Sunday, May 26, 2013

Fast and Furious 6 Review

Fast and Furious 6? Really? Does this franchise need to stop throwing out sequels? Uhhhh... heck no! If you were caught asking these questions or complaining in a similar way just because you saw the words "Fast and Furious" followed by the number 6, then you know nothing about this franchise and are prematurely judging it. Yes, I am usually one of the first to complain about franchises milking the cash cow by making pointless sequels, but occasionally there are franchises that do it right. The Fast and Furious franchise is one that actually been on both sides of the coin, but recently they've done it very right. The first one was a decent movie. Not good, but not bad. The second one was pretty bad as the only returning character from the first that was included was Paul Walker. The third one got even worse by getting a totally new cast. After the third one is where they started to turn things around. Number four wasn't great, but that is where they started to have a plan in mind as they brought back Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster, and Paul Walker. Then there was Fast Five. Now the first four, while they weren't great movies, they were guilty pleasures for me. Fast Five on the other hand was actually a fantastic movie. It  had the main cast still there again, but added the popular characters from the second and third as well as bringing in Dwayne Johnson. Not only did they do that, but they switched it from a street racing movie into a Heist movie, adding a new depth to the movie that the previous four didn't have. The ending of Fast Five had the best police chase scene that I have ever seen in movie history and it also wrapped the series up quite nicely. Until the end credits happened. A crazy twist was included that left the movie on a huge cliff hanger and had audiences begging for the sixth movie. Now that sixth movie is finally here and it is time to forgo the history of the franchise and discuss this movie.

The biggest problem with the first four movies was the fact that it was purely focused on watching cool cars race and looking at pretty girls. The story line was an afterthought. The thing that made Fast Five so brilliant is that in addition to having it showcase awesome cars is that it added an awesome story line to it. The beauty of the sixth one that is that it builds on that and actually makes it so the intriguing story line is actually the strength and focus of the movie, while one-upping even Fast Five by adding awesome car scenes that included sweet indie-racing style cars, tanks, and airplanes. Now if you haven't seen the fourth and fifth movies and don't want them spoiled, I'd suggest you turn away. I won't feel too bad for giving those spoilers because just about every commercial and trailer for Fast and Furious 6 already has. 

Anywho, in the fourth movie Dominic Toretto's (Vin Diesel) girlfriend Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) randomly dies in the beginning. It felt a little out of place, but it turns out they had a plan up their sleeve. We learn in the end of the fifth one that she is still alive and this is where the sixth one picks up. Dwayne Johnson is back as Hobbs and he is tracking a crazy team of mercenary drivers, led by a man named Shaw, across several countries and determines that the only way to catch them is with the help of Dom's team, who he spent all of the previous movie trying to stop. The leverage he uses is showing Dom that Letty is still alive. Dom reunites his crew and the deal is that if Hobbs shows them to Letty and Dom's crew helps stop Shaw and his crew then they will all get full pardons. I won't dive into the plot much more than that, but things get complicated once they find Letty. How did she survive? What is she doing now and why? How can Dom win her back? Or can he? On top of that, the crew realize how insanely smart and dangerous Shaw's men are and this leads to quite the showdown throughout the movie.

I found the direction of this franchise to be really impressive. They went from mediocre street-racing movies to a heist movie to a terrorist plot where our "bad guys" are working for the police. This movie is smart, it is action-packed, it is balanced, it is very emotional at times, and overall is just a huge thrill ride that audiences should love. Most people scoff at the acting abilities of such cast members like Paul Walker, Vin Diesel, Ludacris, and Dwayne Johnson, but honestly I didn't really find issue with that. Dwayne Johnson especially is one that I think has developed into a pretty decent actor, as you may know if you have read my reviews of his previous movies this year in Snitch and GI Joe: Retaliation. For being a singer/rapper Ludacris does a decent job. Vin Diesel is Vin Diesel. Either you like him or you hate him. I personally am a fan. Paul Walker is probably the weakest of the bunch, but it's not too distracting. Tyrese Gibson does a great job of providing comic relief like he has done in previous Fast and Furious movies he was in. I also was a huge fan of Michelle Rodriguez's performance in this one. I'm glad they brought her back. Finally, Luke Evans did a great job as Shaw. Also of note, the visual effects and cinematography were fantastic in this movie. There were a lot of different camera angels and shots that were implemented that were really good. And the music in the movie was fantastic.

Overall, this was a movie that I had been looking forward to ever since Fast Five ended and in a busy 2013 managed to still make it as one of my most highly anticipated movies of the year and I was not disappointed. In comparing to Fast Five, I think they are both fantastic movies, but due to the emotion, the deep story line (for a Fast and Furious movie anyways), and the best action and car chasing/racing scenes in the franchise so far, I am going to say that I actually liked Fast and Furious 6 more. I already knew there was going to be a seventh movie coming up in June of next year (it was announced a little while ago), but the end credits scene once again got me excited for the next Fast and Furious movie. I love this franchise! Fast and Furious 6 gets a 9 out 10 for me and rest assured that you will see it on my list of favorite movies of 2013 once the year ends.

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