Sunday, May 26, 2013
Fast & Furious 6, a review
Dom, Brian and the gang have split until found by Samoan Thor (The Rock) and are brought in as specialists to track someone that's as good at doing their old job as they were.
I'm not going to lie, I enjoyed the hell out of the fifth film. It struck a near perfect balance of action and catharsis. A welcome breathe of fresh air in a stale environment. Well, Fast & Furious 6 is a bit of a retread, especially if one stays for 'crazy credits' at the end. Don't worry, I won't spoil.
The pacing is somewhat uneven, with the midsection again enjoying its flab and oft-repeated sequences of self-indulgent street racing, complete with babes, bimbos and women that maybe just needed a few extra hugs when they were young. Whatever the reason, these scenes slow the film down.
Again, The Rock is the saving grace of the film, and it is disappointing that he isn't given quite as much to do this time around. Diesel has presence and the supporting cast is tolerable. Luke Evans is suitably slimy if highly cliche.
Imagine one receiving a glass of flat Coke. You with me? Then ask Luke to improve the status of your beverage. The most the guy can do is blow some bubbles and that's that. It isn't bad but you get the distinct impression that those few bubbles are there really is to his character.
I really wish I could spoil the ending for two reasons. One, it is a slap to the junk. It comes completely out of nowhere to daze you before jamming a needle into your forearm and pushing an entire container of liquidized pop rocks into your vein. Its wonderful.
Second, however, it more or less renders the entire film moot. They could've completely skipped making it based on the ending. Which means that I walked out both pumped and pissed. But, since I can't spoil it, you will just have to comment below about how right I am.
Justin Lin has elevated the franchise form dazzling to gritty neo-realism in two films. Gone are the wonky lights of the city, back are the dirt roads and dust of other worlds. It works wonderfully.
The actions sequences are generally crackling, with some pretty daring stunts. One sequences involving a tank and a doozy of an ending stands out. The finale is as over the top as Nicholas Cage but its all fun and games until the villains get hurt. The soundtrack has 2 Chainz though. Like the ending, this spoils quite a bit. But I will let it slide. For now.
There is precious little here, so I'm not certain this applies. But, for what it's worth, the emphasis on family is refreshing. Some of these characters are growing up and the change of pace is welcome.
But, its really about spinners and drifts.
Despite being overlong, overwrought and slapdash, Fast & Furious 6 is fun. Very fun. The Rock adds dimension and tension as usual, the action sequences are fun and, depending on your point of view, the ending is such a cliffhanger that you can't but help come back for the next film. But if you are like me, you will see the next one regardless because, well, you won't find much fun for $12 that doesn't involve breaking the law.
2.5 out of 5.