I am going to see Fast and Furious tonight, and my expectations aren’t very high. Unlike Sub-Zero, I’m not a huge fan of the franchise, although I do find the series pretty entertaining. I know I’m alone here, but I think that the second movie is better than the first, mostly because I have a strange man crush on Paul Walker and didn’t miss Vin Diesel at all. I know he’s not the greatest actor, but there is something about Walker’s screen presence that makes him enjoyable to watch. My man crush isn’t as full-blown as it is for some athletes (Ryan Braun, for example – what a dreamboat) or even other actors (looking at you, Michael Biehn), but it’s substantial nonetheless. I think I’ll enjoy the new Fast and Furious movie, and apropos of my imminent viewing, let’s take a look at Paul Walker’s five best movie roles.
1. Brian O’Conner – The Fast and the Furious, 2 Fast 2 Furious,
4 Fast 4 Furious Fast and Furious
Brian has got to be Walker’s most recognizable role – the good-looking dirty blonde kid who uses “bro” more than any other word and can race souped-up cars with the best of them. Oh, and of course, he gets the girl, whether she’s serving him tuna fish sandwiches or undercover posing as a criminal’s girlfriend. Brian’s chill, laid back ways serve as the perfect compliment to both Dom’s alpha-male, gruff status and Tyrese’s over-the-top, “ejecto seato, cuz!” persona. Paul Walker even looks like a Brian O’Conner, bro.
2. Joey Gazelle – Running Scared
I’ve defended Running Scared on this site before, so I see no reason to get into the merits of a movie that most people overlook. If you think it’s sh*t, great, but I think at the very least it’s an intense, stylized, and gritty crime movie, which is more than I can say about anything the “visionary” Zach Snyder has done (but Dawn of the Dead did rule). Anyway, I think the role of Joey Gazelle is Walker’s best, but I also know that that ain’t saying much. Whatever. I actually buy him as a hustling New Jersey criminal, and I didn’t think his accent was half bad.
3. Chris Johnstone – Timeline
I can’t really tell if there’s a difference between Chris Johnstone and Brian O’Conner, save for the latter using the term “bro” much more often. I love that you can throw Paul Walker in a science fiction/action movie, and he’s still Paul Walker, no matter what is thrown at him. Timeline wasn’t terrible – especially when you consider how bad some Crichton adaptation can be – and Paul Walker in 1357 is really better suited for a fish-out-of-water comedy.
4. Skip Martin – Pleasantville
Skip Martin is the handsome, perfect dude at his high school, so naturally the horny Jennifer is all up on his junk. Skip experiences a boner for the first time, and it freaks him out to such a degree (in a good way, ultimately), that he can no longer make every single shot when playing basketball.
5. Jared – Into the Blue
Into the Blue was not surprisingly pretty awful, but if any man is handsome enough to play the lead opposite the gorgeous Jessica Alba, it’s Paul Walker. I like to think of them as the two most perfect-looking people alive, just without the talent of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt. After watching this movie, I had to take a long, hard look in the mirror and confront some serious issues about my sexuality. Alba turns me on like no one else, but a shirtless Jared made me feel things for which my father would disown me if he was made aware.
Honorable Mention: Caleb Mandrake – The Skulls
Just pull the trigger, you friggin’ wuss.
Any Paul Walker roles you like that I missed? Other than in Eight Below, I sure don’t remember many. This wasn’t so much an homage to Paul Walker the actor as it was an homage to Paul Walker, the guy I want to look like. Instead, I walk around looking like a cross between Jason Biggs and Jerry Seinfeld. How the hell is that fair?