Saturday, 18 May 2013

Review: Fast & Furious 6

World of Blackout Film Review

Fast & Furious 6 Poster

Fast & Furious 6
Cert: 12A / 145 mins / Dir. Justin Lin

Back in the very first 1755 edition of Dr Samuel Johnson's A Dictionary of the English Language, the entry for the word "Wowshit" read simply: "Adjective; Fast & Furious 6". From that day until this, no-one was entirely sure what that meant. And today, finally, all became crystally (if predictably) clear. F&F6 bursts onto our screens like a two-and-a-half-hour car chase, soundtracked by screeching tyres, white noise and awful hip-hop. And is all the better for it. Let's not dick about; this is part six of a franchise. Pretty much everyone in the auditorium should know what they're there for, right?

Like its predecessor, the movie is unapologetically OTT, but still (somehow) manages to maintain a level of sweet-spiritedness. A series of rubber-burning setpieces, strung together with a wafer-thin, bat-shit plot and some appalling dialogue serves as the framework for Vin Diesel to make Dwayne Johnson look like Daniel Day Lewis (seriously, what is Diesel for, these days?). Everyone else does exactly what they're paid to do; look moody and drive cars (or, in Gina Carano's case, look moody and punch people).

So, while I wouldn't go so far as to say I 'cared' about any of the characters (or cars, for that matter), I chuckled, winced and ooh'd along for the duration. And it's quite the duration. At a rollocking 2h25m, it's way too long, but it barely matters in a movie with as little downtime as this. That said, far too much of the film uses fast-cut editing in under-lit night locations for my liking, on more than one occasion I couldn't tell what was actually happening other than industrial amounts of petrol being burned.

And speaking of things which are too long, does that runway for the final act run down the centre of all of Spain? They seem to spend about 25 minutes belting down it at top-speed in some serious motors. There is, of course, always room for a sequel, and the final scene in the film is such an overblown setup that I'm actually looking forward to it. The villain*1 for the next film already looks far more interesting than the one we had for this one…

Despite those grumbles, this is a ridiculously enjoyable film. The franchise has got to a point where it no longer has anything to prove, it's just got to up the ante on what it did last time. And F&F6 pulls that off. This time, at least.

Oh, and when was the last time you watched a movie which featured actual product-placement for Seabrook Crisps? Not even kidding. That's awesome.

The phrase "Leave your brain in the car park and just enjoy the ride" has never been more appropriate. Get in the car.

Is the trailer representative of the film?

Did I laugh, cry, gasp and sigh when I was supposed to?

Does it achieve what it sets out to do?

Pay at the cinema, Rent on DVD or just wait for it to be on the telly?
Cinema if you like your skidmarks to be HUGE, but you won't lose too much by watching it in your living room.

Will I think less of you if we disagree about how good/bad this film is?

Will I watch it again?
At some point.

Is there a Wilhelm Scream?
No! I mean, come on...

And because you won't be happy until I've given it a score...

And my question for YOU is…
Back in the days of Tokyo Drift, did you think this franchise would a) get this far, and b) still be at the cinema-release stage?

Comments section. Let me know. Go!

*1 The "villain" in a Fast & Furious movie is defined as 'the one who scowls more than the rest of the cast'.

• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.
• Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.
• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organisations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.

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