This is how I ended up at FF6 last night. My wife badly wanted to go to the movies and, for reasons we need not dwell on, that’s currently our only form of date night entertainment. So we’ve seen….pretty much everything. Looking at the schedule, we faced a fork in the road between Fast and Furious 6 and The Hangover III and F6 offered a 100% better chance that we wouldn’t have to see Ken Jeong’s penis. That’s what it came down to along with a series of coin flips. I have only seen the first Fast and Furious movie and as I related in posting the trailer for this film, the after experience was more interesting than the film itself.
I only saw that first film because I was with a group of car-obsessed friends. I thought it was crap. Haaaated it. However, my opinion was not the majority of the amped car-humping motor fiends in the audience. Once the credits rolled, people came busting out of that theater, crammed in their cars, and then all hell broke loose.
I don’t know what kind of car you were driving when this came out. I was in early undergrad as were my friends so none of us were coasting around in anything impressive (though that didn’t stop them from grafting spoilers and exhaust pipes the size of mortars onto their sensible family sedans). This herd of Ford Taurus, Chevy Malibus, etc. that had no business doing anything but the speed limit, exploded from their parking spaces like racing horses on meth. There was screaming metal, burning rubber, smoke billowing across the theater lot, testosterone pumping at such a high level that the light posts were growing hair, coordinated donuts were spiraling Diesel-esque wannabes hither, thither and yon. I was driving a 1994 Saturn, in which, I sat for a good hour until the cars had overturned themselves, spiraled onto the freeway or embedded themselves in the adjacent Wal-Mart. Terrifying as it was, it made a rather fascinating sociology study of what our future looks like should Mad Max turn out to be prophecy.
SO, having parked around back this time, we made our way inside and if this hasn’t come out clearly: I’m not a car guy. I love car chases when done well in films (Bournes 1-3, Ronin, Bullit, etc.) but my knowledge of and appreciation for cars extends to my desire to have them transport me to the destination I intended to go. That being said, I bet I’m the only one of you grease monkeys who’s taken one through a house so suck on that in the parking lot post-film (btw that is expensive The Day I Drove My Car Through My House). However, even if I were a car guy, I don’t thing it would have been possible for me to forgive the idiocy that is FF6.
To be fair, I am clearly not the target audience of this movie, but in an ensemble in where The Rock looked like Al Pacino, I just prayed for something to explode or for them to drive after something else in a speedy and angry manner (side note: I’m not sure HOW angrier and faster than this they can get for the already-in-pre-production FF7, but I’m almost curious enough to endure it) because when things slowed down…people began to talk. The talking hurt my ears. The script seemed to have been carefully limited to sentences of no more than 3-5 words that had to have been randomly generated from some kind of action movie mad libs database.
I honestly just don’t want to try to summarize the plot…oh fine. It’s Ocean’s 13….but dumb. Gang gets back together, gang is working for the law, gang is not particularly pleased about it. Not furious. But damn close. Our crack team is chasing an item that goes out of its way not to just call itself “a really effective EMP”. Chases and ‘splosions abound, culminating in a chase with a tank that climaxes with the most hysterically physics-ignorant stunt I think I’ve ever seen. Also Vin Diesel must be a robot, because otherwise his character would have been human goo. I CANNOT SHUT MY MIND OFF THAT FAR!
I do have to admit that the finale with the C-130 is just freaking awesome. No glibness or irony, it is one of the most impressive action set pieces I have seen in years. By the way, Vin Diesel driving a flaming car out of said crashing flaming C-130, rolling his car at a high speed and then walking through the flames unscathed was more plausible than the tank climax. Vin Diesel’s chiseled out of admantium.
In rating this, I have a situation here similar to the other Rock movie I’ve seen in the theater this year (GI JOE 2). There are 15 minutes of sheer amazing, I-have-never-seen-that awesomeness, surrounded in a sea of stultifying mediocrity. All the points, ALL of them, are for that and the post-credits scene which, depressingly, was better than Iron Man 3’s. This year in film needs a big win. C’mon, Superman
PS – I was heavily amused to see that there was a disclaimer immediately after the movie pleading with testosterone-pumping drivers not to do anything that they saw and assuring them that nothing they were driving contained NOS. This leads me to believe my FF1 experience was not an isolated incident.