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Digesting the lowest rung of pop culture so you don't have to!
Fast Five was an awesome movie. It was completely ridiculous with over-the-top action, goofy, broad humor, stereotypical character types, and loads of clichés. But, the film knew exactly what it was, and audiences embraced it for it. I embraced it for it. Because of its surprise success, a follow-up became a reality. Fast & Furious 6 is in theaters now, and it was my most anticipated movie of the summer. I guess I should not be surprised that I was let down by it.
Perhaps my expectations were too high. I am not sure. I really wanted to like this movie more, but I really felt the filmmakers tried to recapture the feeling of Fast Five, but became too self-conscious about what they were to doing and ended up trying too hard. That is what it really feels like. Okay, here is my central problem with this movie: the premise. On one hand, the idea is a good one. DSS Agent Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) hires Dom’s (Vin Diesel) crew to help him get a bad guy in exchange for pardons. Fine – that works. The issue that I take is that the minute Dom’s crew comes on, they are given access to everything including weapons and high-tech computers. They are brought along and immediately are active on stakeouts. They are left alone for long periods of time. None of these people have any sort of supervision going on. In addition, Hobbs has virtually no team of his own and is relying solely on Dom’s crew – a crew he was keen on capturing in the previous movie.
Am I the only one realizing that they are still international fugitives from the law?! Granted, they live by an honor code, and I know these Fast and Furious movies are a fantasy in themselves, but this is too unbelievable that I had problems getting behind it. I really struggled looking beyond it during the movie, because it is such a central conceit.
Then we have our villain played by Luke Evans. This guy is described as the baddest of the bad – the biggest threat Hobbs has ever faced. But, he is such a non-character in this; I never really felt the menace he is supposed to have. I do not blame the Evans. He is really trying. The problem lies in the writing. Adding to the issue is that we are never clear on what the bad guy is actually up to. He wants to steal some sort of computer chip for reasons which are incredibly vague. Is he going to sell it? Use it? We do not know, and because of that, we don’t care (which made the climax of the film somewhat unsatisfying and anti-climactic).
I feel like I am coming down hard on Fast & Furious 6. There were lots of things I enjoyed about the movie such as the ridiculous action and Gina Carano’s character. I realize these stories are not meant to be all that demanding, but they have to avoid the logical stupid to embrace the fun stupid (which this movie has a lot of). This is not a bad movie by any means (well, it is, but it’s a good bad movie). It was just a disappointing one. I was in the theater with lots of people, and they were eating this movie up. I really wish I could have been completely with them.
Question: This is a bit off topic, but I am curious. I have seen this film advertised as Fast and Furious 6, but when I saw the movie, the title was presented on screen as Furious 6. Was this unique to the print I saw, or is this common in the North American release? I am very curious to know.