I'm not going to lie to you: I think most movies Hollywood makes targeted at gearheads and car lovers sort of suck. Sort of really suck. And I get that there's suspension of disbelief and fun and over-the-top-action, but these movies seem to take all that to Dimension Stupid. And the new Furious 7 trailer suggests that plan is going just fine.
If you've yet to see the trailer, here it is:
I know there's a good number of you out there who like these movies and are forgiving of all the ways physics gets chloroformed and vigorously misused and all the inane dialog and insipid, overly compacted and ultimately meaningless plots, so chances are if that's you, you'll have a blast at this movie. And that's great.
But when I see this trailer, my miserable, joyless eyes just see a string of really, really terrible decisions. Like, if we accept that these characters exist and have goals to accomplish, it's really hard to understand why or how they do anything, assuming the world of this movie is anything remotely like the real world. I mean, it's never said that these movies take place in a parallel universe where people have faces made of steel and the ability to affect physics if they just want it badly enough.
Let's just look at some examples here:
First, this basic idea of parachuting a bunch of cars out of a plane to intercept another vehicle: this seems like such a terrible idea, even in the reality of the film. I mean, I'm assuming they have a goal here — why are they introducing so many novel ways to kill off their entire crew at once?
Though, to be fair, you have to respect the skill it takes to steer a car in a free-fall through the atmosphere.
... and, of course, the discipline to keep those hands planted on the two controls you can guarantee will have no use in the air whatsoever.
Then we meet the target of the miraculously-survived car-jumping: this big mean-looking tour bus of evil. What I like here is that, if you watch what the guy inside is doing, that big, complex looking hand lever seems to be just the controls for opening the cargo doors of the bus. That big red button fires the guns, which seem to target on their own.
Precision cargo door opening must be a big deal for these guys. "I need door 3 open at 74% STAT! HOLD AT 74% OPEN!!"
In all the planning for this raid, you'd think they'd find a way to get into the bus without launching the last 20% of it right into their own cars. But, whatever, they can dodge flying bus-asses.
"Okay, we need you to jump from the hood of a moving car into the open back of the bus. Money is no object — do you want any special equipment? A helmet? Some gloves?"
"Naw, just a hoodie should be fine."
"Really? Not even some goggles? It'll be pretty windy."
"No, no, just get me a nice hoodie I can wear unzipped. That's fine."
Okay, so we learn the whole goal of this high-speed raid and boarding of the death-bus was to rescue this lady. And what's the first fucking thing they do with her? Fling her out of a moving bus onto the hood of a moving car.
Again, I get suspension of disbelief, I get action movie over-the-topedness, but holy shit, this is such a monumentally stupid, stupid plan. Who's idea was that?
"So, once we find her, she'll probably be pretty disoriented and scared. We better handle this carefully — her safety is our primary concern. How do we get her off the bus?"
"Uh, I don't know, just throw her onto the car behind the bus? You know, like we would if we wanted to, say, kill her instead of saving her? Just sort of throw her, in a way that unless we're staggeringly lucky, she'll die? How about that?"
"Uh, sure, fine. Good enough. Hoagies for lunch?"
This is just here because I think it's time bad guys find something new to show how badass they are other than walking away from fireballs while on the phone.
This is included because this is how all Jalopnik staff meetings are. We line up overlooking a city skyline, and all talk with our eyes locked ahead, never facing anyone. It's super-productive.
This may be the strangest, most languid wheelie I've ever seen. It's like a yawning lion or something.
I don't care how tough you are, is it ever a good idea to take off a cast before a fight? Not only are you going in with an arm that may still be injured and hasn't been used for quite a while, you're giving up a nice big whalloping tool. What the fuck, The Rock? Use your head, and listen to your doctor.
Pro fighting tip: okay, maybe I'm not a pro fighter, but I think if someone was brandishing a big crowbar or whatever, I'm not going to leap in face first like some murderous leprechaun. But you know, what do I know?
Maybe I'm totally off-base. Maybe this thing will prove to be a mind-expanding wonderland of cars and excitement and unrepentant delight. It is just a trailer, after all.
Maybe. But my money's still firmly on a two-plus hour trip to Dimension Stupid.