Fast & Furious 6

Paul Walker, Dwayne Johnson and Vin Diesel in Fast and Furious 6

 

A movie for every day of the year – a good one

 

 

5 February

 

 

John Boyd Dunlop born, 1840

John Boyd Dunlop, Scottish inventor and accidental businessman, was born on this day in 1840. After studying to be a veterinarian at Edinburgh University, he moved to Ireland and set up practice with his brother, in Downpatrick. His most famous invention was the pneumatic tyre, which he developed in 1887 as a way of making his son’s tricycle roll easier over the hard ground of his back yard. Dunlop was immediately struck not just by how much smoother the ride was, but by how much more easily the wheel rolled with a pneumatic tyre on it than just on the metal rim alone. He was on to something and had soon made more tyres for bicycles, which were then experiencing a boom. He patented his idea on 7 December 1888. The pneumatic tyre really took off after Willie Hume, a Belfast cyclist, won a string of races using Dunlop’s tyres. The man himself never made much money from his patent, having assigned it to his business partner, William Du Cros, in return for shares in the company, the Pneumatic Tyre and Booth’s Cycle Agency Company Limited. This turned out to have been a stroke of blind luck, because in 1890 the company was informed that the tyre had already been patented, in 1845, by Robert William Thomson, another Scottish inventor, because though it prospered, it was thanks to business acumen rather than possession of a killer patent.

 

 

 

Fast & Furious 6 (2013, dir: Justin Lin)

Having worked all the permutations to exhaustion, F&F 6 tried also to go by the name Furious 6, but wiser heads decided that that might confuse matters and so a good old fashioned Fast & Furious 6 it has ended up being. To confound expectations, it pretty much abandons the whole street-racing notion that the F&F franchise has been built on and instead use the F&F gang – Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Dwayne Johnson, Sung Kang, Gal Gadot, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris – as a sort of grand Mission Impossible outfit with cars. Actually, that’s a tendency that had been growing since director Justin Lin took over the enterprises in F&F 3. This time around the team are called out of hiding/retirement/fat farm (you know who you are) by Luke Hobbs (the increasingly key Dwayne Johnson) to nobble a villain (Luke Evans) whose MO is fast cars and faster assaults on military and/or bullion installations. Meanwhile Michelle Rodriguez has banged her head and is playing for the other team – no, you can have that one for free – Jordana Brewster is in “good wife at home” mode, leaving the rest of the old team and new girl, mixed martial arts woman Gina Carano, to get on with it. The dialogue scenes can be ignored – Johnson tells the gang something, then Diesel repeats it for those in the audience who sniff gas for fun, then Walker does a “what he said” number, followed by Tyrese and Ludacris offering a comic reinterpretation, while Sung Kang looks effortlessly cool and the girls stand around chewing their cheeks. This does not matter, because the key reason for watching the film is not to laugh at the dialogue but to enjoy the stunts. And on the evidence here – the race around tourist London after Evans in a Formula 1 tank, the big finish in which the gang chase a gigantic cargo plane down a runway – Lin has quietly become the best action director in Hollywood. In fact this last sequence is well worth watching just on its own. Lin shows us a feat of really extraordinary action choreography, during which, after almost an entire film’s worth of standing around and pouting like the model he used to be, Tyrese Gibson gets to do something which I bet he rewatches in slo-mo at home. And then Lin tops it with the sequence involving cars being connected to a taxi-ing cargo plane by cables, which like the best action stunts manages to be ridiculous and awesome at the same time.

 

 

Why Watch?

 

  • Director Justin Lin, king of action
  • Gina Carano and Sung Kang, both effortlessly cool
  • A car-chase stunt in Piccadilly Circus – unusual
  • The best film of the series

 

© Steve Morrissey 2014

 

 

Fast & Furious 6 – at Amazon

 

 

 

 

4 thoughts on “Fast & Furious 6”

  1. This will contain MAJOR spoilers, so readers beware. Fast and Furious 6 just went off its rails, scrap that – it completely flew off its rails. This film turned utterly ridiculous to the point where I am left thinking "why?" There was no need for the film to pan out how it did. The first part (and I should point out) main bulk of the film was enjoyable, trying to track down Letty whilst working alongside the very man trying to stop them previously (Hobbs) offered something new and interesting and it made for some interesting moments. This part of the film I felt was good, even if they did practically ignore the car side of things. It's like they tried to force some stuff in there about the cars but then they never even showed what the cars actually where, or anything about the flipper car which was actually quite interesting. The first car sequence in the film they all used BMW 5 series? (This is major spoilers from now on) Why, if Riley is Shaw's girlfriend would she be ordered practically to her death throughout the whole film? There was a whole massive fight scene with Letty and herself, surely if they was working together that fight just didn't need to happen since no one was even there but those two see it. So they just had a fight for no reason. Why would Riley chase Letty so vigilantly? She could have let her get away without getting herself thrown down some concrete stairs. They forced this twist in the film for some reason. Then for the main car chase in the film / action sequence, Shaw's team capture a "convoy" which is just a truck and two jeeps. I can't fathom how stupid this actually is because not only does this tiny convoy have a hugely powered tank inside, it also has the chip worth "billions" and is a danger to everyone etc. Yet this convoy, of MILITARY personnel is incapable of protecting this vital piece of equipment. Men trained in warfare are treated like pawns which the criminals just shrug off with ease. Did I mention the military was aware Shaw's team was there, Shaw's team notorious for their driving ability and capture of convoys and yet this tank and lorry are just casually driving along with what may as well be no protection at all? Why? Why didn't they make the convoy seem stronger and actually include some intelligent action here for the capture of the tank? Then they actually capture this tank and Shaw's team are now military experts who know exactly how to control this tank. They needlessly kill dozens of innocent people by crushing them to death and no one even seems fazed by it. Now if a tank was captured in this way, who would come in to stop it? Not Dom and Brian. The rest of military would. Utterly ridiculous but I accept that is how the film works so I don't hold that against the film too much – that is just your typical mindless action movie stuff. It would have been much more interesting if the military got involved alongside the team though. Then it happens. The corniest moment I have ever seen in any film ever. Letty is catapulted over the edge of a huge bridge; she is flying through the air to her certain death. But wait! Dom then catapults himself from the other side of the bridge (there is a gap in the middle) catches her in mid air and lands perfectly onto a car to break their fall. Why does this scene have to exist? It's awful, from this moment on the film goes rubbish. This moment, is where I think the director/producer/writer went on holiday and no longer cared.

    They capture Shaw at this point and he then reveals his team have taken Mia hostage. Fair enough, that's a decent ending and seems like it has set up for the next film perfectly. But no, Hobbs pulls a gun out and tells everyone how they are going to put loads of other lives at risk to save one person (Mia) by giving Shaw his chip and letting him go. The film then moves onto what is quite possibly the most unrealistic action scene ever recorded in Hollywood. Shaw has casually organised a cargo plane to pick them up from this military base. Where the hell did this cargo plane come from, an unauthorised huge military cargo plane Shaw just happens to have ready, and also access to a military base runway. This scene is meant to be about Shaw getting away. I'm not too sure on the science here but, if I am driving at 150mph onto a plane moving at 140mph will my car nice and gently stop when I get on the planes ramp? Or will my car suddenly shoot forwards from momentum and smash into the insides of plane. Honestly I'm not too sure but anyway… They kill Gisele for seemingly no reason and no one even cares. They don't even rush back to find her, they just accept she is dead. Likely she is but if you are Han in this situation do you stand there and accept it? Shouldn't he be getting in a car and rushing to where she fell to find her… Not to mention this huge plane exploded right next to everyone and no one was even that bothered by it. Just everything about this last scene I disliked, probably because it was just so unnecessary to begin with. They should have just ended the film with Owen Shaw being captured, then have Ian Shaw (Statham) break him free at the start of the next film. Instead they plonked this last ridiculous action scene in there just because the producers felt like it needed it. It really didn't. Film started off good then just went off the rails. 5/10.

  2. This movie started off really well, however, it was set off course after the action started. I have to warn those that watched the trailers on television, because they spoiled every exciting scene from the movie. I would not consider myself an avid fan, but I have followed the series ever since the first movie and I would be the first one to tell you that this movie is a major disappointment. After Tokyo drift, the director relied heavily on action and random fillers to please the audience while leaving the fans frustrated and confused. And since when did the acronym "F&F" turn from fast and furious to fast and fighting? This series has started it's roots from racing and formed into another predictable action movie.

    Now, to the ridiculous part of the review. The last scene with the cargo jet is beyond unrealistic. This scene was around 15 minutes long and I would like to point out that the take-off speed of a vast jet like that is around 150-200 mph (not to mention they had to increase speed in order to take-off due to the added weight). The runway must been around 50 miles long because they were on there for literally 15 minutes traveling at an average speed of 150mph+. And don't even get me started with the whole Gisele dying scene. The director got rid of her faster than all those V-8 powered engines put together!

    I pointed out a bit of information what the reviewer "carl-walster" missed. He did an amazing job to point out how really ridiculous the movie really was. I have a great imagination, but this movie was too difficult to comprehend. And how could some of these other reviewers say this was the best of fast and furious? That's blasphemous!

  3. While most franchises lose their steam with each succeeding sequel, the Fast and the Furious franchise is that rare exception where its later films breathe in new life into the series. Once a franchise about car racing, "Fast Five" took an unexpected turn as a bank heist thriller in the vein of Steven Soderbergh's "Ocean's 11," a welcomed change as seen by its huge box office earnings and critical success. Now, "Furious 6" is neither about car racing nor bank heists, but rather a terrorist threat with obvious inspirations from "The Dark Knight." Like "Fast Five," the results are immensely satisfying and undeniably entertaining.

    The key to the franchise's upward turn in quality is due to director Justin Lin. He is a skilled action director, and many filmmakers can learn a few things or two from him: The action sequences are impressive, engaging, comprehensible, and well-shot, with practical effects to boot. There is a sense of danger, verve, and life in these scenes rarely found in other films, despite how over-the-top and ridiculous they may be; and yes, they often drift into gratify-defying territory. While I usually don't react out loudly when watching a film, this film had me gasping, jaw dropping, laughing, and applauding, sometimes all at once!

    Another ingredient to the film's success is the chemistry between the cast members. We have grown to love these characters over the course of the series that one cannot help but cheer on for them. In particular, Tyrese Gibson and Ludicrous have such a terrific rapport with each other that they provide some of the film's biggest laughs and memorable one-liners. Additionally, Luke Evans is definitely a step up above the previous film's antagonist, and Gina Carano provides some great ass-kicking moments, although not much performance-wise. On another note, I want to mention how refreshing it is to see minority actors fill these roles. Certainly, the film's use of a diverse ensemble cast should be commended. As for the story, it's nothing special, but I dare you not to act surprised when several plot twists are revealed; I did so more than I would like to admit.

    If there's one thing to learn about this franchise, it's that some change can be a good thing. While the later sequels do focus away from the car racing, they still featured cars, which helped retain old fans while bringing in new ones. "Furious 6" is terrific entertainment, and judging by yet another dazzling cliffhanger and the audience's reaction, "Fast & Furious 7" will be an amazing finale for the series. Unfortunately, Justin Lin won't be back around for the last installment, but someone please get this man to direct every and all upcoming action flicks.

  4. We all know the Fast and Furious 6 franchise has become less and less about the cars over the series, so there is no point in moaning about that now. As an action packed film, and the occasional race which forcefully became relevant to the story, Fast and Furious 6 is great. However, the realism of this film was just dreadful, Star Wars was more believable when Yoda came back as a ghost. I noticed three loopholes in the story myself, that's while my friend sat next to me tapping me on the shoulder every 10 seconds to point out another cliché. If you have seen the other films in this series then you can pretty much work out for yourselves what is going to happen. Growing up with this series I really wanted to leave a good review, but I just can't. Overall, if you enjoyed the other films, just want an action packed film and can leave your brain at the door then this movie is great. But it will leave the more hardcore film fan laughing at how they could write and direct a better film in their sleep.

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