In honor of Fast 7: Dwayne Johnson, Vin Diesel, and Paul Walker

There has been an outpouring of pieces lately focusing on various aspects of the surprisingly lucrative, enduring, and endearing Fast franchise. I, for one, have loved it. Along with #strongfemalefriendship, I love friendships, period. Real friendships. Fictional friendships.  All of it.

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And don’t let Vin Diesel’s insta-classic line,”I don’t have friends. I got family,” from the trailer fool you, he’s all about dat franship.

In honor of that, let me draw your attention to some of the best pieces written of late celebrating those involved with the Fast franchise and the surprisingly subtle emotional elements surrounding the film and all those involved. These men are #strongfemalefriendship approved.

Joey Eschrich recently waxed academic on Slate about Vin Diesel’s gender performances on film, focusing primarily on his projects over which he’s had the most control, like his Riddick character. I, for one, am convinced by this defense.

No matter what, you probably don’t love Vin Diesel enough. Unless you’re one of his facebook friends, in which case, none of this is a surprise. (Or, if you’re Helen Mirren—the dame knows what’s up and rightly thinks he’s just brilliant.) I mean, the dude kills it with his Rihanna music videos, too.

At Vulture, Bilge Ebiri just reposted a commemoration of the late Paul Walker and his ability to be an everyman who, in the author’s opinion, seemed to willingly cede center stage to his costars. All of the Fast 7 promotion has undoubtedly led to many a reflection on Walker’s death, and his costars are often the first to break down.  

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Kyle Buchanan writes about why The Rock should host the Oscars: “It’s because Johnson has such generous, gentle charisma that we root for him to nail those jokes, and we’re delighted to find out in the end that he didn’t even need our help.”

And two older pieces from the past few years that address Dwayne’s unexpected career arc and his emotional side that is critical to his success—a trait he seemed to share with his Fast costars.

James Wan, the director of Fast 7, admits, “I’m a guy that makes sad action films.”

Also, recently hosting SNL, the Rock starred as Bambi (get bucked!) in a sketch that killed it in my opinion and Taran Killam as a Vin Diesel Thumper was tootoo good.

For those who like their Lip Sync Battles… Here’s the Rock doin’ his best TSwift.

Long live Fast and Furious.

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