Thursday, July 25, 2013

Man on Film: Fast & Furious 6

After the supremely bombastic fifth installment of the Fast & Furious series, Justin Lin had all but predestined himself to let down fans of what he has turned the series into when he took over at Tokyo Drift. Fortunately, if you thought that the action couldn't get any more over the top, you were wrong. Sure, Vin Diesel and Paul Walker aren't laying waste to Rio with a vault that's tethered to their cars, but the action set-pieces are bigger, the stunts are even more insane, and the hand-to-hand combat is much more engaging.

When you consider the humble Point-Break-in-muscle-cars origins of the series, the point that the franchise is at now could not be more surprising. That it's peaking both commercially and creatively five and six films into the series is completely shocking. But here we are, and Fast & Furious 6 is totally insane in the best ways possible.

Now to be totally honest, Fast & Furious 6 doesn't quite measure up to its predecessor, Fast Five. Fast Five was about as good as high-octane action dripping in testosterone gets. Furthermore, the setting (Rio) gives the fifth installment a vibrancy that Fast 6 never quite attains.

Having said that, Fast & Furious 6 does a much better job of using Dwayne Johnson's strengths and strength to its benefit. With the better utilization of Johnson and the addition of Gina Carano, the hand-to-hand combat sequences are much more impressive than in any of the previous films in the series. Some might complain that this film got a bit away from the series' bread and butter in relying a bit more heavily upon fight scenes and less upon car stunts, but these scenes add quite a bit to a film already brimming over with action.

The film isn't without its flaws, sadly. Where the Dom/Letty storyline is supposed to be the heart of the film, it's really hard to give a shit about what happens to Letty as Michelle Rodriguez emotes about as much as a rock. The heart of the film is in the Han/Gisele scenes, though it seems as though that's unintentional. Regardless, Sung Kang and Gal Gadot are the ones who win our affection while Tyrese Gibson carries the film's lighter comedic moments. With a film this large, I suppose it's easier to have scenes stolen.

All in all, Fast & Furious 6 is a helluva ride, delivering pretty much exactly what it is supposed to. Now we just have to cross our fingers and hope James Wan doesn't screw the pooch on Fast & Furious 7.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...