Friday, 27 September 2013

Fast & Furious 6 (2013)

The titles are getting less inspirational now as we lurch into the sixth entry in this massively overblown franchise. We've had LA California Miami Tokyo Dominican Republic Mexico/US border and Rio de Janeiro, now its London's turn for more turbo charged high jinx. More like a videogame as we travel around the globe to different destinations for the car sequences (take your pick). Oh and this is still a prequel to the third film as Han is still alive and well, all the films are a prequel to the third accept for the next (number 7), as I've discovered.

So this time there is another bad guy that must be stopped gee whizz! a British villain, the Yanks just love us caddish Brits. The little twist this time is the fact that Toretto and his crew are no longer the ones on the run, they are hired by G.I.Rock.babyoil.biceps.Johnson to bring this bad guy to justice. The reason is because he's building some kind of special tech that can bring down all power for an entire region, and then he will sell it...fiendish!

The start of this film is basically a Bond sequence...seeing as this is what the film has now become, a kind of Bond/Mission: Impossible/(recent) Die Hard mix with the good humoured character teamwork of Ocean's Eleven. The uniting of the team is very much in this style, a little montage of the gang in their various hideouts, then all called up for service by the leader, criminals assemble!

Mr Johnson is so hokey here too, of course he's not meant to be anything else really but Jesus! The guy is getting so thick he can't walk right, either that or he just swaggers horrendously. The dude is like a tagline machine, spitting out one butch statement after another, he's a walking action figure.

So virtually everybody is dragged back into the frey both goodies and baddies, the casting continuity is actually impressive. I think we all know now that Rodriguez is the big surprise reentry here as it turns out she wasn't killed in number four. Nope she has been brought back to allow the franchise to continue even further. In all complete and utter honesty most of this film is totally mundane and routine, there is nothing here that is fresh or exciting. We are shown what really happened to Letty although I can't believe she simply wasn't just shot in the head to make sure. Carano gets a good fight sequence...naturally, the underground is shown along with some other landmarks...naturally, and of course we are given one obligatory street race.

London and no traffic?? nah! but wait! what was that moment when O'Connor knocks that bug device off the front of his BMW by skidding past a concrete pillar?. How the hell did he even know where it was? its size? width? how on earth did he manage to gauge that move without slamming into the pillar or just missing the bug completely?? I know these films are not to be taken seriously but its moments like that that just make it laughable, a joke.

The cars this time are more unique with a few more British models (of course), bored with large numbers of imports we now get some curious models. The Dodge Charger Daytona and its long pointed body with huge spoiler fin, a British Ford Escort, the Jenson Interceptor, a Ford Anvil Mustang, a Plymouth Barracuda and an Alfa Romeo are all used.

The film grows tiresome right up until a fast paced chase sequence in Spain down a highway. Starting off kinda generic but quickly turning into something much more interesting as they end up chasing a tank. The sequence unfortunately ends on a highly absurd set piece requiring CGI assistance which spoils the moment but it is fun (how many innocent people were killed on that highway?!!). Just when you think that's that bugger me we get another good sequence, saved the best stuff for last it seems. This time the team are chasing (always chasing) a large cargo aircraft which is stuffed with yet more cars. So guess what? yep we get lots of cars everywhere...silly stunts, CGI stunts explosions utterly impossible feats, Dwayne 'my t-shirts are really tight' Johnson fighting an even bigger meathead, more girl fights, heroic deaths and the longest damn take off in the world. Seriously how long does it take that plane to lift? and how long is that runway??

At first I was really not going along with this whole idea, a sixth film! Then as I started to watch I realised hey I was right! this is just complete rehash. Its only when we get to the last half hour or so of the film that things get exciting with those two chase sequences, up to then its seriously average. I like how they have engineered the plot from part three and the franchise as a whole into a bigger picture, all these films are prequels and the finale here does tie that up nicely. The only thing is before that they do tie up the whole franchise very nicely with a good ending for all the characters involved. I did get the feeling this was the perfect moment to finish this for good, end it now with a solid bookend. The fact they are pushing it further is really milking it and really pushing their luck...if you ask me.

This was gonna be a low score but the last two sequences in the finale saved this films life big time, almost a fail, how much longer can it hold out?