does one begin? The insipid dialogue? Paul Walker’s non-presence? A plot that
makes almost no sense? Stunts that defy the laws of physics?
start here: I can’t believe how much fun I had watching Fast & Furious 6.
Don’t get me wrong. It’s so absurd and stupid that it doesn’t really deserve to
exist. On the other hand, it reaches such heights of absurdity and stupidity
I kind of admire its willingness to be nothing more or less than a big, brashy,
loud, dumb action flick.
it’s summer movie time, right? Why shouldn’t we kick back, relax and
enjoy this impossible feat: One character flies at highway speed (and then
some) through the air, wraps his arms around another character hurtling toward
him at highway speed, and the two of them fall, unharmed, onto a car. The
Batman and Rachel Dawes fell through a skyscraper’s window in The Dark
Knight and landed safely hundreds of feet below and no one groused (or at
least didn’t grouse loudly). Who am I to grouse over a silly stunt that,
frankly, looks pretty cool despite its obvious CG-ness?
know, I’ve seen exactly two Fast & Furious films. The other is the
first, The Fast and the Furious, a barely-written exercise in machismo
that tests the audience’s ability to detect the metaphorical turd that has
fallen into its giant soda.
between 2001, when the first film was released, and now, the series acquired a
sense of humor about itself and about action movies in general. Does director
Justin Lin know his movie is silly? Sure, and he’s willing to be silly in order
to thrill and excite.
For those of
us who don’t know the film series well, but know that Michelle Rodriguez’
character, Letty, died in Fast & Furious (which is the fourth film
in the series), you may have one question: How the fuck is she in this movie,
alive, and with the same character name?
As my uncle
would say: BECAUSE IT’S IN THE SCRIPT. And also because, as another critic informed
me, at the end of Fast Five, the sequel to Fast & Furious,
it’s revealed by Luke Hobbs (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson) Letty may have
yourself: None of that matters. It’s about the cars, fights and explosions.
And, thanks to Roman Pearce (Tyrese Gibson) and Tej Parker (Chris “Ludacris”
Bridges), it’s sometimes about a decent quip.
Dom (Vin Diesel, who should thank whomever he thanks each day for this film
series) and Brian (Walker, ditto) and the gang are coaxed out of retirement by
Hobbs to stop Owen Shaw (Luke Evans) from stealing a McGuffin. The carrot: Full
pardons for the entire crew. And maybe they can find out what happened to
Letty. Boom, crash, you get the idea.
some truly remarkable road stunts in Fast & Furious 6. Shaw drives
what looks like no more than an Indy car’s frame with an engine and four
wheels, but it has a nifty gimmick: There’s a ramp on the front that’s designed
to flip other cars that approach it. And man, does it flip other cars, spectacularly
and for good reason (so they can crash!).
A nice—or at
least welcome—surprise is the existence of a ragged and brutal fight between
Riley (Gina Carano, whose character works for Hobbs) and Letty (Michelle
Rodriguez) in a London Tube station. The editing is a little too quick but
there are few moments in which we can see Carano’s fighter’s physique putting
the hurt on Rodriguez. Sure, they get up and walk away, but the choreography is
something to see.
bonus points to Rodriguez. She commits to a role and plays the hell out of it.
I’m already looking forward to Fast & Furious 7.
FAST & FURIOUS 6
Directed by Justin Lin
With Vin Diesel, Paul Walker and Michelle Rodriguez
Regal Santa Fe Stadium 14
Santa Fe Reporter