Saturday 8 June 2013

Review: Fast & Furious 6

Year: 2013
Director: Justin Lin
Screenplay: Chris Morgan
Starring: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Dwayne Johnson, Jordana Brewster, Tyrese Gibson, Michelle Rodriguez, Sung Kang, Chris Bridges, Luke Evans, Gina Carano, John Ortiz.

Synopsis is here

We are currently in a climate which film critics are being attacked for their taste in comparison to populous opinion(despite it often falling in line); the first defence is how the critic’s opinion means nothing as the films profit margin is way more important. "All these people went to see it; therefore your thoughts are invalid". The second attack is one I call the Kevin Smith offensive. This is where the only people with an opinion are the ones with the ticket stubs.  

You have to laugh at the absurdity. You can only have a say about the film if you pay for it, and by paying for it, your payment is a statement that you enjoyed the movie. It is a warped sensibility, but one that appears more and more. We now have the unsettling occurrence in which keyboard warriors lie in wait for the first negative review of any popular film and unleash at whatever poor sap had a different opinion from their own. 

So when your franchise is six films in and the latest entry is close to making half a billion at the box office, it doesn't really matter what any blogger or critic thinks. Yet here we are writing about these movies, often trying to give cultural context to these episodes of pop culture, while the loyal servants lie in wait to explain how wrong you are by calling you a faggot. 

Fast & Furious 6 sole aim to fascinate and frustrate those who believe that their palette is too sophisticated for such "lower" nonsense. Many complain about the lack of original movies and while we may be standing at the films sixth entry to the franchise, Fast 6 not based on any previous material. True the franchise is completely derivative but, hey, at least it's doing it on its own account. The film still indulges in displaying gratuitous female flesh, and yet still utilises more female characters than both Iron Man 3 and Star Trek. Women in Fast 6 have more to do, say and truly feel part of the films terrible plot and storyline. Fast 6, much like 5 is also vastly multi-racial and uses it to its benefit. Aside from one or two poorly placed moments of dialogue, race is not a major issue in Fast 6, with its main theme of family extending across racial lines. 

Justin Lin (the veteran director of the franchise) doesn't lose stride with hi direction of the action. The late night London locale is effective and while Western editing has effectively maimed the beautiful art of choreography, Lin still manages to deliver simple, easy and enjoyable action to follow. I found it incredibly easy to find myself caught in the twisting of metal and cracking of bones, simply because Lin holds a shot for half a second longer than most. 

The film is still nonsense, keep up with the loop jumping plot and we're still watching a film in which the good criminals are planning to steal from bad thrives because screenplay. The film is incredibly happy with its strange discourse of bloodlessly murdering innocents without a care in the world. A nitpick but still bizarre when watching. The script is happily fuelled with dim witted dialogue, graceless wit and dubious platitudes and even at its worst the validity of the characters is flimsy. 

Yet, the sheer unpretentious of what's at play, drives Fast 6 through most of its obstacles. Unburdened with the geek weight of comic book adaptations, Fast 6 can happily laugh of any YouTube "everything that's wrong with" videos because it has nothing to live up to and yet succeeds somewhat with what it delivers. It's hard to call out a film which has its main catchphrase "ride or die" at its heart. 

Fast and Furious 6 isn't doing too bad critically. It is currently fresh on Rotten Tomatoes and riding high on the IMDB. It will not stop a small army of fans deride anyone who doesn't hold it with high praise. Despite this; what makes Fast and Furious 6 interesting, is not that it has a force big enough to provide ammunition if it were under attack. It's that the film and franchise is big and ugly enough not to give a fudge if anyone likes it or not.