May 26, 2013

Movie Review: Fast & Furious 6

Whenever I learn that another Fast and Furious movie is being made, I cannot help but shake my head. It is a franchise that just refuses to die, and in some ways is actually improving itself. I have never been the biggest fan of the series and can scarcely remember any specifics from earlier films. Still, here we are, six movies in and a franchise that is experiencing more life now that when it first appeared. So confident are they in the continued relevancy that they leave this movie off with a pretty substantial tease for a seventh film. When was the last time a seventh movie in a franchise (not based on a books series) ad this much anticipation?


To be sure, Fast & Furious 6 (called Furious 6 on screen) is not a complex movie. It is an ocean of ridiculousness that is built around big characters and way, way per the top action sequences. Sure, there is a story there, but it is there to set up the action packed situations. I am finding that more and more I am all right with this.


This outing takes place sometime after Fast Five, duh. The team has taken their cuts of the money and went their separate ways. They are content to be off doing their thing, but that is about to change.

Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) is back with a we partner (Gina Carano from Haywire) and is in pursuit of an international criminal named Shaw (Luke Evans). However, for the, to catch a bad guy, they need people who think like bad guys and that leads Hobbs to track down Dom (Vin Diesel). To get him to get the team together, Hobbs brings proof that the long thought dead Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) is still alive. It works and Dom calls in the cavalry with promises of pardons all around.


That is really all you need to know. What follows is an increasingly ridiculous escalation of action sequences. Car chases, fist fights, shoot outs, more chases, a tank, more chases, a cargo plane, just to name a few. The thing is, it is executed in such a slick fashion that it is very easy to get caught up in it. This is how you do brainless summer action.

The movie is not without it's flaws. Even for a movie that is utterly ridiculous, silly, overly serious, there are some missteps that kind of took me out of the story, such as it is. There is one moment in particular where it looks like they forgot they still had a chunk of story to tell, so they had a couple of characters shift gears out of he blue to keep it all going. Granted, this is in a movie that has some sort of super weapon as a macguffin and a plot point being a character's amnesia. It is pretty clear that actual story is not what they are after here.


This franchise is fast becoming a good example of movies that can entertain by being silly. Not every movie needs to give deep characters, comment on the human condition, or tell tightly plotted tales. The Fast and Furious franchise are technical marvels. There is a lot of work, imagination, and inventiveness that go into creating these set pieces. I particularly like how much of it is believably practical, meaning it looks like real cars and not computer generated video games. I am sure there is a good deal of CG in there, but it still looks like a lot of actual physical cars, and that always looks better.

Go, watch, enjoy. It is silly, brainless, and dumb, but it is well crafted. No shame in enjoying this.

Recommended.


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