me out. When I heard of Paul Walker‘s passing, I was also sad seeing what a great humanitarian and person he was. But despite the heartfelt sorrow that many felt for his passing, it doesn’t change the fact that “Furious 7” aka Fast & Furious 7 is not worthy of being the Best Picture caliber film that Vin Diesel proclaims it to be.
Despite the emotional weight of the film from the tragic demise of Paul Walker, this is not a film worthy of being in the 80th percentile on Rotten Tomatoes. Sure it was a fun ride and I would even say that its entertainment value carried some extra clout for its rating, but it’s definitely receiving some escalated reviews compared to similar films and all of the previous “Fast & Furious” films. Here are a few points to support my theory.
“Fast & Furious 7” was entertaining, but not the best in the series
Was “Fast & Furious 7” a fun film? Sure it was. Was it the best of the series? No. This film had an obvious bigger budget but if we’ve learned anything from high budget films, it doesn’t necessarily correlate with quality. “Furious 7” was highly action-packed but that amount of action made a majority of the dialogue-driven scenes seem forced, rushed, and emotionally stagnant. They tried to explore every character on the team (which has grown to a HUGE number) which left little room for any sincerity. Paul Walker did have the most heart-felt and well acted moments throughout the film but he is not the primary focus of the film, it’s about the team. I, like many, joined in the clapping at the end when Paul Walker’s last moments were shared on screen but this was not his best film, nor was it the best film of the “Fast & Furious” franchise. Paul Walker was an asset to the franchise and an asset to the planet, but unfortunately “Furious 7” was lacking in many cinematic elements that previous “Fast & Furious” films had.
The Rotten Tomatoes score was obviously inflated and undeserving
In addition to my statement above, according to Rotten Tomatoes, “Furious 7” is leaps and bounds above the other films based on critics’ perception. Scoring a whopping 83% in positive reviews, this not only sets “Furious 7” as the best reviewed “Fast & Furious” film but also better reviewed than a plethora of other critically acclaimed films including two 2015 Best Picture nominees (“American Sniper,” “Theory of Everything”). While I have my own qualms with Rotten Tomatoes’ ranking system (we’ll get into that for a future post), it has set a standard of comparison for films. After reading a few of the reviews from RT Top Critics myself, it seems as though they were more being polite with their critique of the film rather than giving it praise. One of the top critics, Richard Roeper, reinforces this theory with his own critique which dodges his own contempt of “Furious 7” by pandering to the film’s relation to Paul Walker’s tragic death.
“Furious 7” could have come across as ghoulish, but it’s not until the very end that we’re reminded of Walker’s fate, and the filmmakers handle it with taste and respect.
– Richard Roeper
While Richard Roeper is just one example, you can read through many critic opinions who seemed to inflate their review based on the film being a reminder of Paul Walker. I do believe that Paul Walker is deserving of posthumous praise, but the facts are pretty clear. “Fast & Furious 7” has been getting a little extra boost in its ratings based on the Paul Walker tragedy, and Rotten Tomatoes has proven this with its compiled list of like-minded critics.