This weekend I went to see “Furious 7” which is, ridiculously, the 7th installment in the Fast & Furious franchise. These movies are silly, but I love them. I will see 7 more of them if they keep making them. In the beginning, these movies were about street racing, but now they have morphed into more traditional action movies.
Well I went to see this movie and I actually had decently high expectations. The movies in this franchise have an average Rotten Tomatoes rating of 55%, but this new movie has been given an 82% rating! I was shocked when I saw that, especially since it is decently higher than the new Avengers movie, which has a 75% rating.
So I went in with many expectations, but my primary feeling was curiosity. Paul Walker was one of the main stars of this whole franchise. He has been in all of the movies, except for #3, but fans of this series will know that the third movie is best forgotten altogether. In November of 2013, Paul Walker died in a car crash. This happened during the making of this newest movie. Production was halted and many people were curious if this movie would even come out, and if so, how they were going to deal with Walker’s death onscreen.
Much to my surprise and delight, Walker’s death was handled very tastefully and it was pretty heartbreaking to watch, especially since they had six movies of footage from which to draw for the montage and a custom song written about the whole situation. Wiz Khalifa wrote a memorial song about Walker for this movie, and despite Khalifa not being my favorite rap artist, it was also very well done. This all brought a sharp moment of poignancy to the end of an otherwise silly action movie about street racers launching sports cars at helicopters and jumping through skyscraper windows. These movies are all ridiculous.
But I left the theater in deep contemplation about life, death, family and friends. This is not what I was expecting when I entered the theater.
Now I know that most of you are not interested in silly movies about cars with rap soundtracks, but I do know that most of you have experience with death and loss. Yesterday, Frank and I were invited to officiate at a graveside service for someone related to one of our church members. At almost every funeral or memorial service I have been to with Frank, he has said these words, “Death doesn’t have the last word, God does.”
The song that Wiz Khalifa wrote for this movie is called “See You Again.” The chorus says, “It’s been a long day without you, my friend, and I’ll tell you all about it when I see you again.” That is such a beautiful sentiment to me; so full of hope and love. I understand these words. One of the main things that I miss about those who have died in my life is just talking to them. Don’t put off spending time with your friends and family. Our lives are so short and fleeting, so don’t miss the chance to love those in your life while you can.
We’ve had a lot of deaths in our church family this year. I know that many of you miss talking to these friends and family that are no longer with us. It’s been a long day without these friends, but by the grace of God, we know that we will get to tell them all about it when we see them again.
I never thought I would be so moved by a movie from the Fast & Furious franchise, but God works in amazing ways. Don’t worry, they’ve already planned to make “Furious 8” and you can expect to find me in the theater as soon as it comes out in two years.
May you find strength and hope in the shelter of God’s wings.
Have a wonderful week my friends,