Friday, May 24, 2013

Fast and Furious 6 (2013)

Title: Fast & Furious 6 (2013)

Director: Justin Lin

Cast: Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Paul Walker, Michelle Rodriguez, Sung Kang, Tyrese Gibson, Gal Gadot, Ludacris, Luke Evans, Elsa Pataki


The important thing about a summer blockbuster is that it has to entertain; it has to blow you out of that seat and it has to make you leave that theater with a big fat grin on your face, and quite possibly the desire to see the film again. Fast Six achieves all these things with spectacular aplomb. With each film, the Fast and the Furious franchise has improved in quality; each film bigger than the last. Keeping in line with this tendency, Fast Six is more explosive and more action packed then the previous film and in my book that’s saying a lot because I truly enjoyed Fast Five (2011)! Aside from the fact that the film was shot in my home town and I had an amazing opportunity to see it getting made, Fast Five ended up being one of my favorites of the summer 2011 season, it was simply put a good action film. Now can somebody tell me how in the hell did this franchise which I initially disliked turn into one my favorite guilty pleasures?

Fast Six starts out exactly where the previous one left off, with Toretto and crew enjoying the fruits of their last heist. Torreto is living in Brazil with Elena, his new girlfriend cop. Brian and Mia are learning how to become parents, and basically each of the characters has gone off into their own world, doing what they want with their millions, enjoying the fruits of their labor. Enter Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) the cop who almost caught Toretto and crew in the last film. Hobbs is having a hard time catching an international gang of thieves who are searching for the parts to build an emp device that could shut down a whole country for 24 hours. Hobbs needs the aid of Toretto and his team to stop these guys. Will the gang accept the mission?

When talking about films of this nature, there’s a term used to describe the artifact that triggers the action in the film, I’m talking about ‘The McGuffin’ whatever it is that the good guys and bad guys are after in the film. The McGuffin is a name given to the excuse to get the show on the road. Sometimes, it doesn’t even matter what the McGuffin is, all that matters is how they go about getting it, which in a Fast and the Furious film means vehicular warfare and massive destruction of public property, and trust me, there’s lots of that in this film! The stunts are the best part of these films and this one delivers the goods when it comes to fast cars and destruction in massive amounts. The film has two major action sequences, but they are both extended, which means that they last for more than 20 minutes each. This is something I enjoy about the action sequences in these films, they are intricate and extensive! The same can be said for the chase sequences which take place in both the streets of London and Brazil. If you are a fan of cool cars and watching them fly in the air, you will be pleased.

The whole thing about these films getting bigger and badder with each passing film stays true to the characters as well. These characters started out being a gang of street racing thugs from L.A. on the first film, by the sixth film they’ve turned into indestructible super heroes! They can jump from one moving car to the next! They can shoot their guns while jumping through the air! I mean, these guys can fall down a flight of stairs or crash into the windshield of a car and never even break a bone! Vin Diesel can even take a freaking bullet and go on driving in the next scene just fine. So my advice is to throw all your expectations of reality out the door. This film isn’t interested in being real, it just wants to wow you, entertain you with its exaggerated action sequences, which I have to say are truly fun. We get a bunch of cool cars, a tank and military plane! They really do go all out here in using all manner of cool vehicles.

It was a genius idea adding Dwayne Johnson into these series of films. I’ve always thought that Johnson is the natural successor to Arnold Schwarzenegger, and it seems there’s no stopping him now! The Rock starred in three films this summer season (G.I. Joe Retaliation, Pain and Gain and now this one)and they’ve all been huge money makers. I’m thinking we’ll be seeing a whole lot more of Dwayne Johnson in action films! Now all he needs is a cool sci-fi film or a super hero film, I can’t believe they’ve taken this long to do that. On Fast Six he has a couple of cool moments, but one of them involves him going ‘mano a mano’ with another massive dude, the battle is epic, the people in my theater where chearing! Audiences are really into these films! When the title for the film came up on screen some dude screamed “Whoo-hoo!” And speaking of fist fights, the girls in the film also get a chance to show what they are made in a fight that takes place in a subway station in London. Pretty cool scene, Michelle Rodriguez and Gina Carano give a whole new meaning to cat fight. They really go at each other’s throats!

True, the acting is not good at all in these films, especially when Vin Diesel tries his stab at sentimentalism and gets all mushy on us. It’s just too funny. But whatever, we don’t go to a movie like this one searching for the performance of the year, we go into a movie like this for the fun factor and on this one, the fun factor is quite high. When the action gets going, it gets going. On the downside of things, there’s some faults in the logic of some scenes, for example, there’s a scene that takes place on a landing field, with a plane attempting to take off that was cool as hell, but also unbelievable as hell because the landing field seemed to last forever and ever. The filmmakers obviously had lots of cool stunts to pull off for that big finale, unfortunately they forgot all about the logistics of a landing strip. There’s no way in hell that a landing strip would go on for as long as the one in this film does! That minor quip aside, I had tons of fun here. These films are similar to reading a comic book, with a “to be continued” attached to the ending…and this entry is no different. The ending will leave you wanting more, I aint gonna spoil it for you, but if what I saw in the ending is any indication, part seven should be pretty kick ass as well. I hear they are going back to L.A. for that one! The series will apparently come full circle, looking forward to that.

Rating: 4 out of 5 


teddy crescendo said...

Michelle Rodriguez is quite a tasty bird, i just wish she was 18 instead of 34 ! ! !.

Anonymous said...

you still think about doing a 90s blog a thon,if so can you start on the first two films in the future :The last boy scout(1991) and speed(1994)?

jimmie t. murakami said...

Somehow i still prefer the two-car roll in "The Hitcher" (1986) simply because it was done with real cars instead of CGI bull-shit.

eddie lydecker said...

The Last Boy Scout = garbage.

Speed = minor classic.

Franco Macabro said...

Anonymous: I've been meaning to review The Last Boy Scout, and yeah, a 90's blog a thon is in the works, so keep your eyes peeled!

jimmie: Yeah, real stunts will always be better than CGI, but in defense of these films, a lot of the driving and stunts are done in real life, I witnessed this myself when they filmed Fast Five in my town.

LLJ said...

This is Justin Lin's last film in the FF franchise (at least for now). Can't help but think this might be a MAJOR loss, and people might be underrating just how much he had to do with lifting this franchise to the success it's had recently.

Franco Macabro said...

You are absolutely right LLJ, if I am not mistaken, the director for part 7 is James Wan, the director behind Insidious, Dead Silence and the first SAW film. He's good with horror, but I don't know he'll be with an action film, especially one of this magnitude! I guess we'll have to wait and see, part 7 is slated to premiere Summer 2014. Of course I'm looking forward to it.


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