Fast & Furious 6 (2013)

Ride or Die, Remember?

Fast & Furious 6 (2013)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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Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem (2007)

I Thought I Told You Not to Crash.

The end of my last review left itself wide open for a sequel, but the quality of the movie never really suggested to me that it would be a movie people would demand a sequel to.  But that didn’t stop them from making one and, since I was already reviewing all of the movies in the Alien and Predator series’, it was necessary to review it.  At least it’s the last one I’ll need to do.  And I already owned it on DVD, so there’s really no logical reason I would’ve purchased a movie that was terrible, right?  …Unless I purchased it for 3 dollars from Blockbuster.  But the chances of that are pretty remote, while also being exactly what happened.  But let’s check it out in my review of Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem, written by Shane Salerno, directed by the Strause Brothers (Colin and Greg), and starring Tom Woodruff Jr., Ian Whyte, Steven Pasquale, Johnny Lewis, Reiko Aylesworth, John Ortiz, Kristen Hager, Ariel Gade, Sam Trammell, Gina Holden, Chelah Horsdal, David Paetkau, and Robert Joy.

At the very end of Alien vs. Predator, we found out that the scene where the Predator seemed to be pretty obviously infected by the Xenomorphs, even though they tried to act like maybe it didn’t, totally actually did happen.  The Predator gives chest-birth to a hybrid Predator and Xenomorph that we’ll just call the Alienator (Tom Woodruff Jr.).  The Alienator matures on the Predator spacecraft and wreaks havoc to the Predators, causing the ship to crash in Colorado.  The facehuggers aboard the ship escape and infect a hunter and his son, getting the Xenomorph infestation started in town.  The Predator ship also starts broadcasting a distress signal that brings a Predator (Ian Whyte) to Earth to clean up the mess and the evidence.  In town, an ex-convict named Dallas Howard (Steven Pasquale), who is also not Ron Howard’s daughter, returns to town.  His brother Ricky (Johnny Lewis) delivers pizzas to a classmate he fancies named Jesse (Kristen Hager) and simultaneously gets bulled by her boyfriend Dale (David Paetkau), and Kelly O’Brien (Reiko Aylesworth) returns home from the military to her husband Tim (Sam Trammell) and daughter Molly (Ariel Gade).  These people and more get to deal with their new combination of problems.

I never would have thought it was possible to make a more disappointing movie out of two awesome franchises than the first one, but they pulled it off.  It’s just a dark, boring, poorly-written movie that completely loses focus of why people would watch this movie.  Does the audience for an Alien vs. Predator movie care what happens to the people in it?  No!  We want to see Aliens fight Predators.  Humans should really only be in the movie as things for the Xenomorphs to burst out of.  I don’t go to an Alien vs. Predator movie to see some kids fighting in a pool.  When the Predator was fighting the Xenomorphs, it was usually pretty satisfying, though it was also occasionally so dark that you had to kind of squint and turn your head to see what was happening.  Is that a good thing for your movie to be difficult to watch?  Probably not.  But the Predator is pretty badass when they let you see what he was doing.  I found myself always rooting for the Predators in this particular series, which I’ve also found odd because I would say that I like the Alien movies better altogether, but they’re also just a lot cooler as creatures.  Back to the story of the movie, it was not good.  If they made the movie strictly out of the Alien and Predator stuff, I might actually recommend this movie for a watch.  But they waste a lot of time with human characters that I never give a shit about.  Just when you start giving a shit about a few of them, they kill them.  That was another big problem I had: they killed a bunch of people that you just shouldn’t kill.  You COULD applaud them for being untraditional, but I think it’s just a bummer.  They kill a little kid in the early stages, which is always a bit of a bummer, and later in the movie they kill a character that was just developing a relationship with another character, in a way you would normally expect them to live happily ever after through, but then the character gets killed, seemingly just on a lark because they hadn’t killed anyone in a few seconds.  And if that doesn’t sell it, how about when a whole maternity ward gets infected with Xenomorphs and they rip out through the stomachs that the babies were once in?  Hell, I could’ve done without almost all scenes involving people.  I could’ve done without the Alienator as well, but just because it didn’t look that interesting.  It wasn’t a very imaginative design, at least from what I could tell, as almost every scene it was in was too dark to make out any features on it.  Also, the ending of this movie is complete ass.  Not really the actual part where they should’ve ended the movie, with the few survivors of the movie, but the part right after that.  I won’t even throw up spoilers because it wasn’t a scene that had any point to it.  They take the Predator’s gun to a lady that turns out to be Miss Yutani.  They also have this big pause after they say her name like I didn’t know who it was when I saw her.  The guy from the first one was Weyland, the company from Alien was called Weyland-Yutani, this lady’s Asian, she’s probably Yutani.  Duh!

The performances from the movie didn’t impress, but there’s also a chance that I just wasn’t paying attention because I didn’t give a shit about any of the characters.  I barely paid attention to Steven Pasquale or Jonny Lewis at all, and they were two of the main characters.  Reiko Aylesworth was another one of them, and the only thing that made me pay attention to her was the fact that she was a wussy.  I don’t know how this lady never whipped out her Army balls on people in this movie.  When they were in the camping supplies store, she let the ex-convict carry around the gun even though she was the one with training on how to use one.  And later, when she was arguing with the Sheriff of Podunk, Colorado (or where the fuck it was) about Army policies when it comes to quarantine, why did she not drop her Army nuts right on his forehead and tell him to shut the fuck up?

Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem probably didn’t surprise anyone by not being that good.  The story was boring, mainly because it forgot that the reason people would go to this movie was to see Aliens fight Predators and decided to try to make us care about characters that weren’t that interesting that they would also kill at random.  When the Predator did fight the aliens, it was usually pretty satisfying, but only when it wasn’t so darkly filmed that you could actually tell what was going on.  In the end, there’s just not very much reason to see this movie.  If you want to see Aliens, watch Aliens.  If you want to see Predators, watch Predator.  If you want to see them fight … well … I guess you should watch Alien vs. Predator.  It’s better than this, at least.  Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem gets “This plan is stupid.  Let’s just leave town now” out of “Wait a second, we’re gonna be covered in shit?”

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