Ride or Die, Remember?
I was personally not that interested in seeing the movie that I am reviewing. This is the sixth part in a movie series I have been mostly disinterested in all the way through. Whichever ones I saw of the first four did nothing for me, though I did enjoy the fifth one for what it was. When they released the sixth one, I still couldn’t muster any interest in it because 1/5 is still not a great ratio. But my friend Greg said that the sixth was worth seeing, more like the fifth than the other four that preceded. Jesus I’m sick of typing numbers! Let me do just one more as I review Fast & Furious 6, written by Chris Morgan, directed by Justin Lin, and starring Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Paul Walker, Dwayne Johnson, Luke Evans, Gina Carano, Tyrese Gibson, Chris Bridges, Sung Kang, Gal Gadot, John Ortiz, Joe Taslim, Clara Paget, Kim Kold, Jordana Brewster, and Elsa Pataky.
Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and his gang – Roman Pearce (Tyrese Gibson), Tej Parker (Chris Bridges), Han Seoul-Oh (Sung Kang), and Gisele Yashar (Gal Gadot) – have retired after becoming rich from their successful heist in Rio, and because Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker) and Dom’s sister Mia (Jordana Brewster) have spawned. DSS agent Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) and his partner Riley Hicks (Gina Carano) have other things in mind for them, such as taking down a former British Special Forces soldier turned bad, Owen Shaw (Luke Evans), before he builds something bad. But Hobbs would need something big to make Dom come out of retirement and get the band back together, and something much more important than that being the cliché that starts all of these sorts of movies. Hobbs has just the thing. Dom’s former girlfriend and current amnesiac Letty Ortiz (Michelle Rodriguez) is a member of Shaw’s team. Let’s get these cliché’s started!
I didn’t go into this movie with any expectations, and I was right. Story is probably never going to be a strong point of the Fast movies, and I’m sure no one goes in with expectations of anything different. But the story of this movie was quite a trudge for me. How hard can you dig into the cliché barrel in one movie? Coming out of retirement. Getting the band back together. Amnesia. It’s like soap opera quality writing with a few more explosions and face-punches. And we got the band back together on the last movie! So you’re not only using clichés, you’re RE-using clichés! And if elements of your story hadn’t already been done to death, you could only manage passing sense with your own story elements. You have an important mission to accomplish, but you can take time out in the middle for a random street race? I know you could argue that Dom did it thinking that Letty would be there, but what was her justification for it? I think the only real argument you could make was that this is a Fast movie so they felt obligated to do it, whether it made sense or not. Maybe they just did it to keep the audience from getting bored, but it didn’t work on me. I was well into bored by the time Shaw and Dom met up after that for their scheduled dick-measuring contest. It also made no damned sense that Brian went back to LA to find out how Letty got involved. He flies back, gets himself arrested, gets himself thrown into solitary confinement, all just to talk to a mob boss and find out what bullshit they made up to justify Letty surviving the explosion that supposedly killed her. But then he returns and Dom says that information was just for him, and even Letty doesn’t care to hear about it, just accepting Brian’s apology and moving on. So that was a giant waste of time. The one-liners in the movie were hit-and-miss, but more miss than anything else. I liked Letty’s line about Team Muscle and Team Pussy, but a later line of “That ain’t a plane; it’s a planet” is just awful.
Let’s face facts: most people that are interested in this movie have no interest in the things I wrote about in the story paragraph. Hell, some of them can’t even read it. So let’s talk about the action. It was decent. The greater majority of the action in the bulk of the movie was nothing altogether spectacular to me, but I would give Fast 6 the credit for having a climax of the movie even more ridiculous and spectacular than the last movie, but it does take a little away from it that they spoil it right in the trailer. So they’ll take a plane down with cars and cables, eh? I don’t know if that’s physically possible, but I already know it’ll happen. And I didn’t even search out trailers for this movie! Spoilers were forced upon me! But I’ve also never really had that much interest in car stuff, so I started liking a little better when they threw a tank into the mix. I did think the race car was an interesting idea, using its leverage to topple opposition cars, but I also didn’t understand how it was so hard to take out when its wheels were completely exposed. The face-punching stuff was pretty good when it happened as well. The fight inside the plane was pretty exciting, and kind of reminded me of Uncharted, but I really spent the entire fight waiting for the inevitable moment when Hobbs threw down against Shaw’s giant muscle dude. I also found myself bothered by the fights between Letty and Hicks, because Letty came out on top both times. I know Letty was more the hero of the story and so she should win, but I do not accept Michelle Rodriguez winning a fight against Gina Carano. No matter how much Michelle Rodriguez acts like a man; Gina Carano would beat that ass.
Most of the performances were entirely underwhelming, as expected. Vin Diesel is rarely my cup of tea. He always talks like he’s being choked by his own neck muscles, or like the lady with a tracheotomy in the anti-smoking commercials. I’ve seen Paul Walker act once. I’ve seen him in many movies, but I’ve only seen him pull off acting once. This was not that movie. He wasn’t particularly bad in this one; he was just a non-entity. I do, however, tend to like Dwayne Johnson whenever I see him. He’s got a lot of charisma and is ripped as hell. He outshines everyone else in this movie easily, but that also doesn’t really seem like it’d be that difficult.
Fast & Furious 6 came slightly below meeting the expectations that I didn’t have for it. The story was cliché and predictable, and the acting was mostly underwhelming. The action was decent enough, and probably much more interesting to people that like action involving cars, but I personally was getting bored with most of the movie right up to the climax that was ridiculous and spectacular enough to make this movie just pass as watchable. If you like the other movies in the series, you’ve probably already seen it. Otherwise, I’d recommend this movie for a rental. Fast & Furious 6 gets “This code you live by makes you predictable” out of “If that’s what it takes. I just wanna race.”
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