Sunday, June 9, 2013

Movie Mayhem #7: Fast and Furious 6 – I see an Oscar down the road.

            To be honest, you already know whether or not you want to see Fast 6. If you enjoy beautiful cars, enormous mountains of brolic obliterating each other, and death/physics/logic-defying stunts, then you know you should see this movie.  If you enjoy seamless fleshed-out plots, gut-wrenching emotion, and beautiful, succulent writing, you already know that, for you, the best part of the movie is this review.  So now that we’re all driving in the same lane, let’s get into it.
            If you didn’t close the tab after that driving pun, you’ll be happy to know that the writing of Fast 6 doesn’t get much worse than that.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t get much better either.  In fact, it wouldn't be off base to say that this entire movie was written by a third grader. 

"And then the bad guy says, 'NO! THAT'S IMPOSSIBLE!' Pure gold."
An exception to this summary is Tyrese Gibson’s entire script, which comprises absolutely nothing but jokes, serving primarily to allow the audience’s heart rate to settle back to an inaudible rate between action scenes. 
The plot isn’t written any differently than most of the script.  Following the last movie (Fast 5, not Tokyo Drift), Agent Hobbs (The Rock, aka "Samoan Thor") finds himself chasing what seems to be a crew that does basically what Dom’s crew does, just much better.  Hobbs convinces Dom to help him through some important info that was given at the end of Fast 5. If you don’t know I won’t spoil it. If you do know, congratulations! You now know the entire plot of Fast 6.
Of course, if you already know the important info then chances are you’re a fan of the series.  In that case, you probably realize that the plot of Fast 6 was not a top priority. If so, let’s talk about why Fast 6 was still my favorite of the series. Lots of new additions to the franchise accelerate the action to the next level.  Gina Carano, tanks, and custom built battlebot-looking cars make for next-level chases, as well as extensive hand-to-hand, gun, and vehicular combat scenes. Fast 6 gives these three aspects a central role much like Fast 5 did, but jacks them up to an unnatural degree that some will find excessive. I thought it was fantastic.
Speaking of jacked to an unnatural degree, this time around the Rock is in straight up juggernaut mode and leisurely tosses fools like they’re in a moon bounce. You never want to be in a moon bounce with The Rock.

The new aspects of the film are amazing, but as a fan of the series it may be equally satisfying to see characters and dimensions from past installments that were seemingly discarded in Fast 5.  Again, minimizing spoilers, this movie ties up a lot of problems that fans still have with previous films (Tokyo Drift) and even incorporates an actual street race, something we haven’t seen done well since 2 Fast 2 Furious (not Tokyo Drift).  While the series has certainly evolved, the acknowledgement of how it started is appreciated. Protip: stay for the after-credits.

In the end, it really all comes down to Vin Diesel. Is Fast and Furious 6 the piece that will finally earn him the well-deserved respect of not only film critics, but art critics of every medium?
Probably Not
Is Fast 6 a montage of beautiful vehicular mayhem, truly impressive action, and Vin Diesel's indestructible v-neck t-shirts? Most Certainly. If nothing else, I can promise you that the action in Fast 6 will make you wish the movie theater had a rewind button.  However, even though you shouldn't expect anything more than jaw-dropping action, doesn't mean you should excuse what is admittedly a lack of substance. For that, I give Fast and Furious 6 a rating of 4 Vin Diesel freakouts

out of 5.

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