Friday, May 31, 2013

AB Goes To The Movies: Fast & Furious 6

Before my wife and I settled in to catch the latest installment in the Fast & Furious franchise, I made a mental note turn my brain off. Then I turned off my brain's backup generator. Then I turned off my brain's backup-backup generator. If you want to actually enjoy a movie of this sort, you'll prolly need to do the same.

F&F, not to be confused with the faux Conservative controversy involving gun-runners, appeared to be on life support a few years ago when the franchise bottomed out with Tokyo Drift, one of the 10 worst movies I've ever personally seen. Someone finally realized that putting the fate of your multibillion dollar business in the hands of Lil' Bow Wow wasn't a great idea, and the producers ponied up to reunite the original cast for 2009's comically titled Fast And Furious. They added The Rock to the cast of 2011's Fast Five, and lots of millions later, the entire ensemble (Lil' Bow Wow and that white guy from Tokyo Drift excluded) is back for more automotive shenanigans in Fast & Furious 6.

I don't typically try and summarize the "plot" for action movies, but this one actually tried so I suppose I should. After pulling off a major heist in Brazil last go round, Dom, Brian, Mia, and Co. have dispersed around the globe to enjoy the fruits of their labor and bask in the glow of retirement. But when Agent Hobbs (The Rock, who appears to have been on a steroid IV since the last movie) informs Dom that his presumed dead girlfriend Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) is actually still alive, the whole gang reunites to help take down a gang of Russian arms dealers.

Okay, so now that I've got the "plot" outta the way, let's talk about the real reason you pay good money for F&F flicks: Action!!! And lemme tell you, this is about as jam packed a 130 minutes as you're gonna get.

Cars race. Cars crash. Cars blow up. Cars fly off bridges. Cars fly. Cars get crushed by tanks. Cars drive into moving airplanes. Cars drive out of moving airplanes. There is so much sh*t here that defies all rules of physics, mechanics, and common sense, but it's so freakin' incredible I can't wait until the blu-ray comes out. This is a movie made for big screens and/or home theaters. It's that good. There are also some unexpected villains, some unexpected deaths, and a totally unexpected ending that perfectly sets up the next movie, F&F7, coming next summer.


As for the cast, it's hard to believe we've been watching these meatheads for an entire decade now, and the signs of age are obvious. Vin Diesel's hairline now starts at the back of his neck. Paul Walker still can't act, and looks like someone's Dad (maybe because he actually is, in one of this movie's comical throwaway side-plots). Ludacris plays the straight guy to Tyrese's borderline coonery. Luke Evans stars as an ex-soldier turned villain, and is perhaps the most metrosexual, not-threatening bad guy in the history of bad guys. Ex-MMA star Gina Carano joins the franchise, but is sadly underutilized. And while many in Hollywood are hailing The Rock as the franchise's savior, he's mostly relegated to a supporting role. Doesn't matter, cause the cars are the stars here.

And the plane. Definitely the plane.

Final Verdict: Turn all your brains off, and enjoy this pointless, yet exciting 2 hour diversion from life. I'd even spring for the 3D/IMAX version if you can. This movie's that good. Pay full price. 4 Stars (Out Of 5)

Question: Have you seen Fast And Furious 6? What did you think?

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