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Seven reasons why ‘Fast & Furious 7’ won’t be winning an Oscar

Vin Diesel thinks ‘Fast & Furious 7’ is heading for a Best Picture win at the 2016 Academy Awards. We beg to differ

By Tom Huddleston
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Peperami-headed action star Vin Diesel is convinced that his new movie ‘Fast & Furious 7’ is a shoo-in for next year’s Best Picture Oscar. ‘It will probably win,’ he told Variety. ‘Unless the Oscars don’t want to be relevant, ever.’ Released in the wake of co-star Paul Walker’s untimely death, the film is another giddy slice of guns, gears and grimacing behind the wheel. Not your typical awards bait, then…

Fast & Furious 7

1. No action movie has ever won Best Picture

With the arguable exception of ‘Gladiator’, no film focused on burly men running, leaping and laying into each other has ever grabbed the top prize at the Academy Awards. The voters tend to be far more interested in period drama and personal hardship. So Vin, unless you want to remake the film during the American Civil War, with horse carts, muskets, petticoats and maybe an emotionally damaged, one-legged leading man, you should probably prepare for disappointment.

Fast & Furious 7

2. Even if an action movie did win Best Picture, it probably wouldn’t be this one

‘Fast & Furious 7’ is by no means a bad movie, if you’re a fan of flashy sports cars jumping out of skyscrapers into other skyscrapers, driving through said skyscrapers and then jumping out of those skyscrapers into other skyscrapers (and who isn’t?). But it hardly represents a new pinnacle of the form: the dialogue is clunky, the plot is idiotic (albeit in a good way) and the constant shakycam action is enough to give any viewer over 70 (so, almost the entire Academy) an instant coronary.

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Fast & Furious 7

3. The acting…well…isn’t exactly great

Vin, we know you can act. We’ve seen you doing it, in films like ‘Saving Private Ryan’ and ‘Find Me Guilty’. But smacking Jason Statham with a wrench isn’t a proven shortcut to Oscar glory. As for the rest of the cast, we can’t really imagine the Academy bestowing their highest honours on the like of The Stath, The Rock or even poor Paul Walker any time soon.

Fast & Furious 7

4. Best Picture winners don’t tend to feature so many close-ups of buttocks…

We’re sure your fanbase loves an intimate shot of a bikini-clad backside gyrating to spicy Latin beats. But looking back over the list of recent Academy winners, we can’t really imagine it’ll help your chances. Would ‘The King’s Speech’ really have been improved by Helena Bonham Carter poledancing to Shakira? Would ‘Argo’ have been more powerful if Ben Affleck had distracted the Revolutionary Guard with his tight, tight buns? Think about it.

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Fast & Furious 7

5. …or quite so many bald men hitting each other

We’re not saying that scene of The Stath and The Rock flying through a plate-glass window wouldn’t look great up there on the Academy’s big screen. But you must have noticed that, unlike the MTV Awards, the Oscars don’t have a ‘Best Fight’ category. If you’re starting a campaign for them to include one, we’re right there with you. But until that day comes, you might want to lower your sights just a little.

Fast & Furious 7

6. A star’s death doesn’t automatically equal awards

The death of Paul Walker was a tragedy, we can all agree. But if Oscars were automatically handed out to any actor whose career was cruelly cut short, ‘Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb’ and ‘A Most Wanted Man’ would both have been on the shortlist this year in honour of Robin Williams and Philip Seymour Hoffman. And besides, an Oscar really isn’t the benchmark of a performer’s worth. Walker will be loved and remembered by fans all over the world. Isn’t that more important?

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Fast & Furious 7

7. You’re right, the Oscars don’t want to be relevant, ever

Vin, you seem to be labouring under the misapprehension that the Oscars have any desire to keep it real. This cavalcade of self-satisfied backslapping has always been behind the times. Remember when they gave Best Picture to ‘Driving Miss Daisy’ over ‘Do the Right Thing’, or ‘Crash’ instead of ‘Brokeback Mountain’? Our advice is to sit back, watch the money roll in and stop giving a damn what a bunch of smug, stuffed-Armani-suit old-timers think about your movie. Now, we’re off to polish our fenders.

Read our ‘Fast & Furious 7’ review

The Fast and the Furious 7
Photograph: Universal Pictures

Fast & Furious 7

3 out of 5 stars
Film Action and adventure

James Wan shoots every automotive action sequence in such juddery, relentless close-up that it’s often impossible to tell what’s going on. The effect can be like having your face shoved into a fan belt, and not necessarily in a good way. But the face-to-face punch-ups are a lot more fun.

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