Paul Walker is a cinematic beach bum, the action hero equivalent of Owen Wilson. I’m not knocking him as an actor, but simply pointing out his place in Hollywood. Vince Vaughn is the lovable motor-mouth, Adam Sandler is the egg-headed goofball, Jason Statham is the shirtless Brit ass-kicker and Walker is a beach bum. Some actors know their place and some don’t. Walker knows his place in the world.
I just got back from seeing FAST FIVE and it seems only fitting to make this week’s Adamantium Man Walker, especially considering I’ve already done Vin (sorry, no repeats) for this column. That sounded a little dirtier than I anticipated. Let’s move along, shall we?
Paul is a solid actor who has managed to carve a career out of playing variations of the same type of character. He is always cast as the likable jock/hero who will end up with the girl and save the day. And though you will rarely see him outside of that character type, Walker somehow manages to keep this archetype fresh and audiences never seem to grow tired of his schtick. Simply put, Paul Walker is this generation’s Keanu Reaves.
The FAST AND THE FURIOUS Series - Walker plays Brian O’Conner, an undercover agent that gradually swaps sides from good cop to honorable criminal. An interesting note about this series is that the first film is basically a shot-for-shot remake of POINT BREAK (only with cars subbing in for surf boards) and that Keanu starred in that pic. Like I said, Walker is the new Keanu.
Anyways, Walker teams up with Vin Diesel in the FAST pics and both actors are so good that even knowing that they are breaking the law you still find yourself rooting for them. Walker’s character has probably always been on the fence between good and evil. He’s got a history of little crimes and putting him undercover in a world that he might have already been in had the FBI not came calling probably wasn’t the best idea. Brian already has a grey area when it comes to his morals and that, coupled with his bad childhood, leads to him joining Vin’s unorthodox “family”. Say what you will, but you cannot deny that the entire FAST AND THE FURIOUS series is flashy high-octane cinema.
JOY RIDE - While on a road trip, Lewis (Walker) and two friends (Leelee Sobeiski and Steve Zahn) play a mean, but innocent, trick on a lonely trucker. This trick ultimately leads to a murder which leads to the three being chased cross-country by a psychotic killer. This movie will make you think twice about practical jokes.
EIGHT BELOW - Haven’t seen this, but I’ve heard nothing but good things about this movie. When a blizzard strikes out of nowhere, Walker’s character must leave his team of sled dogs to fend for themselves in the Antarctic. For six months, Jerry tries to find a sponsor to finance the rescue mission while his dogs fight for survival. Might have to Netflix this one in order to play Walker catch-up.
PLEASANTVILLE - Walker’s character, Skip, is the basketball jock that is deflowered by Reese Witherspoon which sends the entire town of Pleasantville into chaos. The film’s message of tolerance might get a little heavy-handed in the end, but PLEASANTVILLE is definitely worth checking out.
YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED HIM IN
INTO THE BLUE - Walker’s character works with a group of divers that find treasure from historic wreck, only to end up squaring off with dangerous criminals who’s nearby crashed plane filled with cocaine. The only problem with this movie is nobody seems to remember anything except Jessica Alba in a bikini. I not sure if viewers even saw Paul Walker. Or if they did, the image of bikini-Alba immediately obliterated him from their mind.
RUNNING SCARED - In this criminally under-seen gem from director Wayne Kramer, Joey (Walker) is a low level mob guy who screws up when a neighbor kid steals a gun that he was put in charge of disposing. The kid (Cameron Bright) steals the gun, shoots his abusive father and goes on the run. Now, Joey must find the kid and protect him, before the police or the mob finds him first.
TAKERS - Ok, I admit that I didn’t see this and can say that I’m pretty sure that I won’t. Don’t care if this film does have Walker, Hayden Christensen, Idris Elba and Matt Dillon. TAKERS is a LOWLIGHT because of Chris Brown. Chris Brown is worthless abuser who beat Rhianna to a pulp and that makes this a bad movie. Put out a “director’s cut” that eliminates this douchebag from the picture and I might actually get around to seeing this.
FAST FIVE - In theaters now and, if you one of the handful of people that didn’t see this opening weekend, you probably need to go now. Action-packed and exciting, FAST FIVE is a perfect reason to get out to the movies.