Veteran action star Vin Diesel is busy promoting his new superhero movie Bloodshot, but the franchise that made his career, the Fast and Furious series, is never far from the minds of his fans. Diesel spoke recently about the ending of Furious 7, and why he thinks it might be the best scene in cinematic history.
"It was a very tough moment. But there was some solace in the fact that we were able to protect from the natural whim of a producer or anyone to say, 'Well now you're going to go avenge the character,' and use it as a plot and we were able to do something so beautiful and so classy."
The filming of Furious 7 was struck by disaster when Paul Walker, who played the role of one of the lead characters, Brian, the cop-turned-ally of Diesel's character Dominic Toretto, died in a car crash midway through production. The writers of the movie had to scramble to rewrite the script to explain Walker's absence for half the runtime.
The final story had Brian's character retire from his life of adventuring at Dom's side to lead a peaceful life on an island with his wife and child. The final moments of the film had Dom and Brian saying goodbye to each other while driving side-by-side on the open road, where the two share a long meaningful look and Dom muses that they will always remain family before the two split off. The scene was shot with a body double on whose face Walker's features were super-imposed in post-production.
It was a highly emotional scene for fans of the franchise who had been devastated to hear about Walker's death, and Vin Diesel sounds appreciative of the fact that the producers were willing to allow Brian to retire peacefully instead of going the more action-movie route of having him killed off to provide revenge fodder for the rest of the team. It was the quiet, emotional resonance of the ending that puts it at the top of Diesel's list of movie moments in history.
The scene "might be the best moment in cinematic history. Not just in my career but in cinematic history. Men around the world, everyone was able to cry, but men around the planet for the first time in history were able to cry together."
While film critics might take issue with Diesel's declaration of the best scene in cinematic history, the impact of the sequence on fans of Fast and Furious is undeniable. Social media was flooded with emotional messages from viewers talking about how moved they had been by the ending of the film, and how the series had done justice to the passing of Paul Walker. That kind of emotional resonance is hard to quantify and rank.
Despite the passing of Walker, the Fast and Furious franchise is still going strong, and the cast and crew is gearing up for the release of the ninth installment of the series next year, once anxiety over the coronavirus pandemic has hopefully subsided. This comes from NME Twitter.