His story isn’t unique. We’ve lost far too many great actors far too young. Even how he died wasn’t unusual - James Dean, Jayne Mansfield are just a few that perished the same way. But to his friends and family, he was one of a kind. He had the looks, the talent and the demand, but not the heart to dominate Hollywood. ‘I Am Paul Walker’ is a loving insight into the reluctant superstar who, while sporting adoring fans across the globe and starring in a billion dollar franchise, always had one foot in and one foot out. He wanted nothing more than the ocean and to spend time with his daughter, not the red carpets and endless parties.
Using one-on-one interviews with Paul’s family including his parents and siblings as well as childhood friends, ‘I Am Paul Walker’ is a beautiful tribute and legacy that highlights not his on-screen accomplishments but his behind the scenes unpublicised humanitarian and philanthropic work, and his dedication to his friends and family as a man who took care of everyone but himself.
Oddly given his star status, only one co-star is featured in this documentary - Tyrese Gibson from the ‘Fast and Furious’ franchise. We also hear from just two of his directors; Rob Cohen, the man who gave us ‘The Fast and the Furious’ and Wayne Kramer, Paul’s ‘Running Scared’ director - in this reviewer’s opinion Walker’s best film, although I do have a soft spot for ‘She’s All That’ and ‘Into the Blue’.
As a story it’s beautifully told and put together yet ultimately unfulfilling as a well rounded study of a man.
At the time of Paul’s tragic death in 2013 at the age of 40, he had 42 acting credits to his name and a couple producing credits too. His was not a career to be sniffed at. Starting as a child, he never had to chase said career - in fact, Hollywood chased him, always pulling him back in when he constantly tried to get out. ‘I Am Paul Walker’ never counters the glowing tales of Paul as a hard worker and extremely generous man. It also never delves deep into his Hollywood or personal life, always staying safely in the middle, highlighting Walker as a great person. As a story, it’s beautifully told and put together, yet ultimately unfulfilling as a well-rounded study of a man.
‘I Am Paul Walker’ is a charming look at the Paul Walker the public never got to see, and provides a wonderful eulogy to the man that fans will enjoy and shed a tear to for their loss and that for his gorgeous family.