As I've mentioned, my friend Nell Minow's many and vastly divergent talents range from world expert on corporate governance who testifies before Congress to being a movie reviewer. Often after seeing a movie, I'll wander over to her Movie Mom website and take a look to see what she had to say and find out how much our opinions overlapped. (Happily, they eerily overlap to a shocking degree, down to singling out favorite scenes. The one area of separation tends to be that she's far, far more a giddy Sci-Fi fan girl geek than I am...)
Anyway, the other day I went to a screening of Furious 7 at the Writers Guild Theater. I'd avoided the series up until the past week, when I was intrigued enough by the ads for the film that I decided to rent its two predecessors, so that I could be somewhat up to speed (no pun intended) with the running story, such as it is. I didn't care at all about the first four, since they seem more about street racing, but he last two (and now this new one) appeared to have taken a sharp right turn and are basically "the team unites to pull off some Mission: Impossible adventure and bring down an evil bad guy."
My opinion of Furious 7 is pretty much the same as 5 and 6 -- they are surprisingly well-done, incredible spectacles, fun...and insanely stupid. Once you accept the latter (or as Nell puts it in her review, basically accept that they ignore the laws of physics), you can sit back and be impressed by what they pull off on film. And her reaction was pretty much the same.
But I mention this for another reason. That when I come across a great line, I think it deserves to be given its rightful attention, no matter how small and buried. And Nell had a brilliant line in her review -- which was admiring, but humorously tongue-in-cheek, noting the film's many flaws, but understanding the reasons it works.
In writing her review, she made repeated reference to the cars flying all over the place -- literally, flying. Zooming out of airplanes and going into free fall. Crashing out of the penthouse of a skyscraper and flying through the air into a neighboring skyscaper's penthouse -- and then into a third. It's a running theme in the film, from early on when one of the characters notes to his son playing with his toys and commenting how airplanes can't fly, yet the rest of the film goes about to prove that wrong. All the while, bombs keep blowing up all around, machine guns endlessly blast away, and then more explosions and gunfire. And flying cars. And bullets.
At which point, Nell then wrote -- “There are so many flying cars amid the chases, explosions, and assault weapons, it might as well be titled Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Bang Bang Bang."
That is just freaking brilliant. And one must give such writing its due.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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