Saturday, May 25, 2013


Furious 6
Director: Justin Lin
Starring: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Dwayne THE ROCK Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Sung Kang, Jordana Brewster, Gal Gadot, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Gina Carano (please take this movie and retire from acting with it), Luke Evans
Rated PG-13

You’ve got some serious balls, man.
                        ~Letty Ortiz

The Fast & The Furious franchise stays the course in its newest installment.  All the good will from Fast Five is carried over.  This film escalates the action by going bigger and taking stakes up a notch as it rightfully should.  I don’t think it sails by Fast Five, but it manages to come up to par with it.  And…it’s a one damn fine thrill ride of a movie.

The story takes place soon after we left Five.  Agent Hobbs brings in Dominic Toretto and his team to assist him in apprehending villainous mastermind Owen Shaw in exchange for full pardons.  Shaw and his team are trying to create a Nightshade device that can blackout an entire region and will sell for billions.  Reeling Dom in, is the fact that his living breathing old flame, Letty Ortiz is on Shaw’s crew.

This 6th entry packs a whallop.  It has great big action sequences, plenty of car chases, shootouts and hand to hand combat.  It also brings about major crowd pleasing moments throughout and at the right moments.  It hits its beats perfectly.  Crowds seldom tend to get involved (cheering, clapping, “ooh”ing an awing” showing audilbe signs of being upset over death) at screenings I go to here in Indianapolis. However, this film (and I’m likely guessing Fast Five) brought that out of them.  This was an event.  I haven’t had this much fun at a screening with a full audience in quite some time.  I had a blast.

While over the top, the film still manages to bring a sense of mortality and danger to its characters.  As big as things are and the crazy ways characters survive, the film is quick to pull the rug out from under you.  And the characters feel the effects of it as well.  I really like the team they have, especially for this one, as they kept it to the essentials.  Mia is on the sidelines for much of this adventure, but it’s understandably so.  She always is a piece of importance and in the back of your mind with Brian during this journey.  The cast has an insane amount of chemistry that you almost can’t get enough of on screen.  They all click, flourish and know their roles.

If anything Furious 6 does best over its predecessors, it’s the villain.  Luke Evans gives the best turn of any in the series.  He’s quite dangerous, and not just in dialogue but in his full performance.  This guy has every nook and cranny covered.  You just constantly feel he can’t be beat.  It takes a lot to get him.  And every time you think you’re close, you’re far from.  He’s never over the top, he’s just confident and shows poise even when he’s being rattled.  Plus he’s got some cool gadgets and cars to attack with.

Its going to be interesting to see where we go next time.  Since they want the next one out July 2014, Justin Lin is unable to return.  While this film doesn't seem very final, you do feel Lin's tip of the hat to the audience. A director I've always enjoyed, James Wan, is taking over.  This will be the biggest thing he's ever tackled, and only his 2nd foray away from horror films.  While I didn't every tire of Lin (and I admit, I'm afraid I'm going to miss him), maybe Wan can inject some grit on top what is already established.  PLUS, Wan definitely owes us some good car action as he gave us one of cinema's all time worst car chase scenes in Saw.  Seriously, its absolutely horrendous, low budget or no budget.

Furious 6 is some of the most fun you’re going to have at the movies this weekend and probably for the summer at that.  Will it be the best film?  No, probably not. But, if you’re looking for a real stunt heavy, practical effects heavy, pure action spectacle at the highest degree, look no further.  You’re gonna have a hard time finding something better the rest of the year.  Fear not, Fast Five was no fluke, they manage to meet expectations and deliver.  I can’t say things are better this time around, but assuredly, they’ve not gone down.  And even if…being 2nd to Fast Five wouldn’t be a bad thing at all.  For fans of this series, this one also brings things full circle if you’ve stuck around for every entry.  Go see this with a packed house.  It’s a lot of fun!

Grade: B+

Don’t leave when you think the movie ends!  There’s a couple credits and then an extra scene!  You WON’T want to miss it.  If you thought Fast Five's was a doozy...wait'll you see this. It has to be one of the greatest “post credits” scenes I’ve ever seen.  If you’re not jacked for next summer’s 7th installment after it…well…I don’t know what to tell you!

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