One of the pleasures of seeing where the “Fast and the Furious” series has arrived is looking back at where it started and measuring just how far everyone’s come.
Paul Walker is never going to be one of those guys who people talk about in the pantheon of great transformative performers, people whose acting transcends, like Daniel Day Lewis or Meryl Streep. Walker is a fairly limited onscreen persona, but if you cast him correctly and surround him with the right sort of actors, he is capable of a certain charm and charisma.
The great mystery of this series is the chemistry that holds it together. Vin Diesel and Paul Walker would have never been my pick for the core duo in a major action franchise, but something about Walker’s slightly wooden earnestness set next to Vin Diesel’s “What planet is he from?” machismo works, and the franchise has slowly but surely added more and more players to the mix, and every time, it seems to actually make it all stronger.
Guy Lodge is the last guy I would have picked for the “Furious Six” junket in London, but only because I think of Guy as a very bright cineaste who loves European cinema and who has an encyclopedic knowledge of the sort of fare he’s reviewing this week from the Cannes Film Festival for us. He’s not the guy I think of here at HitFix when I’m thinking of the blockbuster stuff.
Even so, I think it turned out to be a really fun idea to send Guy to do all of the interviews for both this and “Star Trek” precisely because he’s coming at it from a very different angle than many of the other people at these events. I think he asks different questions, and he approaches them in a very different way. I think Walker comes across as very grounded and very thoughtful in this interview, and I think Guy did nice work with it.
“Furious Six” opens in theaters everywhere May 24th.