Monday, July 1, 2013

The Many Many Fast and Furiouses…Furioi…whatever...

Movie review? Movie review.

Edward here. I've been away from my family for a bit now and that means I'm not actively engaged in the roughly 17 billion distinct tasks lumped under the category of 'parenting.'

What am I doing with my spare time? Am I investigating the rings of Saturn with a telescope? Have I composed a new sonnet? Am I reading the latest in East Coast literary fiction, or even keeping abreast of current events?

Nope. I'm watching [The?] [Fast and] Furious 6. (Are they using articles anymore? Is it "A Fast and Furious?") I'm not sure what the ACTUAL title of the film is, but it turns out it's the SIXTH one of these. Can you even believe that?

I mean seriously, they didn't even get around to making "Casablanca 2: The Road to Berlin." Sad.
Vin Diesel, man.



Remember when people made movies with Vin Diesel in them? (I mean other than these.) Those were innocent times, man.

Before we launch into a plot synopsis, a word about spoilers. I'm going to basically assume that, if you're reading this, then you have basic brain functions, like you're not a brain-in-a-jar, or in a vegetative state or Encino Man. Did you see the trailer to FF6? Then the conclusion of the climax is basically spoilt anyway.

And in case you didn't, [SPOILER ALERT!] the good-guys are NOT in that plane!
And since you, dear reader, are a person of distinguishing tastes, or refinement and rare intellect, I know (and you do too) that you will guess every beat of the plot. This is a spoiler-proof movie.

The plot: Vin is a noble and now retired automotive based thief with a gang of wealthy peers who live in exotic and beautiful locations with apparent great wealth. The Rock shows up one day and says that the actress who was written out of the series two movies ago wanted back in so...
…apparently all roads led to this.
It's of interest to The Rock because Michelle Rodriguez (who I could never get behind on Lost) is running with a NEW gang of automotive based thieves! But we know that they're badguys because…well at first we're just told that they're bad'uns, but later we see that there's no loyalty in their gang, no sense of family.

And that's the ethos of this film. Whenever a character needs to do something, well family man.


Yeah man, family.

Well alright, if you say so.

Why would Paul Walker risk life in prison to return to Los Angeles so that he could get very non-essential information for the Plot? Why does Michelle Rodriguez not shoot Vin Diesel to death when they first meet again? Why does her amnesia (!!!) finally start to wear off? Why does The Rock's character (the epitome of law and order) risk his job and countless American lives in the face of a plot twist projected so far in advance that it was legally obligated to change its mailing address? Family.

Or something.

Anyway, there was so much 'honor among theves' that there was no room in the script for physics, which is fine I suppose. I was also left wondering when Professor Charves Xavier was going to show up, because, aside from being attractive enough, this team of super-thieves are clearly mutants with extraordinary powers. They fly, flinch-off  GSWs, some to the chest, are involved in numerous high-speed roll-over automobile accidents unscathed and use cars to shoot down a plane. [See above.]

A character actually says the following: "How did you know there'd be a car there to break our fall?"
You saw the trailer, right? They are not soaring above a marshmallow factory.
She literally characterizes a car as something that will break your fall (as opposed to "your back" or "every bone in your body.") If fact, it's something you want to break your fall, what with all of its shattery glass, sharp edges and the general metal-ness of its body.

To say nothing of the runway in the climactic end scene, which the BBC has addressed "at length." (See what I did there?)

This is not to say I didn't enjoy the film on its own merits. I actually haven't seen a whole Fast / Furious before (Most of one, bits of two, almost all of three, none of four or five, for the record.) and it's silly and inert, but not odious. I enjoyed speculating whether the Vin Diesel's team paid the congestion charge while they were speeding through London's mysteriously semi-abandoned streets, (Picadilly Circus appears at one points and for some reason, the foot traffic is just absent.) and wondering why the McGuffin was conveniently being transported in a tank in the back of a semi. Wasn't the semi enough?

Oh, and Gina Carano is fun to watch, because you're being clumsily pressed to believe somehow that she wouldn't just take Michelle Rodriguez apart in a fight. I mean she's got thirty pounds of muscle on her. And she is literally a professional, and the movie's all like "No no, this is TOTALLY an even match, bro!"

Uh…sorry movie. No

Anyway, I had a quantifiable-unit's worth of fun. You might too.

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