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Sunday, April 21
The Indiana Daily Student


COLUMN: Living 'Fast and Furious'

You don’t go to a “Fast and Furious” movie and expect to witness stellar writing performed spectacularly on screen, especially for the seventh iteration of a series that strained for originality after the first.

You especially don’t go to a “Fast and Furious” movie expecting to see a realistic presentation of complicated characters fraught with conflict. And, most of all, you don’t go to a “Fast and Furious” movie expecting it to follow the basic laws of physics.

These are exactly the reasons why you should go and see “Furious 7.” Hear me out. Life is stressful, and there are days when the things of this world weigh heavily upon you, and foremost among them is gravity. No, not emotional gravity; actual gravity.

“Furious 7” takes place in an alternate universe where gravity barely exists, where cars can drop from tens of thousands of feet in the air and deploy a parachute 500 feet above the ground and still manage to land on a perfectly paved road, among some obscure mountains, between the lines. And you thought parallel parking was difficult.

The cinema has long been an escapist haven, a place for condoned voyeurism and vicarious nostalgia, often brimming with cheap, fun entertainment for people to consume like candy. Why else do we have a million “Air Buds?” It’s because we all actually want to live the lives of anthropomorphized dogs — none of the stress that comes with being a human and all the fame that comes with being a dog baseball/basketball/football/tennis prodigy.

Let’s be honest with ourselves here: the “Fast and Furious” world is the world we all want to live in. It has all the markings of the American Dream. (1) Expensive Cars. (2) Really Expensive Cars. ?(3) White picket fences (though these are normally destroyed by massive explosions, usually from bombs sent through the U.S. Postal Service to assassinate someone). (4) Ludacris proves you can do and be anything you want if you have enough money. (5) No one important dies. (6) Vaguely racist character qualities. (7) Not-so-vague sexist character ?qualities.

I think you see my point. The truth of the matter is “Furious 7” is an inspiring movie. If an emotionless, vapid Vin Diesel can find love, then, hey, we all can. If Jason Statham can survive being punched in the face by The Rock several times and still look pretty, then we should all be ecstatic about our appearance, especially since we haven’t been punched in the face by The Rock. If Ludacris can dodge thousands of bullets, then maybe I can walk to class without being hit by a giant bus.

“Furious 7” is a philosophy. It’s about denying the obvious and expecting the impossible. It’s about harmless rebellion, like running red lights without killing anyone.

It’s about making grotesque amounts of money on style without substance. Mark my words, Vin Diesel’s monotone philosophizing, seen in Dominic in “Furious 7,” Groot in “Guardians of the Galaxy” and the Iron Giant in “The Iron Giant,” will not place him among the auspices of Al Pacino, Harrison Ford and Robert De Niro, but among the Pantheon of philosophers. Aristotle. Plato. Hume. Mill. ?Vin Diesel.

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