Fast & Furious 6 (PG-13)

5 Stars

Perhaps I’ve no right reviewing the sixth movie in a series when I’m only acquainted with One through Three. I am literally so lost at the beginning of this film I can’t even tell you.

I want to give it a shot. I’ve heard from several reliable sources that it’s “not as bad as you’d think.”

I’m a sucker for liking movies of this sort. The X-Men films are the best examples coming to mind.

However Fast & Furious 6 is just as bad as I’d think.

There are a few good shots, a couple cinematic moments. But I was hoping for even more eye candy in exchange for 130 minutes of my time.

I support these efforts. You can tell they’re trying to craft intriguing and believable plot lines.

But try as I might, I simply can’t buy into the story. I think my ineptitude in the automotive universe is what gets me. There’s not enough of the “Wow” feeling when certain cars are revealed.

Paul Walker and Ludacris turn in some of the best acting performances in this film. Sung Kang and Gal Gadot, my favorite characters, are also really great. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson turns in a solid performance for the writing he’s given.

He’s a cop who tears apart an interrogation room while beating up a witness at the very beginning of the film. (It’s at this point I realize that it’s going to be one of those types of movies.)

That Dwayne is turning into quite the acting talent. I appreciate his commitment to the craft. He never mails it in. Good on ya, Mr. Johnson!

Speaking of mailing it in, Tyrese is not up to his usual par. I usually like him, and I know he’s playing a certain character (which might not be written all that well) but his performance detracts from Fast 6. And I’m sorry to say that.

All in all, there are a lot of hokey scenes, and personally I will never revisit the sixth installation. But if you can stomach irksome acting and weak plot structure in exchange for flashy car chases and decent action, more power to you.

Fast 6 clocks in at 2.5 stars for me, positing it in the ‘just barely unwatchable’ category.

So car fanatics; have at it!

Just don’t come crying to me when the acting and storyline aren’t up to snuff.

Beware the spoilers lurking below.

I admire what they’re doing with the Fast & Furious series. They’re trying to keep an elite cast of characters (well-liked by a certain audience) and retell different stories throughout the franchise’s lifetime.

Perhaps it’s time for a prequel. A shorter, more focused tale, that doesn’t take place on such a grand scale.

Enough speculating, because according to the scene during the credit sequence (that’s right, I waited!) one of my favorite characters gets killed at the beginning of the next film. By none other than Jason Statham.

Which is awesome in it’s own way.

But it’s also super lame. For this reason:

I pick up two favorite characters (both relative unknowns) and they both die by the end of the rolling credits.

Why? Because it creates the illusion of plot depth.

There are twists and turns that slightly justify the unbelievable moments (such as Michelle Rodriguez joining the evil squad because of memory loss, or her character asking Vin Diesel if he knew there’d be a car to cushion their fall). In this way, the writers are trying to lessen the effort the audience must put forth in suspending their disbelief.

So during the climactic sequence, a character must die, because how could they possibly succeed otherwise? And in order to tease the next movie, they must kill another character to create tension and suspense.

But in doing so, they’re only willing to let go of the two most disposable characters in the cast.

To me, this illustrates sloppy writing.

My basic, overall reaction to Fast 6 is, “Fine. But can’t this be done better?”

Thoughts, perchance?

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