Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Fast Six pushes the Pedal to the Metal

After watching Fast and Furious I was like the franchise couldn't get worse than this. After catching its sequel Fast Five, I was like it couldn't get better than this. In both instances, I was proven wrong.


  As the poster suggests, yes this is the sixth installment in the highest-grossing (and longest-lasting) car-racing movie series. Now I caught this last night at the theatre with my good friend Syed Ali. He won't be reading this post as he's not an avid reader of blogs, but I'd like to mention him anyway.
  Fast Six had a lot to accomplish. Not only commercially but more so critically. Fast Five was a boom for the series. It had lost its steam after the fourth part. The introduction of The Rock as a DSS agent really shook the cinema hall. 
(Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson)

  It was not only his greatest role to date but the movie's highest grossing point. Below are the worldwide commercial and critical statistics, plus the BoxOffice101 ratings for all of the Fast films:
  1. The Fast and the Furious (2001): $207m, 53%, 3/4.
  2. 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003): $236m, 36%, 2.5/4.
  3. The Fast and the Furious (2006): Tokyo Drift, $158m, 35%, 3.5/4.
  4. Fast and Furious (2009): $363m, 27%, 2/4.
  5. Fast Five (2011): $626m, 78%, 3.5/5.
  6. Fast Six (2013): $314m as of May 27, 72%, 4/4.
  Yes, as you can clearly see I rated the final film on the list with a perfect rating. There were hardly any faults in the blockbuster, or did I dismiss them? I think I just answered my own question. Fast Five was almost perfect but the ending of the bank heist was too far-fetched. I mean if street racing finesse takes it to steal 100 million dollars from Rio, then I can pass my driving test without any classes.
  In Fast Five, Agent Hobbs, played by Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson was chasing Dom Toretto's (Vin Diesel)'s team. In the sequel, Hobbs enlists the help of Toretto's crew to capture Owen Shaw (Luke Evans) who's a former Special Air Service agent now running his heist gang. The difference between him and Toretto is simply self-righteous: Toretto's team doesn't kill or steal from the military. To further motivate Dom Toretto to pursue this competitor, Hobbs shows him a snapshot of Letty Ortiz (Michelle Rodriguez) who has been presumed dead since the fourth feature. 
  Well, even though the hero is a millionaire, can afford any woman, and is with a hotter girlfriend than the former, he still decides to take the job. Fast Six had every comeback to what audiences and critics were expecting: action, great dialogues especially by Roman Pearce (played by Tyrese Gibson who has played the same role in two previous flicks), and a great ending. Fast Six cuts to the chase quickly, pun intended. It gives room to drama, but entertaining sentimentality. It showcases awesome cars such as Toretto's favourite Dodge Daytona (a NASCAR version of the Dodge Charger seen in the other films), BMW M5, Nissan Skyline and many other super brands.
  Before F5, street racing was the driving strength of the franchise. Fast Five gave way to the bank heist. Fast Six gives way to a military heist. Fast 7 might go with stealing The Declaration of Independence, haha!
  Assaying the previous ventures, The Fast and the Furious was great but lacked substance. It was also vaguely predictable but had a satisfying ending. 2 Fast 2 Furious had a bad script but the screen space shared by Paul Walker and Tyrese Gibson was hilarious (like the car stunts) so it was good. Tokyo Drift was amazing with being shot at the locations of the real Tokyo, and Los Angeles. The set pieces showcased the beauty of drifting in Tokyo. Again, the movie was dull in the middle, though it was better than 1 and 2. TD had a higher budget than one and two, still grossed quite lower than both of them. Maybe it was the introduction of Tokyo instead of tradition USA muscle racing, also the absence of Vin Diesel and Paul Walker. Although, Vin Diesel makes a cameo appearance at the end of the film.
  Fast and Furious was bad. It is the worst racing film I've seen. Even the ill-fated Torque which was Fast and Furious on motorcycle earning a neat 3.7 rating on IMDb. Even though it had the return of the original stars from the 2001 film: Diesel, Walker, Jordana Brewster and Rodriguez. It also introduced Gal Gadot who revisited the series with F5 and F6.
  Fast Five was bad-ass returning with all the above and more: Gibson and Sung Kang from Tokyo Drift (which is set after the events of Fast and Furious Six). Rapper Ludacris and The Rock made their intros in the film while reprising their roles in the sixth installment and debuting MMA star Gina Carano (who presented herself like the female version of The Rock) as Agent Hobbs' partner. Evans is the main antagonist and also the return of John Ortiz as Braga, who was the main villain in Fast Four. Also, Elsa Pataky as Elena Neves, Toretto's latest girlfriend, who was his love interest in the foregoing cinematic.
  Before viewing F6 I had lower expectations for it. I mean the sequel beating Fast Five, impossible. This was in regard to the BoxOffice101 rating not the Rotten Tomatoes consensus, or the universal aggregate. My expectations were risen above sky level. Fast Six is better than Five though not by a margin. Fast Six is fast cars on celluloid. F6 gives you so much adrenaline afterwards you'll wish to have fast sex, with a fast chick, in a fast car. I even prefer it worthier in comparison to last year's The Avengers, which I gave 3 out of 4 points respectively. The only competitor to beat his blockbuster of the year is Man of Steel which has 2 weeks left from its release. Next week's After Earth has only a chance  of surpassing Oblivion as another dystopian depressing venture. Oblivion was intimidating with high-profile star Tom Cruise, so After Earth has Will Smith and it can be worse with M. Night Shyamalan returning to direct during a flop phase.
  Of course A.E. will not flop commercially with Will Smith's prior 10 films have grossed above $100m domestically and A.E. was smart to release one week later to Fast Six. Still F6 has a BO101 prediction of keeping its top spot next week with Smith's sci-fi venture opening at 2. Fast Six opened with $117m whilst box office moguls predicted a $92m debut. 
  Due to Memorial Day it was a 4-day weekend. Fast 5 opened in the US in the mid of April in a 3-day weekend. So in quadruple days the prequel made $92m. Even if there were triple holidays I still claim that F6 would've have opened with at least $100m. 
  Though there are two flaws to be noted in this venture: First is one scene on the highway that is impossible in real life, and the whole crowd shook with laughter other than shock in the seats. Secondly, Luke Evan's character is not exploited wholly. Still, the positive outweighs the negative as this not a Diesel/Walker film as before F5. Steven Soderbergh used every actor in his Oceans trilogy to share the same screen greatness. With no thespian being showcased as of lower talent. F6 is the best in using such an entourage in the same condition as Oceans and The Avengers, even outranking both.
  Fast 7 has already been announced with shooting to start in August. F7 has a stated July 2014 date. Diesel and Walker are confirmed. The Rock is facing scheduling conflicts, and Justin Lin (director of TD, F4, F5 and F6) is not participating as he has just finished F6. James Wan is one of my favourite horror directors who is known for collaborating with Leigh Whannell for the first SAW film, and in Insidious plus Dead Silence. The only action venture he has directed was Death Sentence (without Whannell) which starred Kevin Bacon and was a thriller for me. It was about a mild-mannered white collar worker avenging his son's death against a street gang. Wan is also of Asian origin like Lin but it was his releases of Dead Silence and Death Sentence in one year that Universal decided to involve him in the next project. I still fear the not taking a two or three year gap could affect the final product. Still, I'll check the critical consensus before deciding to watch Fast Seven.

(Horror director James Wan)

  A fresh face confirmed for Fast Seven is ex-action star Jason Statham. Ex? Well his stand-alone thrillers i.e.  Blitz, Safe and Parker being the worst films I have seen in the entire decade. Statham registers equally in each film with his trimmed beard and hair. He gives new meaning to the term typecasted. So he is set on a new road in the next FF film as a villain. Hopefully it will help him revive his charisma from The Transporter trio.
  In the end, F6 is an awesome film and yes it is fully worth watching in the cinema. And you'll be missing the drive-thru of a lifetime if you don't. Below is the trailer for Hummingbird, Statham's next bad ass movie:



AJaye2009 said...

Very good post. I've never been a fan of the franchise even though the first film was somewhat bearable. I didn't finish watching the last one - as soon as I saw a bunch of gringos in a Rio favela I knew ridiculous had become the theme; Drive Fast Die Hard.

NisarMasoom said...

Thanks mate!

Oh I hope the franchise dies hard. Also, Die Hard should make a comeback after the disastrous fifth cut. Maybe they'll need a Taiwanese-born director such as Justin Lin who could shoot it in Tokyo.