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Saturday, May 25, 2013

'Furious 6' Shifts Into High Gear

     Warning. Fast and Furious 6 is so mind-blowing, you need 8 brains to process it. You won't be able to concentrate after and you'll try to comprehend what you just saw, but your mind will be so scrambled, that will be impossible for a few hours. Fast and Furious 6, or Furious 6 as it is in the movie, defies logic, defies gravity, defies all scientific and road laws, but who cares? Its Fast and Furious, and that's what they do best, and they sure did it well. From the first scene, Furious 6 kicks it into high gear, and they don't let up.
     Furious 6 follows the gang as they're living their laid back lives across the world. Hobbs aka "Samoan Thor"(Dwayne Johnson) is chasing a racing crew lead by Owen Shaw (Luke Evans) through Europe who hijacks military equipment to build a tech bomb to sell to billionaires. Once Hobbs finds out the second-in-command is Letty Ortiz (Michelle Rodriguez), who is Dom Torretto's (Vin Diesel) supposedly dead girlfriend, he goes looking for Dom. Hobbs finds Dom and tells him that he needs Dom and his team to help him and the DSS find the crew and bring them down, before they cause global disaster. In return, they will get closer to Letty, and receive pardons, though they practically care more about the former.
     The rest of the movie is Dom's team, including Brian (Paul Walker), Roman (Tyrese Gibson), Tej (Chris "Ludacris" Bridges), Giselle (Gal Gadot), and Han (Sung Kang) chasing Shaw's team through Europe before they take off with a computer chip to complete their bomb to sell. Mia (Jordana Brewster) is still in the mix, but she plays a different role since her and Brian now have a kid.
     What are sequels supposed to do? Bring something new, but keep familiar with the old, without bringing more of the same. Furious 6 achieves that. After Fast Five, it was wondered how Furious 6 could ever top it. Now, after seeing Furious 6, I have no idea how Fast 7 will top that. No idea. Furious 6 felt like an obvious sequel to Fast Five, but with stakes, action, urgency, and relationships all raised. A good thing about Furious 6 is even if you haven't seen Fast 1-5, you don't have a tough time understanding the characters, though watching at least Fast Five is good idea.
     When it comes to action movies, I like crystal clear action, no shaky cam, and great pacing. Justin Lin, the director, did an excellent job setting up the action scenes and switching between characters. With so many characters, its easy to get lost and easily forget what they're all supposed to be doing, but with the smooth transitions and clear path, Furious 6 succeeds. The biggest theme in Furious 6 is "family". Dom's team is one big extended family and you see that. The chemistry between the characters was just as good as Avengers from last year. Dom and Brian, Roman and Tej, Roman and everyone, Dom and Shaw, Letty and Riley (Gina Carano), Letty and Dom, Owen and Letty, Dom and Hobbs, the chemistry is amazing. Having a movie with a million characters can easily bring it down, but Furious 6 did a great job at keeping it integral.
     Like every movie, they are a couple problems. The biggest one is that Letty's plot is very predictable. Shaw's team was also underdeveloped and not given much freedom to do things outside of Shaw's orders of drive and shoot. There was little improvising between them, unlike Dom's team. The plot in whole wasn't predictable, but individual scenes were. Hobbs also delivered some cheesy lines that were more miss than hit. Shaw, though he was a villain, felt just like another player on his team. Other than him being the leader, there wasn't much separating him from his teammates and he lacked menace and instead does most of his dirty work through a cell phone. Though to be fair, that is a big problem with most villains outside of superhero movies, and even they have issues.
     My theater went wild during Furious 6 and it was a great experience. This is a movie you just have to see with a huge crowd to get full benefit. Believe it or not, at my showing their was 4 year olds in front of me, 7 year olds behind, all major races (no pun intended), teenagers, senior citizens - my theater room was one big multi-cultural melting pot. I extremely recommend Furious 6. It is a movie where you have to suspend belief, but hey you had to do that with Avengers, The Dark Knight Rises, and Skyfall too. Solid A and automatically one of my favorites ever, and my favorite in the Fast series. I knew I would enjoy Furious 6, but I wasn't expecting as much intense action, witty banter, and strong central characters as their was. Catch Furious 6 in theaters NOW or miss out!

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