This clip is over a day old, but Vin Diesel spoke last Monday night (3.16) prior to a fan screening of Furious 7 (Universal, 4.3) at one of the Arclights. He choked up when he mentioned the late Paul Walker, explaining that “I lost my best friend…I lost my brother.” I’m presuming he meant his best onscreen friend…right? Diesel then passed along a curious anecdote. Whenever he and Walker were at a screening of the latest Fast & Furious installment, Walker “would always tell me, Vin, the best is still to come.” Walker would “always” say that? Meaning what exactly? That the film they were about to see (or had just seen) wasn’t that great but the next one will be better or perhaps even “the best”? Whenever John Ford was asked which of his films was his favorite, he would always say “the next one.” That I get.

Diesel also called Furious 7 “a labor of love.” That term specifically refers to something you’ve busted your ass to get right even though it didn’t compensate all that well. You put your heart into it because you cared. I’m sure that Walker’s tragedy made the shooting of Furious 7 an emotionally tough ride for Diesel and everyone else, but “labor of love’ isn’t the right term to use. The salaries were huge on this thing, I’m sure, and the expected income when the film opens…forget about it.

Diesel closed his remarks with “this is from the heart…our gift to you.” A gift? Who pays $15 plus parking plus $12 for a popcorn and a drink to receive a gift? Furious 7 is a highly expensive presentation that delivers the retarded fan base’s idea of action thrills (i.e., the Grand Theft Auto template) with the basic goal of making money.