Furious 6

tn_furious6Ladies and gentlemen, the title is FURIOUS 6. They’ve been advertising it as FAST & FURIOUS 6, and every time I see that I think “if the last one was FAST FIVE then why can’t this be FURIOUS SIX?” Well, the actual movie says FURIOUS 6. And this is not the first time that the THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS series has come through for me. We’re family.

Director Justin Lin returns for his fourth and final installment, and I hope they gave him a hell of a gold watch. When he came along there was this one really enjoyable POINT BREAK ripoff and one ridiculous sequel and he had to follow up without the original cast or characters. The series was left for dead. But he did a great job with TOKYO DRIFT, then reunited Vin Diesel and Paul Walker for FAST AND FURIOUS, then brought back almost the entire team and added The Rock for FAST FIVE. With FURIOUS SIX he takes everything he learned from those movies and supercharges the engine and adds spoilers and shit. Having the whole team (minus Don Omar and Tego Calderon, plus Michelle Rodriguez) together isn’t a novelty the second time around, so to make up for that he kicks the action sequences into ridiculous new extremes. Which is saying alot in a FAST AND FURIOUS – have you seen these movies?

But that’s not at the expense of the characters and themes of the series. I know some people think that’s dumb, I got buddies who came aboard for TOKYO DRIFT and don’t like the later ones as much because they expect you to be interested in Brian and Mia’s marriage and that Vince is back and stuff like that. Well, I am interested. To me half the appeal of these movies is their sincerity about codes of honor and brotherhood and finding the good in people. All the talk about “this is what we do” and “this is what I am” and “this is what we’re about.” Diesel family values. The other half of the appeal is cars jumping off bridges, people jumping from one car to another, cars driving backwards real fast, etc.

mp_furious6I watched the trailer over and over again so that gave away alot, including the great premise that The Rock’s character Hobbs (the Interpol-or-whatever cop who was after them in FAST FIVE) gets Torreto and his team to agree to chase down another infamous crew of fast-car-driving thieves led by Shaw (Luke Evans, the Welsh Joseph Gordon-Levitt) who are trying to steal dangerous military technology to sell to the highest bidder. What’s in it for “the team” (as Toretto calls them at least once)? #1, full pardons for the many crimes that have kept them exiled in beautiful exotic locations. #2, a chance to find Letty (Michelle Rodriguez), who we thought died in part 4 but was revealed to be still alive during the credits of part 5.

I love these type of DIRTY DOZEN/Snake Plissken bad-guys-that-are-really-good-guys-working-for-the-good-guys scenarios, including the mission-giving scene where they all stand around a table and the boss man lays out the plan. This is a great character for The Rock, such a charismatic actor who has been in need of a great character. Hobbs is always at 100% intensity and has a ton of great lines because he speaks almost entirely in macho team leader or inspirational coach type phrasing. In must be impossible to talk to that guy without instinctively puffing your chest out.

I like that the bad guys are a more sophisticated version of what Toretto’s crew were in their hijacking days, even down to the grappling hooks. They’re from an infamous “vehicular warfare” military unit and drive cars that look like a cross between Mad Max and Formula 1. They have a similar racial and gender makeup to Toretto’s crew, and it’s pointed out that they’re like evil twins (a bodybuilder named Kim Kold is the counterpart to Hobbs, Joe Taslim from THE RAID the counterpart to Han, etc.). But philosophically they’re explicit opposites of the Toretto team, who always talk about family and having each other’s back, who forgive Letty even after she shoots them, while Shaw talks about his people as parts that need to be replaced when they don’t work and kills a guy who failed him. The Fast and Furiosophy is to find the good in people (and let them go if you’re a cop), to understand and forgive and make bros with the other side. There’s no bonding with these assholes, though. They will not be fight brothers.

The biggest addition to the cast is former MMA and Muay Thai champ Gina Carano as Hobbs’s new partner Riley. Of course it’s not the showcase for her that HAYWIRE was, but she’s not wasted. She gets to beat up several people and do painful looking submission holds and takedowns. One downside: after the crystal clear action filmatics of HAYWIRE it’s easy to notice they’re shooting her fights too close up. The hand-to-hand here is generally shot that way, the one problem I had with the movie. Still, I found it mostly pretty clear, with some great moves including a flying headbutt and a Rock/Diesel tag team wrestling move.

There’s a pretty long talky section in the middle of the movie. I like it but it feels a little leaden compared to FAST FIVE. That’s forgotten instantly when you get to the chase scene where the bad guys are driving a tank the wrong way on a freeway and intentionally flattening innocent commuters, some of them getting out of their cars and fleeing in terror. This and the even more outrageous climax are the most exhilarating American action I’ve seen on screen in a long god damn time. If you want something that is physically possible then never, ever watch this movie, but if you want to see the FAST AND FURIOUS staples of driving fast, crashing hard and telling somebody else to take the wheel so you can climb out and jump off taken about as far over-the-top as imaginable by humans, then this is your movie. (This is our movie.)

There’s a pretty cool “previously on THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS” montage for the opening credits where you get to see their hairstyles and shit change over the years. But it’s interesting to think how much other things have changed. The music and the macho-love attitude have stayed intact, but the gaudy neon colors and show-offy digital camera moves of 2001 are pretty much left in the dust. The series was started to exploit a street racing culture based around Japanese cars painted in bright colors with fluorescent lights on them and shit. Part 2 had a girl in a pink car with an anime self-portrait on a dashboard screen. Now the series prefers American muscle cars in dark colors, and only Brian maintains a loyalty to imports. (Dom and Brian fight for the baby’s loyalties by giving him toys of their cars from part 1! I can’t help but dream of a rebootmaquel with the baby grown up in a post-apocalyptic future.)

Remember how they used to always do the shots where the camera moves through the driver’s seat or even the engine and rotates around as the surrounding blur outside the windows? The races were special effects sequences. Now, with Lin’s style (and improved digital technology, no doubt) they are way crazier but have a more organic look to them. The action scenes are incredibly complex, cutting between multiple characters and vehicles, communicating story and location over long stretches, and integrating live stunts with effects so that you don’t really think about which is which.

There are moments in the opening and closing of this movie that really sum up what I love about the series. In the opening, Dom and Brian (still wearing Pumas) seem to be having that race they always want to have, but it turns out they’re racing back to the house because Mia (Brian’s wife, Dom’s sister, played by Jordana Brewster) has just given is about to give birth. They get to the house and they’re assured that everything is all right and as Brian is about to go inside Dom says, “Brian.” And Brian turns to hear what Dom has to say about how when he enters this room his whole life is going to change and they’ll leave behind their outlaw ways.

But why did he stop to listen to that when his wife is in there about to have their first child!? Because in THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS the only thing that’s more important than brotherhood is listening to whatever Dom has to say. Think of how far we’ve come: in part 1 Brian was an undercover cop trying to put Dom behind bars. Now they’re so close their conversation takes precedence over the miracle of birth.

The other moment I want to discuss is the beautiful visual punchline to the epic action climax. I don’t want to ruin it so skip this and the next paragraph if you haven’t seen it yet. The last part of the movie is a really long sequence involving cars chasing a plane down a runway. It goes on for so long this runway might as well be the trench on the Death Star. I mean, I don’t know how fast they’re driving or how long the scene goes on, but 15 miles would probly be a conservative estimate of how far they travel, and the runway just keeps going.

After the plane has been blown up the cars are skidded out and there’s a wall of flaming wreckage and our heroes stand dramatically surveying the damage and contemplating what they’ve done. The camera slowly pans around to show all the debris and then you see it… yep, right there, right after where they stopped. It’s the end of the runway.

It’s a transcendent moment because it shows us the different levels the movie can work on at the same time. This is a dramatic moment. Crazy shit has gone down. One of the good guys has just died, the fate of another is still in question. And right in the middle of this there’s this little acknowledgment that yes, the action scene we just did is completely ridiculous, and we don’t care, because it’s more important to us to be awesome than to make sense. The audience laughed but I don’t think at the expense of the drama going on. It’s powerful and it’s hilarious and one doesn’t void the other.

Tell me this: what other part six is there that’s anywhere near this good? I can think of only one contender but you wouldn’t agree with me because it’s REVENGE OF THE SITH. How many part 6’s are gonna be widely considered better than their part 1s?

With this installment THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS officially surpasses DEATH WISH as the longest running series where I like every installment. I have some concerns about the next one. It’s ridiculous to rush an installment to be done next summer, and although I’m curious to see what James DEATH SENTENCE Wan will do with the series I can’t have faith in it like i did the guy who continually upped the ante for four movies in a row. But it looks like Lin might’ve wanted to end on this one anyway. It comes full circle in two different ways: it brings the whole family back to the very picnic table where they started in the first movie 12 years ago, and it closes the loop on the much-discussed-at-least-by-people-like-me-TOKYO-DRIFT-Han’s-death timeline. At the same time it sets up an exciting storyline for the next one (thanks for spoiling that months ahead of time, internet.)

If the next one’s not as good that’s okay, just turn it off when the credits start and this one makes a perfect ending. And really, it’s hard to imagine how Lin could go any bigger than this one. Might as well quit while he’s way ahead (he used NOS).


POST-REVIEW SUPER SPOILER SECTION: I wasn’t the only one in the audience who was audibly disappointed by Riley’s betrayal. We liked having her on our team! I loved watching the giant guy and the little lady running around together. Would’ve been down for a spin-off. It was funny that she screamed when she went out the plane. I don’t believe that Gina Carano would ever scream.

Well, I didn’t get my wish that they’d say Han pulled a Tim Dog in TOKYO DRIFT. I was almost convinced I was gonna get it, too, because toward the end of the movie Tyrese and Ludacris tell him they’ve got his back if he needs anything. Made me hope that was gonna be them getting out of the car and they’d pull him out of the wreck. No, he still dies, but now it was murder and not a racing accident. It’s interesting that this reconfigures the whole end of TOKYO DRIFT. Originally it seemed like Vin Diesel just rolled into town looking for some street racing challenges. Now we know that he was called there by Han’s murderer. He’s there for revenge. And doesn’t this logically mean that Lucas Black should be in the next movie, at least at the beginning? I hope so.

POSSIBLE PART 7 SPOILER: according to Wikipedia the villain we see here will be Shaw’s brother. FAST AND FURIOUS WITH A VENGEANCE. I was a little disappointed to read that, actually, because I liked the idea of some guy having a problem with Dom and he has to figure out why. I’m sure there are people who are mad at him all over the world. On the other hand, a connection to Shaw would be a good excuse to bring back Riley with a grappling hook scar on her chest.

This entry was posted on Thursday, May 23rd, 2013 at 1:01 pm and is filed under Action, Reviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

190 Responses to “Furious 6”

  1. I loved this movie too, but I doesn’t have the element of surprise that Fast Five had, which came after what I regard as the worst in the series. I was also a little bummed that the good guy who did not finish the runway was not given enough weight considering the team/family element. Minor gripes aside, this is without doubt the second best of the series after one watch. It could get higher of course. I can’t say I’ve ever looked forward to a part 7 before.

  2. I think I need to give FAST5 another chance. I just don´t get the appeal of this franchise. Part 1 was generic at best and irritating at worst. Hated the characters except for the one who saw through stupid ass Paul Walker (Vince,the only smart one.)

    Part 4 had OK action scenes, but you don´t pull a PG-13 revenge movie. Revenge is a dish best served for adults.

    Also, I can´t stand or rather not UNDERstand the bringing back of a apparently dead character, which basically destroy the fourth movie´s revenge angle and invalidate it like it is a sequel made in the 80´s. ( When The Final Chapter did not necessarily meant it was final, they just made A New Chapter.)

  3. Cannot wait to see this. I even love 2FAST 2FURIOUS. That macho fight in the dirt and the ejector seats.

    And this one has an Alfa Romeo (okay, just a Giulietta – I wish it had been a GTV or a 156 GTA) and an Escort Mexico. I can’t describe how excited we are about that in the UK.

  4. Shoot – TOKYO DRIFT and FAST FIVE are the only ones I liked and proudly own. The appeal to me is that Lin could’ve easily gone “let’s just make this fast cars, pretty girls and bad acting” but he at least tried to add scope and inventiveness to such a tired formula.

    By playing around with different genre tropes and different types of action setpiece staging with the same level of consistency no matter how different each setpiece is from the other (A foot chase, A fist fight, A car chase etc.) instead of being good at one type of setpiece and sucking at others like most modern mainstream action directors.

    I’m glad they decided on the superior FURIOUS SIX title. That compliments FAST FIVE much better than FAST & FURIOUS 6 ever did. Matter of fact the latter just makes it seem like the 4th movie ended up having 5 individual sequels. It technically should’ve been THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS 6.

  5. P.S. To this day I still haven’t made it all the way through the 4th one. I was hesitant about seeing FAST FIVE initially because I found the 30 min I saw of FAST & FURIOUS boring as hell. I completely zone out every time I try to watch it on cable. Lin’s only weak link in the series IMO. So I don’t feel bad about it being rendered irrelevant at all because an action movie that boring doesn’t deserve any reverence.

  6. Really enjoyed it for all the crazy shit balanced out by the sincerity and heart this series doesn’t get enough credit for, and more than ever I say they should do a Hobbs-centric spinoff because he’s a cool badass lead who I think got a little lost in the shuffle here(but I still loved his teamwork with Dom at the end), and also because the nature of his job means they could easily do a bunch of standalone movies dealing with all sorts of plots and locations that would make more sense for him than the main FURIOUS characters.


    Yeah, so if Riley was the mole all along…why was she trying so hard to capture Letty earlier in the movie? They could have accounted for it by having her say during the rematch “now I don’t have to hold back” and it would have both accounted for that, and also created an “Oh Shit!” moment for Letty as she REALLY had to dig down to win

    Also, Brian’s trip back to the states made little sense. Why did he have to go to all the trouble he did? Wouldn’t Hobbs have the pull to make that unnecessary? And…shouldn’t he have actually accomplished something by it? I mean, all he learns is that Letty has amnesia, which Dom finds out anyway while he’s gone. I was thinking that Owens’ plan was going to be he’d use the blackout device in order to break Bragga out of jail, but as it was, that whole connection was just a plot cul de sac.

    Was anyone else made uncomfortable by Owens just running over all those cars with people inside them with the tank? It felt a bit extreme for his character to do that just because he COULD, plus I think it hurts Letty’s redemption a bit that she doesn’t take a direct hand in stopping it.

    I have to think there was an actual reason they had Roman and Tej tell Han they had his back, so maybe they will somehow factor into what happens to Han in the next one. Even if they were just in Tokyo at the time and could fill Dom in. And I figured Statham was Owens’ brother since he had Letty’s cross, which she gave to Owens. Also, with a “you killed my brother, so I’m going to kill everyone you care about” theme for next time, I expect episode 7 will feature the most uses of the word “family” out of any installment in the series.

  7. Shoot, because the death was a mistake and this corrects that and retroactively apologizes for it.

    I’m with you Vern. These movies are not dumb.it makes me sad to see people who like them still dismiss them as dumb.

    Nothing has made me as happy as that proper title card in a long time.

  8. So… is the next one going to be called “& 7”?

  9. The original Paul

    May 23rd, 2013 at 4:26 pm

    I liked #2 and #5. Heck, I thought #5 was disposible cinema at its finest (great fun throughout, but the kind of thing you will only ever watch once). #6 might be the first F&F movie since #1 (which I kinda hated) that I see in the cinema. I’ll see when it’s on.

  10. I’ll say it again what I’ve written before: Justin Lin does better (and rightly) what Michael Bay (and his fans) always claim to excel at but not really. Terrific fun, idiotic action filmmaking.

    Well I wouldn’t say “idiotic.” I like to believe he and his gang sit down and dream up awesome sequences, and then try to see how much they could pull off with stunt drivers and blowing stuff up. If most modern movie FX have lost their power because we all know it was done by a fat guy behind a laptop, well dammit I appreciate it when most of the time I can’t tell which was done for real and which was CGI. And with the increasing budgets, Lin’s team were able to do more and more to the point that honestly from what I’m hearing about FURIOUS 6, how can he top that?

    I admire that Lin knows these movies are quote on quote “junk” but embraces that instead of being ashamed of working these movies to pay the bills. The fact that he and his team clearly are enjoying this stuff I think gives us positive vibes. He’s good with audience interactivity, with humor and giving just enough plot to connect the action sequences together but unlike many popcorn filmmakers today he knows that too much “story” can actually get in the way. Like Bay he gives his audience what they apparently want on a primal visceral level: Hot women, fast cars, stuff getting smashed, one-liners, sometimes juvenile humor (remember the exploding toilets in FAST FIVE?), exotic locales, fights, etc. And like Bay he also rapes the laws of physics and with logic holes big enough to drive through.

    (Maybe I’m bashing Bay too much, but I always have this funny feeling that perhaps Bay kinda hates his audience and its reflected in his action scenes?? If action filmmaking is love making, Lin is Casanova. Bay is a rapist.)

    Lin is a talented filmmaker of good craftsmanship that absolutely doesn’t get enough credit despite taking (as Vern said it right) a dying franchise and actually turning it into Universal’s MVP franchise. I can’t wait to see where he goes from here and hopefully make these candyasses who diss him for the movies he makes and make them his bitches.

    Also I kinda dig that only did an Asian-American filmmaker make the big time in Hollywood and kicking ass, he got replaced by another Asian director. That kicks ass.

  11. Jack: Why not? The new HANGOVER is just called PART III on the posters. It’s a free-for-all out there.

    Also, fuck you all for having seen this already while I was working. I’ve never liked you anyway.

  12. Stu – ah, of course. For some reason I didn’t catch the significance of the cross.

  13. I *could* be going to see this in 20 minutes, so fuck theoretical me for that privilege, but I’ma wait til a showtime tomorrow afternoon, so big ups to the cool kids like Majestyk & Mouth for waiting til Friday for a premiere, like civilized human beings. Buncha goddamned savages on this websight.

    If FURIOUS 6 is as good as STAR WARS 6: REVENGE OF THE SITH, I’ll be very very pleased. If FU6IOU6 is as good as FA5T, I’ll be ecstatic.

    Incidentally, earlier today I rewatched BLUE THUNDER (1983), because that was the closest thing to FA5T that I had at my disposal. The half-joking/awesome, half-reprehensibly ridiculous spirit of Justin Lin thrives in that movie, I’m telling you. And the vehicular/aerial stunts & ‘splosions at the drawn-out climactic end of BLUE THUNDER at least rival the best parts of the climax of DARKMAN (1990), if not quite the absurd awesomeness of FA5T’s vault-dragging, Rock-compromising denouement.
    Anyway, point is, if you can’t see the new F&F yet but you have a VCR/dvd/dvr, you should seek out BLUE THUNDER as a suitable substitute.

  14. That’s another thing about Lin I dig, his tongue & cheek sense of humor with some of his setpieces. Whether that TEMPLE OF DOOM-esque chase scene with Vin Diesel jumping cars or dragging that vault down the street like something out of Looney Toons.

    If you laugh, Lin hopes you do. If you don’t see the humor, well you still get an absurdly awesome action scene.

    Mouth – Was that the helicopter movie with Roy Scheider?

  15. Mr. Majestyk- Well actually I haven’t seen it yet and I got many links sent my way insisting that I watch the leak. But I support movies that I actually want to see with my money so I will catch this at the flicks. Can’t do it this weekend though. Maybe the next but definitely sometime before it’s out of cinemas that’s for damn sure.

  16. RRA – I completely get what you mean bro. There’s always been some underlying snark condescension on the part of Bay in his movies and I’m glad I’m not the only one to have realized that. I really love that Lin genuinely embraces his audience instead of insults them to the point of going “yeah I had a robot pee on a guy and you enjoyed it anyway because you’re all stupid now give me your wallets!!!” with his work. I can’t wait to see what direction his career takes next because I will definitely continue to follow it. Right on about the Wan replacing Lin thing too. It’s almost poetic justice.

  17. *snarky

  18. I thought Friday the 13th part six was better than the first one, lots of stupid fun. I actually enjoyed Rocky 6 more than the Rocky as well, but I am pretty sure I am alone on that.

  19. Good call idiot boy, I didn’t think of ROCKY BALBOA. That’s definitely in contention for best part 6.

  20. Vern, how about James Bond #6?

  21. pegsman, Bond #6 is in my top 3 Bond movies without doubt. Lazenby gets a bad rap, he may not be a great actor, but he does a solid job, and is easily more convincing than Connery in a punch-up. Good call there.

  22. I’m 100% positive 99% of people who have seen all Rocky ‘s would never say part six is better than the first one.

  23. Is The Rock “Dwayne” Johnson actually playing the same character in this that he does in GI Joe II? Like, is this what Roadblock’s actual military job is when he’s not specifically fighting Cobra? Road-based military missions.

  24. Broddie – This will sound like blasphemy but the comparison makes sense when you think about it: Lin in one regard absolutely reminds me of Steven Spielberg (and George Lucas too by that same token) in terms of giddyness in hashing out ridiculous action sequences and then pull them off.

    idiotboy – Honestly the first FT13 is the only “good” movie of that series filmatically for me. Not given enough credit methinks as a very solid effective thriller but this is forgotten because it was just a “slasher” picture.

    DirkD13 – I 3rd the love for OHMSS. One of the best Bond films. Isn’t that Nolan’s favorite 007 movie?

    Sternshein – I agree but ROCKY BALBOA at least is the best Rocky sequel ever.

    braak – Off-topic but your post made me remember of the Hasbro people sometime back openly saying they’re open to a Transformers/G.I. Joe cross-over movie. As much as I don’t like those films, that’s a cool idea. It makes no sense when you think about it, but like that’s ever stopped money.

    The Rock and Optimus Prime: BOOM! Money.

  25. Great to hear that the movie doesn’t disappoint. Enjoyed the hell out of FAST FIVE, so guess seeing this one is a no-brainer then.

    Hopefully the studio doesn’t get too cocky. The rumor is that they’re rushing #7 into production, and without Justin Lin. It’s always a height of hubris from a studio when they assume that what makes a film successful is just the basic concept and the cast. And that no matter who is writing or directing, or taking time and care to put it together, the film will be a hit because the previous ones were. FAST FIVE (and assuming FURIOUS SIX as well) could have been a total tired piece of shit if some gun-for-hire director had thrown it on the screen as a quick cash grab.

    But hey, I’m thinking positive. Besides it’s not like this franchise hasn’t had stinkers in it before (looking at you 2 FAST 2 FURIOUS). It’s gotten over it.

  26. RRA: I am pretty sure there was at least one point in which the Transformers and GI Joe comics crossed over — if I recall correctly, Muammar Gaddafi gave the Decepticons asylum in Libya, and the GI Joe’s needed the Autobots help to stop them.

    Obviously, that’s completely implausible now, since Muammar Gadaffi is dead.

  27. To be fair, you must remember that originally #6 and 7 were going to be shot simultaneously but schedule wise it was deemed unpractical or something.

    Its pretty obvious that they already know what story they always intended for #7, probably got a ton of action scenes already planned in one stage or another. And lets be honest, its the sort of story set-up that writes itself if you think about it plot-wise.

    Also, Wan is a decent director. I wouldn’t count him or #7 out just yet.

  28. braak – well a cross-over movie would be simple: Decepticons or whatever evil robot alien threat team up with Cobra. (And get lots of scenes of both sides plotting, waiting to screw over the other when the time was right.) Not exactly rocket science.

    And you know, both Transformers and G.I. Joe work for the U.S. government. Ah yes, egos clash and debate who was more badass in saving the world in which diabolical scheme.

  29. I thought I was the only one that liked the Secret Service bond movie. Now we will have to wait and see if Fast and Furious 23 is as good as Skyfall.

  30. idiot boy, I hate to break it to you, but in the Bond community OHMSS is everybody’s favorite.

    RRA, when I was a younger man TV crossovers were big. I fondly remember Magnum meets Simon & Simon, Magnum meets Jessica Fletcher (not so fondly), Rockford meets Richie Brockelman etc, etc. And this is where movies has to go now to satisfy the audience. Jason Bourne & James Bond, Martin Riggs & John McClane, The Furious Seven & The Italian Job, Dirty Harry & Jack Cates, Jason & Michael, Ash & Leatherface and so on.

  31. Yeah,OHMSS is a fanfavourite among the Bond afficonados.Though I´m not sure it´s EVERYBODY´S favourite.

  32. The Original... Paul

    May 24th, 2013 at 2:30 pm

    I like OHMSS. It’s up there with my favorites at least. And I think “The Dark Knight” is technically the sixth live-action B***** movie unless you count the one with Adam West, Cesar Romero and Eartha Kitt. I’d say that was the best of the series.

  33. As Franchise Fred I also love this new development of two different titles. FAST AND FURIOUS 6 is for the mainstream to make sure they know what it is, but the real title is for us.

    I recall FAST FIVE has tv spots that said FAST AND FURIOUS 5 but their poster was just FAST FIVE. Seriously, we should be talking about this title thing more.

  34. Yeah, OHMSS is my third favorite Bond. Licence to Kill is my second favorite. That movie will never get the credit it fully deserves.

  35. I loved this.

    Seriously the next time some asshole claims Bay can direct a good action scene, show that twerp that cargo plane sequence. Better and whacktastic than anything Bay could ever hope to accomplish.

  36. Fred: I still lament that the fifth one wasn’t called GRANDMASTER FAST & THE FURIOUS FIVE.

    I mean, not every day. But often enough.

  37. So if those Internet rumors of Gina Carano being up for Wonder Woman in that hypothetical JUSTICE LEAGUE movie….yay or nay?

    In this movie, why does she always have a look on her face like the sort you give when you find out somebody farted?

  38. Dikembe Mutombo

    May 24th, 2013 at 9:18 pm

    I enjoyed this a lot. It’s made in the same spirit as FAST FIVE, so much so that it’s hard for me to say which I liked more. This film probably has crazier action but FAST FIVE felt a little fresher so maybe I’d give it the edge.

    One of my favorite scenes in this movie is the subway fight between Han, Roman and the guy from THE RAID. I loved it because the movie didn’t suddenly decide that Han and Roman, career racers and slicktalkers, were badass fighters of any kind. I wish the fights were shot as well as something from THE RAID, but I dug the willingness to have a badass fight scene that’s funny and true to its characters as well. I also liked that Gina Carano didn’t go down easily at all, though I’m with you in wanting the fights to be more like HAYWIRE.

    I did think Shaw could’ve used a little more characterization, but it was a pretty jam-packed movie already I guess. There’s a scene where he’s alone with Letty while she’s fixing a car and he says something like “I’d be very sorry if you… made a mistake” and I couldn’t tell if he was threatening her or if that was just his fucked up psycho way of conveying warmth. And when Dom offers to let him go if Shaw lets him have Letty back, Shaw is like ‘no dice’ – why? Is he attached to Letty, or was she integral to his plans? Seems like giving her up would’ve been an easy way to get some of the heat off his back. Maybe I missed something, but I had a hard time figuring the guy out.

    The action is great. Lots of memorable stuntwork money shots, like Tyrese leaping from the tank onto Brian’s car. During the London chase the action got a little shall we say furious and I had some trouble at points telling who was going who and what they were doing, but it was all still really cool. When it comes to car chases I tend to prefer the suspenseful low-key variety, but this movie and FAST FIVE represent some of the best iterations of the ‘balls out mayhem’ style of car chase.

    I knew ahead of time that there was gonna be a surprise appearance by someone in the credits stinger, but I didn’t know who. As soon as Shaw said something about having a brother who taught him the code he lives by, I thought “IT’S GONNA BE STATHAM!” Evans even talked in a Statham-y accent.

    I’m really excited to see Lucas Black in the next movie.

  39. Slash film has a good interview with Justin Lin up today:


    He says that he always planned it as FAST FIVE and FURIOUS SIX and that they sort of go together. (By the way, can anyone confirm or deny my memory that it was FURIOUS 6 on the screen and not FURIOUS SIX?)

    He also clears up the back-to-back movies thing RRA mentioned. Apparently at one point he was thinking the story that now exists as FURIOUS 6 was so big that it should be two movies, but then he (correctly) decided no, it could all be fit into one. This is the end of the story he planned and he made the tag to hand it off to another director to figure out what to do with it.

  40. Dikembe Mutombo

    May 24th, 2013 at 9:32 pm

    It was definitely FURIOUS 6. The word furious was layered over the number 6.

  41. Ranking within the realm of the great “Death Wish” series, that’s a bold statement my friend, but I’ll see tomorrow.

  42. Dikembe Mutombo

    May 24th, 2013 at 10:14 pm

    Just read that slashfilm interview, it’s really cool to see his conviction about the characters, wanting to do things practically, and having a specific vision that’s ended with FURIOUS 6. I hope however the series continues after the 7th installment, that future directors have the same respect for the characters and themes. It makes for a great contrast with John Moore on DIE HARD 5, a guy who had no apparent vision or ambition besides, like, making sure not to upset Bruce.

  43. I don’t really have anything to add to the discussion here except to say that I saw this at 8pm at the Arclight in Hollywood and at the end of the film Vin Diesel, Justin Lin and a few other cast members came out and waved to the audience. They didn’t answer questions or anything, they just waved and walked out. It was pretty cool, except that 10 seconds after they came out another scene started up and I couldn’t hear it because the crowd was standing and cheering. Oh well, I guess it’s a pretty good tradeoff.

    Should’ve taken a picture….

  44. Hi everyone. Long time lurker, first time poster chiming in because I think I have something interesting to share.

    This article does a very good analysis of the qualities of Justin Lin and other ‘vulgar auteurs’ like Michael Mann and John McTiernan, and how their work seems to gain traction among ‘serious’ critics nowadays because of the undeniable cinematic (dare I say filmatistic) quality of their work:


    I was reminded of the critical approach Vern has been taking for years.

  45. Jeroen – Thank you, that article is splendid.

  46. You know what I don’t understand? Why is F&F7 coming out next year instead of 2015? I mean the 2 year gaps for me were perfectly fine, like the old 007 movies used to be for the longest time.

    My only guess is that Universal saw the 2015 movie line-up and shit themselves in fear. AVENGERS, (possibly) JUSTICE LEAGUE, STAR WARS Episode 7, FINDING DORY, PIRATES 5, AVATAR 3, and many others I can’t remember off the top of my head. I guess Universal wants to avoid fighting against that field.

    Dikembe Mutombo – I’m pretty certain after part 7 they’ll reboot the series with a new cast. (1) Because that way they don’t have to pay the big salaries that cast will demand after 6 and 7 together gross $1.5 billion, and (2) Let’s be honest, where else will those characters go? I mean #7’s plot set-up is a result of #6 and #6 was a by-product of #5 and so forth.

    On the bright side, I hope those two comic relief characters who were absent from F&F6 come back for #7. Since you got rid of 3 characters pretty much in #6, there is room for them. Plus I like the idea that two jokers might actually want to get revenge themselves out of loyalty and friendship, and maybe even redemption for not being there for the others in #6.

  47. Well,shit.. I have an embarrassing confession to make. Turns out I never saw FAST5 at all. But I have now. That shit was awesome. It usually takes a great man to admit when he´s wrong. Not in this case, since I am not all that great but I´ll admit it anyway. It is now official. I love FAST5. I may have become a FAST believer, perhaps not a FURIOUS one but a believer.

  48. The Original... Paul

    May 25th, 2013 at 12:10 pm

    Jack Burton: “Licence to Kill is my second favorite. That movie will never get the credit it fully deserves.”

    It’ll get it from me. I kinda love that movie.

    Shoot: “Turns out I never saw FAST5 at all. But I have now. That shit was awesome. It usually takes a great man to admit when he´s wrong. Not in this case, since I am not all that great but I´ll admit it anyway. It is now official. I love FAST5.”

    I experienced a similar conversion. (Well, not quite a full conversion, since I dug the hell outta “2 Fast”.) But yeah, I was astonished at how much fun that movie turned out to be, given my reaction to the first three movies. (Hated 1 and 3, enjoyed 2 but didn’t think it could ever be called “good”. Fast 5 was actually really good.)

    Vern: You raise an interesting point. What happens when they finally run out of ways to squash the number in the film’s title? I can see #8 causing a real problem for the filmmakers. Fast 5, Furious 6, Manchester United 7 (I’m extrapolating there, I admit…) Where do you go from there?

  49. The Original... Paul

    May 25th, 2013 at 12:15 pm

    Jeroen, great article, but did it seriously compare “Tokyo Drift” to “Lost in Translation”…?

    Thinks of appropriate comment to that one…

    …Did NOT see that one coming.

  50. Dikembe Mutombo

    May 25th, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    RRA – Reboot eh? I didn’t think about that. You could be right. I guess the bigger these movies get the more leverage the stars have, even though Paul Walker doesn’t seem to have much of a career outside of them.

    You’re right though, with where the characters are now (middle aged and with families) it’d be hard to contrive reasons to get them back into the game for each subsequent installment. On the other hand a big part of the appeal of the series is revisiting where all your favorite characters are at, etc.

  51. Sigfried Trent

    May 25th, 2013 at 2:19 pm

    Glad to hear of the title for the film. My wife was refusing to see it based on the use of a numeral in the title when they had gone so far without resorting to one. Glad the film makers had more creativity than the marketing team.

  52. Great review. I loved the film, it was everything I hoped for with even more martial arts then I expected. I need to catch up on the talk back before discussing any of the details.

    Vern, I would like to think that Brian & Mia’s baby grows up to be Frankenstein, the words greatest driver. I think it would be a natural progression for the FF franchise to evolve into Death Race 2000.

  53. Another LICENCE TO KILL lover here. It’s a Bond revenge film with Robert Davi as the baddie. How can anybody hate that?

  54. Can’t fathom any TOKYO DRIFT hate though. If it wasn’t for that one I wouldn’t even care about this franchise tbh as I didn’t like the first 2. It finally lived up to potential of what the first 2 were marketed as (a showcase for fly exotic cars with some fly looking chicks and a focus on racing culture) as opposed to a low rent POINT BREAK remake and a homoerotic buddy cop adventure in Miami.

  55. Also, What organization does Hobbs work for, Team America World Police? I swear that dude can go anywhere in the world and tell the local government and law enforcement to fuck off before destroying half their city while in pursuit of his suspect. The guy is a beast!

  56. Well, that was awesome. Possibly better than FAST FIVE, because the stakes are more personal. And those last two action scenes are fucking beasts. I got my first and second “OH SHIT!” laugh-out-loud-and-start-spontaneously-clapping moments of the year out of them. Basically if you like action movies and you haven’t seen this you should track yourself down and kick your own ass because you’re robbing yourself.

    My one little quibble, and it’s kind of SPOILERy:

    The fight with the two ladies in the subway, while awesome, doesn’t really make any sense given the twist that comes later. Why would Carano’s character go to that much trouble trying to catch someone who she wouldn’t want to see caught? I guess you could maybe justify it by assuming she just wanted to kick Liddy’s ass because she was getting a little too close to her man, or maybe even that she figured that if Dom & Co. got Liddy back they’d leave Shaw and his team alone. (They wouldn’t, though, because they made a deal with Hobbs and they’re not the type of dudes to go back on their word, but she wouldn’t necessarily know that.) I, like Vern, was really disappointed when Carano turned out bad. Her and The Rock were a badass yet oddly adorable team. But that’s good storytelling, I guess. When was the last time a character did a heel turn in a movie and you not only didn’t see it coming but actually felt betrayed?

  57. Mr. M – Mate if you think about the movie for more than 30 seconds, its…beyond retarded. Its a fun game.

    SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPO-(can the rest of this post be only seen by linking onto the review and not on the front page side? OK.)

    For example, where did the NATO troops go once Rock (at gunpoint) orders them out of that room? Did they say decide to clock out and go for pizza once that happened? You know ringing them up after the cellphones got blocked by Ludacris and have them stop the plane by force or pop out the tires or clip a wing or something?

    Why is it they’re OK in the UK in broad daylight and drive around like maniacs yet in America they’re in deep danger of getting busted? Couldn’t Mr. The Rock have told his superiors that they’re his C.I.s or whatever? Why that nonsense charade?

    Since when does Spain not have an extradition treaty with the US?

    Was there a point for Ludacris to buy up all those cars just to humiliate that stereotypical snobbish Brit? Couldn’t that shithead have called the local police for robbing him of his clothes and watch? (Then again I suppose he was willing to eat his pride because Ludacris was willing to buy those cars at listing price instead of haggling like you know, everybody else.)

    There are so many more I’m sure. Anybody got more?

  58. Broddie – I’m there with you buddy. In fact unless I’m wrong, Ebert gave TOKYO DRIFT a good review (when most critics hated it) and complimented it for giving that franchise a good kick in the pants. And he’s right.

    But we’ve been talking about this before, we were impressed with Lin’s obvious talent but who else gave him the time of day or a spit of respect? He made movies about fast cars and no matter that he saved it and turned it into Universal’s crown jewel franchise and F&F6 will be the franchise’s biggest hit, he still made movies about fast cars and most critics hate having to go see movies about fast cars because they don’t want to see them.

    I mean notice alot of the good reviews for F&F6. They’re condescending backhanded compliments.

    Plus Lin gets penalized for doing a cardinal sin: He likes junk and tries to sincerely follow the spirit and mechanics (including logic gaps and plot holes) of exploitation movies (just with $150+ million) WITHOUT BEING CONDESCENDING ABOUT ITSELF AND ITS GENRE. Yes he can be tongue & cheek, but not at this movie’s expense. He does that as a reward to the audience, an injoke for folks who already suspended their disbelief for a good hour+ and allow them to laugh.

    That shit takes talent. Hopefully whatever movie he does next blows people out of the water and he finally gets respect.

    Rob Cohen and John Singleton*, I got the vibe that they were doing a job and basically saw it as nothing more than that. That’s why their entries were….boring, there I said it. Lin saw something more in that world.

    *=Notice how most of his popcorn movies suck. He clearly hates that his once-promising career went to shit and now resorting to jobs. What’s weird is he did one popcorn picture I did like, FOUR BROTHERS which like these Lin films was also a sincere, dedicated exploitation throwback. Otherwise popcorn Singleton is a waste of time.

  59. I disagree about Rob Cohen. He was obviously excited to do his streetraceploitation movie, and it’s a movie that holds up surprisingly well (definitely more than most of his other directorial works). He was trying to jump on the zeitgeist, but that’s what he does. It turns out that people respond to the relationships of the characters maybe more than the cars, so he should get credit for that. Also, doing a movie with Vin Diesel as the co-lead was new then.

  60. Yeah, Singleton makes a terrible hack. He just can’t commit to it, so his popcorn movies come off half-assed and in quotes. He’s giving you what he thinks people who watch this kind of thing will think is awesome, not what he actually thinks is awesome.

  61. Goddammit to hell, I was reading so fast I saw the goddamn spoiler before I realized it was the super-spoiler paragraph.

    Fuck, thanks a lot, Vern!

  62. Has anyone here seen TORQUE? I’ve always wondered what a FAST crossover would’ve been like.

  63. I am just astonished at how this series just keeps getting beter.

  64. The Original... Paul

    May 26th, 2013 at 3:28 am

    Good for Vin Diesel that that’s the case, because what else has he got? Is anybody hankering for that new xXx / Chronicles of Riddick movie that they’re probably going to make because, hey, not enough sequels about at the moment? Doubt it.

    Anyway, quick off-topic comment here: is that really a “Last Action Hero” quote up there? Badass.

  65. RRA, great point about condescending reviews. Seems a lot are saying it’s a good dumb movie, as if it’s okay to enjoy it as long as you don’t give it any credit. It’s not dumb. It’s awesome and it honors a world where cars are magic. I think a lot of action movies wouldn’t do the Vin/Michelle jump because “it’s not real, man,” but it is real in this world.

    The family stuff is totally sincere. It’s not that the story is personal because of Letty, it’s that it’s selfless. They’re going to bring Letty back even if she doesn’t know she wants to come back, because that’s what family does. It’s not revenge, it’s not so Dom can bang her again, it’s just the right thing to do. And what a great lesson to teach kids while they enjoy the awesome car chases.

  66. The great thing about the Vin/Michelle jump is that not only is it an unapologetically amazing action beat, but that it says something about the characters. Vin will literally take a blind leap of faith into empty space for this girl. The action is as over-the-top and operatic as the emotions the characters are feeling. This movies knows that characters in an action movie are defined by what they do, not what they say. It wasn’t just a stunt, it was a declaration of love.

  67. Paul – I’m actually quite looking forward to the third RIDDICK movie myself. Vin Diesel and The Rock made mistakes when everybody pegged them as the next Stallone and Arnold respectively. It was appropriate that they both got it together with FAST FIVE.

    Now Vin is using that new found clout to correct his previous mistakes. Dude had franchises lined up and didn’t take advantage once upon a time and now realized it. Can’t hate on him for finally having that epiphany and exploiting that.

    If he did do a new XXX though I wouldn’t watch that. The first one sucked just like Rob Cohen’s other movies.

  68. Franchise Fred – “The family stuff is totally sincere.”

    This is where I think Vin is being very Sly like now a days. He always has a message and some jewels to share with the kids that watch his movies like Stallone used to have in his best joints.

  69. Thought it was weaker than Fast Five. It reminded me too much of Fast 4. I’ve never really cared about Letty or Dom (My favorite F&F movies are 2 and 3), most of the car action takes place at night and why was Braga in this? That shit should have been the first thing to be cut out of the film. This movie seemed at least a half hour too long.

    I did like mos of the over the top retarded action stuff, though. The tank/car anchor thing was hilarious and so was Team Dom’s insane airplane takedown. Gina is practically mute for most of the movie, but she delivers the best hand to hand moments. After the mid credits scene, I’m excited about the possibilities of the next installment.

  70. I think part 6 is better than part 5 in a number of ways, but I am not sure which I like better. The scope, scale, and absurdity of the action is even greater in 6, and there is a lot more martial arts in part 6 (Carano was good, but none of her fight scenes we as exciting as champion judo player Joe Taslim’s [THE RAID] fight work. I would pay money to watch Joe pummel Tyrese for an entire movie.) However, part 5 had a more streamlined caper narrative for a plot, and the advantage of surprising audiences with how great it is. Whereas expectations for part 6 were very high, and they crammed a lot into the movie in an attempt to wrap up all the story lines that have been presented in the franchise so far. Just to be clear I am not saying they did a bad job resolving all the plotlines from the previous films, but that part 5 was not burned with that task and was free to focus on the Oceans style heist that anchored the plot of the film.

    Mr. M, I completely agree about the Vin/Michelle jump. It was already awesome when I saw it in the trailer out of context, but the way it is played out in the film is even more awesome then I could have imagined and genuinely touching. It might be one of my favorite moments of the entire franchise, and the scene perfectly sums up Dom as a character as well.

  71. Vern – I’m sorry but remember that you admit yourself you tend to be a Rob Cohen apologist and I’m with the mainstream in thinking he’s…well, “journeyman” is a nice way of saying what he is. He might have the enthusiasm, but not the talent or knack to pull it off for me.

    Franchise Fred – Those movies are dumb, but when I say that (or call it “junk”) I’m not dismissing them. They’re Roger Corman movies but bigger budgets and state of the art pyrotechnics and CGI. For the sort of movies that Lin and his gang wanted to produce and emulate, they’re very good of their kind.

    They are what they are. We just like action movies as a seperate, unique cinema artform so you know we would know what is impressively produced and which is just junk. (like Bay.)

    wadew – I totally disagree. For one major reason if you cut that subplot out, what else does Paul Walker really do in the movie on his own? Nevermind if you cut that out, he leaves and re-enters the movie randomly. And we would be bitching about htat.

    I know I’ve beaten the Lin/Bay contrast stuff to death, but Bay is notorious for keeping pointless shit in his movies. I rememberwhen BAD BOYS 2 was a ridiculous 2 and half hours long, somebody asked him why and I seem to remember him (most likely joking) saying he wanted to punish his critics. Which is funny. And boy that was punishing. I actually think Lin is terrific with pacing.

    Broddie – I’m still surprised Diesel got funding for that Riddick film, and its actually coming to theaters. I’m impressed. If marketed well, it could net the “bump” from F&F4/5/6.

    As for the family stuff, I suppose if audiences (where ever in the world or their cultural background) project themselves and their hopes and fears and dreams onto the big screen, people are suckers for stoires about a family unit of misfits fighting against some catastrophe or enemy. Not just F&F, but AVENGERS last year if you think about it or even further back historically, STAR WARS and THE GODFATHER and etc.

  72. Maybe I am the only one late to the party on this little bit of info, but did you guys know that character of Han played by Sung Kang is from Justin Lin’s 2002 film BETTER LUCK TOMORROW? Lin imported Kang as Han from his earlier film into TOKYO DRIFT and the FF franchise. I love the idea of characters from a film that is in an unrelated genre showing up in other films or franchises. I already had nothing but respect and admiration for Lin, but this little nugget of news makes me love the guy that much more. I can’t wait to see what Lin does next! Maybe he will make a romantic comedy that takes place on a space station that features The Rock as Hobbs in a supporting role. Whatever it is count me in.

  73. Charles – is that really true? I remember reading that somewhere before did Lin say that’s the case or is it a fan theory?

  74. I can’t be 100% sure since I have not seen BETTER LUCK TOMORROW, but here is a link to the BLT (yum) page on IMDB.


    Notice in the plot summary It states “Han lead(s) a double life of mischief and petty crimes”. Can anybody else confirm it is the same character in both films?

  75. I love License To Kill also – John Glen is awesome and truly underrated.

  76. Here is an interview with Sung where he confirms that he is playing the same character in BETTER LUCK TOMORROW and the F&F franchise.


  77. RRA- Did Walker really miss anything when he was in jail? I already forgot what was happening in London during his 24 hr jail stint. And does Paul have to do things on his own at this point? This is a team franchise now.

    Everything in this that isn’t action scene TEAM MISSIONS kind. The scenes that involve people asking Letty if she’s ok/if she can remember anything yet/if she’s ready to do what’s necessary and the scenes between bored Diesel and uninterested Michelle Rodriguez were a slog.

  78. edit: Everything in this that isn’t action scene TEAM MISSIONS kind [of bored me].

  79. Brian had the “Luke goes back to Dagobah to see Yoda” portion of the story. It didn’t help the mission along but it did fill in vital parts of the backstory. I liked how Dom didn’t care, though. Brian is trying to shoulder all this blame for what happened to Letty but Dom is beyond it. One of his people needs help. Doesn’t matter why.

  80. wadew – I would argue that it added stakes, that Walker’s character was willing to take a big risk himself for the group because as he said himself, only his ass was on the line.

    Could they have not done this on the script stage? Perhaps. But once it was shot, you can’t just cut that stuff out or else as I said before, Walker would leave and come back pointlessly.

  81. Off-topic but what is everyone’s thoughts on the rest of the summer schedule?

    This weekend we have AFTER EARTH that to me looks terrible and with the director attached, its a safe bet. I don’t understand NOW YOU SEE ME’s marketing. I mean good cast, a decent premise (bank robbing magicians) but fuck there’s no sense of energy or fun behind such a movie. I still remember that trailer which opened with something that reminds you of that time Oprah gave everybody in her audience a car. Yeah not the sort of thing you want to be thinking for a summer release. Hope its good though.

    MAN OF STEEL, of course I’ll see that. WORLD WAR Z I was going to skip but early word is that despite the production horror stories and the reshoots, its apparently actually decent. Same weekend MONSTERS UNIVERSITY also opens and yeah Pixar I’m there.

    Oh and that Godzilla movie not titled Godzilla that Del Toro made. That looks good.

  82. The Han in BETTER LUCK TOMORROW had a different last name than the last name shown in FAST FIVE. But OK I guess he changed his identity after all his teenage mischief. That’s a cool lil bit of trivia there. Will change my POV whenever I watch BETTER LUCK TOMORROW again.

    RRA – I don’t watch Will Smith or M. Night Shyamalan movies so AFTER EARTH is an easy skip for me. I waited my whole life for a modern Superman origin film so that’s an easy one for me. Will see Robots Vs. Monsters by Del Toro too. Nothing else catches my attention at all.

  83. The Original... Paul

    May 27th, 2013 at 12:54 am

    Well I got some time off today. I’m going to see this one. Fuck yeah.

    Off-topic aside: I saw Argento’s “Bird with Crystal Plumage”, his first movie, at the cinema yesterday. A decent if underwhelming whodunnit flick that clearly shows his inexperience. I kinda love how it’s revealed very early on that the killer is a left-handed man who smokes cigars and wears a black raincoat, and from that point practically every male character is shown in at least one scene with something heavy in their left hand and a cigar in their right, or just wearing an identical raincoat to the killer. That little bit of unintentional humour aside, it’s no “Suspiria” or “Deep Red”. Also it was dubbed, not subtitled, which I’m not a fan of.

    Back on topic, I’ve checked out Rob Cohen’s IMDB page and I gotta agree with the naysayers. “Stealth”, “The Skulls”, “The Fast and the Furious”, “XXX”, “Dragonheart”… all movies I’ve seen that I think should’ve been so much… I won’t necessarily say “better”, since they’re mostly competently directed… but at least more interesting than they turned out, given their respective premises. How much of their faults can be laid at Cohen’s feet, I don’t know. “Stealth” could’ve been really great if the sentient jet fighter’s human compatriots had been interesting, believable characters, instead of dumb assholes… “The Fast and the Furious” really needed its stars to have the “family” appeal of Fast 5, but again, they came off as a bunch of unlikeable rich twats… “xXx” was just unwatchably awful, and again the main character is a complete dick… and as for “The Skulls”, if you’re going to make an Evil White Kids movie that’s as by-the-numbers as this one, you really need to make the characters interesting so we care about seeing what happens to them. I actually feel as though “The Skulls”, as bad as it is, might be the best one in this respect, because the hero at least has a relatable motivation (he’s trying to find out who killed his best friend and, later, avenge his death) and the main antagonist of the piece at least has some troubles about what’s happening and isn’t just an arrogant sociopath.

    Come to think of it, there’s a common theme running through this one, isn’t there? I haven’t seen “Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story” which I believe is the best movie on Cohen’s directorial resume, at least as far as reviews go; but as for the ones I HAVE seen… they all have characters who are either totally unlikeable or just boring. That’s what kills his movies for me.

  84. The Original... Paul

    May 27th, 2013 at 1:11 am

    And Broddie – I actually hope that Diesel and Johnson DO work out some of their issues. But I don’t want it to be in another Riddick movie. The whole point of Riddick in “Pitch Black” was that his character was a moral mystery. You don’t know just how cold-blooded he is or what he’ll do. A mystery that was brilliantly handed, and resolved, in “Pitch Black”. Where the hell do you take the character after that? There’s pretty much nothing you can do with him that’ll have the same resonance as “Pitch Black”, as “Chronicles of Riddick” proved.

  85. Paul, if you like the real Bruce Lee stay away from DRAGON.

  86. if you want a Bruce Lee movie about Bruce Lee,THEN watch DRAGON. but it´s not the real Bruce Lee story, but instead a biography told like it was a Bruce Lee-movie.

  87. The Original... Paul

    May 27th, 2013 at 4:00 am

    Well Bruce Lee is an interesting case. I don’t know too much about his life, but in most of his films – and especially his best ones – his characters have asshole-ish tendencies anyway. Looking at his best films – and of the ones I’ve seen I’d probably suggest “Enter the Dragon” and “Fist of Fury” – in both cases Lee’s character is dark. REALLY dark. One might justifiably call him sadistic. But both characters clearly still have a moral compass that we can relate to, plus he has a great antagonist in “Dragon” and his entire race is oppressed in “Fury”. That said, how much of these characters comes directly from Lee? From the little I know of him, he had a reputation of being something of a practical joker who loved his family and was genuinely concerned for people’s safety on-set.

    So does that mean Cohen would be a better choice to direct a film based on the life of a guy who in real life was supposed to be mostly a good guy, but whose screen persona in many of his best flicks – even as the hero – was dark and often sadistic?

  88. Does Joe Taslim from The Raid get to do anything awesome in this movie?

  89. Joe gets 1 extended fight scene where he man handles multiple combatants. It is a good scene and a nice showcase of his skills.

  90. Paul, I think Bruce plays pretty much the same character in all of his movies (it feels weird saying that when he just made 4 of them); an outsider with the cockyness of someone who knows that he can kick everybody’s ass and the sadistic streak of someone who knows that his enemies are so evil that people will cheer louder the more violent he gets. And according to a documentary I just saw that was his real life personae. He didn’t suffer fools gladly and would do whatever it took to be a big star.

  91. Paul – “There’s pretty much nothing you can do with him that’ll have the same resonance as “Pitch Black””

    The video game THE CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK: ESCAPE FROM BUTCHER BAY proved that there is. I’ll reserve my opinion till I get to see what Twohy and Diesel came up with this time around. It helps their case that the new movie seems a lot more like PITCH BLACK than THE CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK.

  92. I don’t understand how Riddick can go from Emperor to convict but whatever.

    I’ve never understood why Twohy doesn’t get enough respect from the Internet. I suppose because he never adapted a comic book or did a superhero picture.

    Just a guess.

  93. RRA – I’m presuming he gets exiled. I guess that’s bound to happen when you’re a sociopath in power.

  94. Broddie – but if you remember right, there was this dumb rule that you have to defeat the King in a fight to dethrone him.

    So what happened?

    Or hell maybe Riddick got tired of being King and just quit one day to go back to being a criminal?

  95. Here’s the Wikipedia plot summary for that upcoming movie:

    “Betrayed by his own kind and left for dead on a desolate planet, Riddick fights for survival against alien predators and becomes more powerful and dangerous than ever before. Soon bounty hunters from throughout the galaxy descend on Riddick only to find themselves pawns in his greater scheme for revenge. With his enemies right where he wants them, Riddick unleashes a vicious attack of vengeance before returning to his home planet of Furya to save it from destruction.”

    Wait wait wait. I thought Furya was already destroyed as the 2nd movie said it was?

  96. The Trailer makes it look like more or less like a straight up PITCH BLACK remake. I liked PITCH BLACK at the time (not sure how well it would stand up) and found CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK to be pretty dull, but it expanded the world and left us with such an intriguing ending that a simple rehash of the first movie, for budget reasons or not. It would be like if RAMBO III or IV had Rambo back to being a drifter, having a run in with another sheriff. Still, I like most of Twohy’s stuff, hopefully it’ll at least be a fun ride

  97. RRA – As far as him being exiled goes I’m pretty sure the movie will explain it.

    The people being referred to in the synopsis are obviously the people he became the ruler of (the Necromongers which makes them his “own kind” or his people) and not the Furyans. Karl Urban is in the new movie for a reason.

  98. Every non FAST movie Lin has made sine BETTER LUCK TOMORROW has been horrible. ANNAPOLIS and FINISHING THE GAME are two of the worst movies ever, and I think he wrote GAME too. Here’s hoping the awesomeness and sincerity of this franchise will benefit his future films.

  99. Severely worse than FA5T, but still excellent.

  100. Yeah, saw it Sunday late afternoon and the theater was sold out elbow-to-elbow. It made the experience so much better. The audience was so diverse too. Various ages old and young (there were even strollers in the aisles) and ethnicities (the entire row behind me did not speak English). Looking around the theater, it was almost as if the perfect cross-section of America was in attendance. Things started off with an awesome trailer for Machete Kills (“And introducing Carlos Estevez!”) which had everyone laughing. Then after a couple trailers, the movie started and everyone just went wild. The scene where Luke Evans flipped police cars over in his little Erector Set Indy car looked like a trailer for Hot Wheels: The Movie. The Leap of Faith scene had everyone applauding. And people stood and clapped during the finale. One person even hollered out “Fuck yeah!” during the post-credits tag. (Uh, that was me.) A truly great moviegoing experience on all fronts.

    As for the film itself, I can’t remember the last time I applauded, doubled over in laughter, and said “Fuck yeah!” in a movie. Maybe The Expendables 2, but whereas that movie was winking at us, Furious 6 played it with a straight face, which somehow made it grander. It’s truly a larger than life kind of movie that requires enormous leaps of faith on the audience’s part (although if you ask yourself at the end of the film, “Uh, just how long was that runway?”, it makes it even funnier) but if you’re like Dom (which is something I’m sure we all strive for), you take the leap and never look back.

    I also enjoyed seeing the characters mature over time. It’s funny seeing the king of the street racers dispensing parenting advice and presiding over family barbeques. That’s a character arc rarely seen in major action movie franchises.

    And if I was Warner Bros. I would be breaking down Justin Lin’s door and begging him to direct the Justice League movie. Consider: 1) He can direct action. No shaky-cam bullstuff. 2) He can treat ridiculous moments with utter sincerity, thereby making the ridiculous respectable and the impossible possible, which is needed for comic book movies. 3) He can sustain character arcs and plotlines over multiple films and make sure that even the littlest members of the ensemble have their moments to shine.

    All told, best movie of the year.

  101. I’m surprised nobody has mentioned the ending prayer yet. That was great.

    Jack Burton – I said it already, but I admire that Lin’s team knows how to play to the ensemble’s strengths and give them good moments. Compare/contrast how The Rock was used with his G.I. JOE movie. GIJ, it didn’t matter if he was in the film or not you know? But this one (and FAST FIVE) they knew how to handle a real life action figure like The Rock and his physical/comedy charisma packaged with the million dollar smile.

    Anyway, Lin’s next movie is something about the L.A. Riots. That should be interesting.

    But no he won’t even be considered for JUSTICE LEAGUE only because after MAN OF STEEL, Zack Snyder will be afterwards the #1 overall draft pick to do JL. Even if he passes (which I don’t believe he will), I just don’t know if Lin is interested in stepping back into the blockbuster world so suddenly for several more years.

    We’ll see.

    Franchise Fred – not seen GAME, but I thought ANNAPOLIS wasn’t terrible just a bland very forgettable remake.

  102. F&F6 now holds 3 Universal Studios records: Best domestic opening, Best foreign opening, and Best global opening.

    Congrats to Lin and his team.

  103. Knox Harrington

    May 28th, 2013 at 1:42 pm

    I’m actually quite worried about this franchise now. Fast 5 and Furious 6 were just so damn good. I’m gonna be watching these movies over and over again.

    But Lin is gone now, and I just can’t imagine anyone else doing as excellent a job. Not only is James Wan not my first choice as a successor, but he’s working under a ridiculously hurried schedule.

    Oh well, at least they got Statham.

  104. Knox, I am trying to stay postative but I am really concerned for Lin’s departure as well.

  105. I’ve finally seen FURIOUS 6 yesterday and enjoyed it as nearly much as I hoped after reading Verns review. But I have to say that my personal action comprehensibility rating would be lower. This is a really good action movie, but I liked the characters and the ideas of the action and fight scenes sometimes more than the execution.

    The action scene that had the weakest moments for me was the final confrontation at the runway. I’ve often simply couldn’t see who was attacked by whom, there was only movement on the screen. I was really happy when I’ve recognized a face and understood what fight I was watching. So the finale for me was more a mix of »Fuck yeah« and »WTF«.


    I also didn’t get why everybody was so sure that Shaw and Giselle died from their fall of a plane that wasn’t even in the air. Sure, it was fast at that moment, but this movie showed us at this point already people who survived more critical situations. It’s almost like Banes death in TDKR where you finally know that your villain is dead when he surprisingly doesn’t show up again after a more than ambigous »death scene«. It simply isn’t right when a henchman get’s the superior treatment of the jet engine death.

    I will watch it again on Blu-ray to see if some of my complaints vanish after repeated viewing or at the smaller screen.

  106. So Armond White reviewed F&F6.

    And actually praises it.


    Man I feel filthy now. I need to take a shower.

  107. This guy has a way of making every movie, whether he likes it or not, sound horrible.

  108. So Vern, you seeing AFTER EARTH or NOW YOU SEE ME this weekend and reviewing them for us?

  109. Nah. If I do go to a theater this weekend it’s to see FURIOUS 6 again.

  110. Anyone who does see want to let me know what the fucking deal is with the accents Will and Jaden are doing? Kinda faux-british?

  111. It’s supposed to be a futuristic post-earth accent that’s vaguely island-influenced for some reason, but I’m convinced that Will is doing a Laurence Fishburne impression.

  112. Travers compared AFTER EARTH to BATTLEFIELD EARTH. Now I’m officially intrigued.

    Also this link argued that AE might be Will Smith’s Scientology “coming out” party.


  113. Somebody on here mentioned xXx and Vin Diesel probably doing that. I will be honest: I really don’t think it should be done. The Fast & Furious series has made Vin a lot of money and I hope Riddick does better than the second film, but I don’t think there should be another xXx. A lot of people hated the second one (Even though I liked it, despite many flaws) and I think there had been rumors for years about “The Return of Xander Cage,” but nothing has come of it. Also, what’s going to happen now? Still try to cater to the young crowd like the first one did? I will be honest, I have stated many times that I have sort of a love/hate relationship with the first film because while the film did deliver on action and stunts, it felt like it tried too damn hard to be hip. I like the movie enough to own it and it was still better than Stealth.

  114. Do people actually want another XXX? I mean F&F was a major hit in the first place and PITCH BLACK was a cult hit. There was a place to come back to.

    I do find XXX horribly dated with that 007 opening spoof, this before the Daniel Craig years “resurrected” 007. Even more hilarious, XXX is even more dated than Mr. Bond now.

  115. Let us all forget that sin of Vin.

  116. XXX was dated the instant it came out. It was at least seven years too late to capitalize on the whole EXXTREEEME thing, and mocking James Bond is almost as old hat as James Bond himself. But it was fun. Some great stunts, a silly but likable lead character, a preposterous premise, Asia Argento looking totally slutty…I just can’t hate it. Unlike XXX CUBED, which is almost unwatchably shoddy.

    It’ll be weird to see what Xander Cage looks like with no ears and no back of his head, though.

  117. I will be watching FURIOUS SIX tomorrow. Hopefully it will not fall into my category of “Sins of Vin”. Judging from Verns review and a lot of commentors it would seem highly unlikely.

  118. The Original... Paul

    May 31st, 2013 at 2:26 pm

    I will try and get in a viewing of Furious 6 this weekend now I’m back in town.

    I’d actually like to try out xXx2, which I haven’t seen yet – it had some good reviews on this site and elsewhere – but the first one was atrocious. I don’t think Samuel L has ever traded more lazily on his “badass persona” to so little effect. The film lost me right at the start when Vin Diesel screams “I LIVE FOR THIS!!!” when being dragged across the tarmac at high speed on his back. You live for what, carpet burns? That’s so dumb, it goes right past “hilariously dumb” to land square in the middle of “head-slappingly stupid”. Even considering that though, xXx’s capital crime wasn’t stupidity – I can handle that in a movie – but mediocrity. It was too insincere, too transparent, and in the end too boring. Did anybody ever think that this movie was made with any artistic intent whatsoever – as opposed to an obviously ignorant set of people trying to cash in on a current “trend”? Isn’t the whole point of Justin Lin, as articulated above, that he makes “entertainment” movies with artistic vision and craftsmanship? That’s the difference between – at least – “Fast 5” (haven’t seen 6 yet but I imagine that one as well) and “xXx”.

  119. It pissed me off when leaving the theatre I overheard some guys saying that the Dom/Lettys “leap of faith” ruined the movie for them.

    If these are the kind of people I will surround myself with when going to the cinema, I might just give up theatrical movies. FURIOUS SIX was amazing though.

  120. The disclaimers that have ended the recent strain of F&F-movies are priceless. “Do not attempt this at home!” . There is no fucking way any of this shit is possible to recreata at home,unless you are Jeremy Clarkson.

  121. I’m with you, Shoot. It seems American audiences really hate creativity. They only want to see things that could conceivably happen before their real eyes. It’s frustrating, but at least the FURIOUS movies are doing so well it doesn’t matter if that guy is unhappy he got to see some awesome movie magic.

    Again it’s why I love Hong Kong movies. They don’t give a fuck about real life, or even consistent tones!

  122. Darth Irritable

    June 2nd, 2013 at 2:49 pm

    I saw this on the weekend. Some douchebag up front yelled “No fucking way” really loudly, and then kept bitching about it. Then the same dickhead started yelling out “People’s Elbow” when Rock was on screen after that.

    Fucking assclowns.

  123. I love how people think they’re so smart for catching the one obviously unrealistic thing in a movie (the moment that the filmmakers knew was absurd but went with it anyway because it was so awesome that it put logic and physics in a dual chokehold and made them headbutt each other) but miss the millions of other illogical character motivations, story contrivances, and serendipitous coincidences that constitute the running time of practically every single motion picture ever made. They can suspend their disbelief for the lame crap that keeps the plot running but not the awesome flights of fancy that make movies worth watching.

  124. Mr. M – I thought Lin also included that moment because it’s funny in a tongue & cheek sort of way, almost like the best cartoonish moments from the Roger Moore 007 movies.

  125. Hobbs interregationscene made me laugh as hell. That was a fantastic moment for Dwayne Johnson,probably my favourite Hobbs-scene in th entire picture and that includes the teamup at the end. It was such a great moment early on and set me in the perfect mood for the rest of the movie.

  126. Also, I have to give Michelle Rodriguez the credit of the possibly most badassmoment of the picture when she stares down the albino muscleboy who is twice the size of her and still threaten to give him an enormous whopping. That was just amazing.

    I love this movie. It has has both the big bulky chrome- dome shaped muscleboys AND the women being tough as nails badasses, and not just windowdressing. Shit like that easily propels this movie to be a contender to my fave flick of the year.

  127. The Original... Paul

    June 4th, 2013 at 4:06 pm

    Wow, these movies are really getting better and better, aren’t they? I’d have to rank this one above even #5, and I really liked #5. After a whole heap of disappointments this year, this one was a breath of fresh air.

    I’d like to critique the end a little bit though (not the Tokyo bit, the bit before that), because it was kinda weird. It was like… and I swear this just occurred to me… that moment when you wake up with an incredibly hot girl in her Playboy Mansion-esque apartment; except that it turns out it belongs to her grandparents, and now they’ve come to wake you up and invite you to breakfast. (And yes, I often get my metaphors from personal experience. Why do you ask?)

    I mean, what the FUCK was up with that bit about saying grace? Did I miss something? “Fast and the Furious” turning into a morality tale about family, religion, and never forgetting your roots… well, maybe the “family” bit since that’s been a theme of the whole movie, but the rest of it… nooo. Not buying it. Wasn’t so much bad as just plain bizarre. Did they add on the wrong movie’s ending by mistake?

    That, and I’m really not buying Elsa Pataki as “the plain one”, no matter how much these movies try to convince me of it. Sorry, I can take mid-air bridge catches, but that’s just plain ridiculous.

    That not withstanding, I really enjoyed this one.

  128. That prayer was a element in most of those movies. It’s nothing new.

    Who was Pataki again? I can’t remember.

  129. Paul, what the FUCK was up with that was that it was bringing the series full circle to THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS, where they had barbecues together at that house and they would say grace. The whole FURIOUS 6 starting from the discussion in Brian and Mia’s backyard is about their dream of returning to that lifestyle.

    So I looked it up and found out Elsa Pataky is Elena, Dom’s girlfriend before he finds out Letty’s alive. What makes you think she was supposed to be “the plain one”?

  130. Do I need to rewatch FAST FIVE again? I gave it another chance and still find it the most watered down, mainstreamized in the series, but it made everyone else like it and now we’ve got FURIOUS 6 which is amazing. But everyone loves FAST FIVE so much, what if I could have that experience somehow too?

  131. Fred – In the post-FASTFIVE world we live in now, one can speculate that the franchise starting to focus more on the heistaspect of the franchise and a lot less on streetracing might make it more appealing to a wider audience. I know that is one of the reasons I really liked part five. Also the action is crazier than in previous installments,which helps.

  132. The Original... Paul

    June 6th, 2013 at 11:18 am

    Vern – ah, I forgot about that from the original movie. Along with, y’know, most of the original movie.

    Which explains that final scene, but doesn’t so much excuse it… not that it really needs excusing, but it’s one heck of a tonal shift. Honestly, to take a series that’s basically a homage to stupidly dangerous stunts performed by hot women in ridiculously expensive cars, and then suddenly pull that one… it’s like watching Johnny Cash try to gansta-rap or something. It’s just not a combination I’d ever expect. I’m not saying it put me off, but it did weird me out a bit.

    I was being a bit facetious about Elsa Pataky, although when she’s first introduced in Fast 5, I do recall there’s a bit where Hobbs makes a comment that sort of implies something, but I forget what it was. I don’t have a copy of the movie on hand anyway so I can’t go find it unfortunately.

    Anyway, still thought the film was great.

  133. The Original... Paul

    June 6th, 2013 at 11:22 am

    Nope… it’s Pataky herself who says “My smile is not that great”. It’s her second line in the movie. Thanks Google!

  134. The Original... Paul

    June 6th, 2013 at 5:10 pm

    And Fred – I absolutely agree with Shoot. Honestly the street racing pretty much spoilt the first film for me (well, it was one of the things that did). It wasn’t particularly well-done and it sure as heck wasn’t exciting to me. If that’s considered “mainstream” in comparison to Fast 5 or 6, then honestly I’d take the mainstream option.

    Let me say something about that though… my comments about the “saying grace” thing aside (and honestly, whether or not it’s been used before, it feels seriously weird in this series of movies), what I like about Fast 5 / 6 is that it’s a group of basically well-intentioned outlaws who are on the run, but whose goals are to bring down criminals who are much worse than themselves. In the earlier movies (#1 and #3 particularly – I haven’t seen #4 and I liked #2, which fell more into the mould of #5 or #6) it’s about a bunch of rich self-centred douchebags who put a shedload of lives in danger for their own petty amusement. See the difference?

    Which is not to say that the protagonists of movies always have to have a more “conventional” morality – hell, I woulda freaking loved “The Tournament” if it was actually about assassins who have a pragmatic “kill or be killed” attitude, rather than a sulky teenager and her “moral centre” priest adoptee – but there has to be SOMETHING there. I don’t mind a protagonist who kills, tortures, whatever (heck, I watched every season of “24” and enjoyed most of ’em) but there has to be something that I can latch onto, something that I can empathise with. Rich, lazy, irresponsible assholes don’t do it for me.

  135. Chopper Sullivan

    June 7th, 2013 at 2:08 am

    I tried to read as many comments as I could so I wouldn’t be redundant, but wasn’t letting Shaw go the dumbest thing in the history of movies? I know we have to suspend disbelief, but it made no sense on any level possible. I can’t even think of a situation that would justify it, especially since they let him go knowing he’d kill the wife anyway and somehow knowing he’d bring her with him for no reason.

    The tank scene was great though.

    Otherwise, jesus, talk about boring.

  136. The original Paul

    June 7th, 2013 at 2:42 pm

    Chopper – I would definitely have preferred it if the Mole had let him out somehow, maybe with a classic prison-break escape scene. That particular reveal (and come on, there way no way it was ever anybody else) seemed kinda nonsensical. Actually that in itself probably bothered me the most out of everything in this movie (and I clearly enjoyed it a lot more than you did). If you have a mole in the police force, why on earth would you reveal their true allegiance like that? There’s no reason to.

    Paul’s Rule #1 of Movies with a Mystery or Spy Element: If you have a Mole subplot, DO a Mole subplot. Show clear, definite actions, at least to the viewers, that somebody – whether known or unknown – is not who they say they are. Little acts of sabotage, etc. Don’t just reveal that there’s a mole early on and then not bring it up until the very end, Air Force One-style. (For those of you who don’t remember “Air Force One”, which is probably everybody who’s seen it because – let’s face it – it didn’t exactly have too much that was memorable about it: there’s a corrupt secret service agent who gets the terrorists access to the guns at the beginning. The movie then spends about a quarter of its running time giving sly little camera “glances” at this guy, who has about three lines of dialogue the entire way through and never actually does anything significant ever again. Until he blatantly gives himself away at the very end for no reason whatsoever.)

    You can even make things clear to the viewers that the characters in the movie don’t notice, so it doesn’t spoil the “family” element of the movie. Have an unknown hand switch a circuit board on a custom car or something, then have the car’s electronics suddenly fail, causing the car to go out of control and for somebody important to get put in jeopardy. Everyone blames the driver, but we know it was actually sabotaged. Stuff like that. If you’re not going to “commit” to a Mole subplot, leave it out. All that the one in Furious 6 really amounted to was a reason to give two characters a fistfight in the final big action scene. And, ok, I’m all for that; but I would’ve liked them to have done more with it.

  137. 6 was not a disappointment.
    Question: what happened to Tego & Dom Omar??
    Did they both loose the money @ casino in 5??

  138. I think there’s a line about them at the beginning that explains where they are, but I forget what it is.

  139. Han will return. We didn’t actually SEE him die, did we?

  140. Han is as dead as fried chicken.

  141. Speaking of jaa…I don’t know how this trailer to tom yum goong 2/protector 2 flew past me but here it is…

    starts at the the 41 second mark


    has a quick shot of jeeja, marrese crump, rza and even some of that ff type action going on at the end, tho it kinda reminded me of once upon a time in mexico with antonio..

  142. Looks like an awful lot of CGI to me. I like those movies that Tony Jaa makes for the most part but I never really enjoyed the fight parts of his movies. I’d much rather see fights like in The Raid over the fights in a Tony Jaa movie.

  143. I won’t spoil it for Vern in case it’s meant to be a surprise, but F&F7 just casted another awesome name.

  144. So is Gisele coming back? Another resurrection?!

  145. God I hope TMZ is wrong.

  146. Rest in peace Paul. May I hope you had many women in this life. So fucking sad.

  147. caruso_stalker217

    November 30th, 2013 at 8:35 pm

    This is not the way I wanted to end my fucking night.

  148. Too sad and such a brutal way to go. He left behind a daughter.

  149. I really wanted Vin Diesel and Paul Walker to keep these movies going on forever. Like Before Sunrise or something.

  150. So many awful things about this, other than obviously that a 40 year old (who certainly is among the younger 40 year old actors I’m aware of) has died and left behind a kid.

    (1) that just on friday, his PR team had to put kuputs to an online rumor that he had died.
    (2) that he died in a car crash, which every jackass from Singapore to Senegal will try to crack a joke or make a big statement about the fact that a star of car movies should perish himself in one. Fuck you.
    (3) the other day he just said that F&TF 8 was a go and he was pretty excited about it.

  151. It kind of broke my heart when I heard this news. Like Casey, I wanted to see him and Vin continue to make F&F movies until the internal combustion engine went the way of VHS. I always liked him, even when he was the go-to punchline for unimaginative dipshits who didn’t feel comfortable making Keanu jokes anymore. He seemed like a real stand-up guy, and that’s something you can’t fake. I think it says a lot that this supposed prettyboy stood toe-to-toe with one of the most outsized action heroes in the business for more than a decade and never gave an inch. He had sand. You could just tell.

    Then you hear he died leaving a charity event he sponsored. Fuck, dude. This is not okay.

  152. *SPOILERS* Finally caught Furious 6 – maybe I should have seen it on the big screen with a crowd (like Fast Five) because nothing worked for me – the characters (especially Hobbs) feel neutered and way less interesting this time, and the fight scenes were all disappointing (they’re all shot like the Johnson/Diesel fight from Part 5, which I thought was universally agreed to be a huge disappointment). The tone feels dark and morose like part 4, which is weird because there’s still tons of “humor”, but none of it is actually funny. The slow parts feel especially draggy this go-round – I swear the ENTIRE middle section is a series of useless (metaphorical) wheel-spinning scenes that serve no purpose other than to “give the actors something to do” and pad the runtime. Which is typical of the middle section of a big summer movie, but it just feels more useless and poorly written this time out.

    Wadew and RRA already discussed the pointlessness of the “Paul Walker in Jail” bit. I don’t mind him breaking off from the group to do his own thing, it’s a good idea. I do mind that he doesn’t find out any info we didn’t already know. So now he feels guilty because he made Letty go undercover and she got amnesia. They treat this like some big reveal, but he was already feeling guilty for putting her undercover in part 4 except there he got her killed!

    Also, Letty shoots Dom with one of those special movie bullets/guns that are very rare and only one person in London sells them, etc.. They interrogate the seller and beat up some people and he reveals…that he sold the gun to Letty. Yes, thanks..we already knew that. The characters already knew that. Total waste of a scene. Now have Brian and Dom actually get into a well-staged fight with those guys and I probably wouldn’t have even noticed how superfluous this was. Also: the evil gang (I like how Tyrese literally has to spell out “they’re like an evil version of us!”) shoots the heroes’ car with that special chip that overrides the car computers. (Why they would do this instead of just using a grenade launcher is beyond me, but I can roll with it). This means the gang have to find a bunch of old school muscle cars that don’t have computer chips in them (complete with Michael Bay style humor with the auctioneer) – then…nobody ever uses that gun again and half the gang are driving modern cars in the final scene anyway!

    Speaking of which, the final chase on the runway may have been awesome in the theater but at home, it looks just as dark and CGI’d as the tunnel chase from part 4. I literally had no idea who was in what car/jeep and what the hell was going on, but I’ll trust you guys when you say it’s good. I think it’s telling that I constantly wondered “where the hell is the army since, you know, they’re ON AN ARMY BASE”, but I never once wondered about the phantom Brazil police force during most of Fast Five.

    I guess this is like the reverse Star Trek theory where the odd number ones are good and the even ones are bad? (Actually I liked 2Fast2Furious and the Star Trek theory is largely bullshit, so whatever) There’s plenty of good stuff here – some of the family stuff is touching, Evans is pretty interesting as the bad guy (he’s a shit ton better than the villains in 4 and 5). The tank chase was pretty amazing, and the credits stinger is for now, the best stinger of all time, so I’ll give it that.

    SPOILER: So it’s generally agreed part 1 = Point Break, part 2 = Miami Vice the show, part 3 = Karate Kid II, part 4 = Miami Vice the movie. Part 5 = The Fugitive + Ocean’s 11. Did anyone else feel that Part 6 = an entire season of 24? There’s the threat of a James Bondian superweapon (which 24-style, must be attained by the bad guys piece by piece like a videogame), there’s a well-connected villain who seems to be only a piece of a huge conspiracy and is working with a previous villain from another installment (I wish it was Cole Hauser from Part 2 instead of that guy from Part 4, but whatever). There’s good guys interrogating/torturing multiple bad guys for information, usage of surveillance cameras/CSI-style forensics on paint and bullets/cross-referencing computer mumbo jumbo to catch the baddies. There’s a mole within the good guys that makes zero sense. (Seriously, name one way she helped the villains achieve their goal) The villain gets captured with a lot of time left but leverages his way out by kidnapping family members and getting personal. And of course it ends on a huge cliffhanger. Despite all I just said, I still can’t wait for Fast 7.

  153. Looks great.

    But boy, it’ll be tough for me to watch that because of Walker. I can’t be the only one.

  154. It’s definitely tough to see him in vehicular peril. Even so, I think my feeling of “that was awesome!” was stronger, but that was just for the preview. We’ll see how the entire movie shakes out. I was happy that there wasn’t even a hint of how they’re handling his exit. I really want to keep the hope alive that it will be well done.

  155. I’m late to the party, having never seen a Fast and Furious movie until this week, when I watched them all. 6 was the best, I think. Amazing ridiculous action.
    Vern, the best part of this review to me is the “pulled a Tim Dog” bit, because 99% of people probably have no idea what you’re talking about.


  156. The Original Paul

    February 15th, 2015 at 6:54 am

    So I just bought a whole bunch of secondhand DVDs, and the second film I watched after Neeson’s UNKNOWN was FAST AND FURIOUS, aka THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS 4. It’s actually the last FAST / FURIOUS movie that I’ve seen. The rest are, in order:

    1) – Saw this in the cinema. Didn’t like it at all. Cameraderie between the characters felt fake and I didn’t particularly like Paul Walker’s main character.
    2) – Much better than #1. Not objectively speaking a very good movie, but at least a fun dumb one with more likeable characters than #1.
    3) – Hated the arrogant poseur protagonist, and honestly I couldn’t get past that. I basically found myself disliking every scene with him in it, which was pretty much all of them. The other characters weren’t much better either.
    5) – Genuinely surprised me with how good it was. It took the characters from #1 and made them genuinely likeable. Totally disposible but a lot of fun as well.
    6) – Pretty much what I’ve said in the comments above. I think it’s on the same level or thereabouts as #5.

    So that’s three movies that I liked, two that I didn’t… unfortunately #4 pretty much evened the score. It’s not as bad as #1 or #3 but it’s not good either.

    Once again we’re back to boring unlikeable characters. Vin Diesel plays Dom as a stoic badass but he’s got nothing to work with here. This movie did not have a script that suited his strengths. Vin basically had to convey intense grief through completely non-verbal means, and he wasn’t anywhere close to being up to it. It didn’t help that some of the dialogue was so on-the-nose, it got into “unintentionally hilarious” territory. There’s a forced rivalry between Paul Walker’s character and one of the other police officers that literally goes nowhere. They clash, they throw a few fists, it’s never brought up again. Why was this there? Why was the blonde douchebag Dwight in the movie?

    The worst parts were the scenes between Vin Diesel and Gal Gadot (Wonderwoman?!) in which the two of them had to convey their mutual attraction while making it clear that Vin’s character wasn’t having any of it because it was too soon after Letty’s death. Gadot gives it her best shot, but Vin’s performance and some really bad writing just kill it. And while we’re on the subject of bad writing, what are Jordana Brewster’s motivations in this movie? She’s resented Walker for five years for what he did to her and her family, yet the second time she sees him, they’re sucking face together? Despite the fact that she still has zero reason to trust him, and a good many reasons not to? What the hell?

    This is another one of those movies in which the plot requires that a main character is going through some kind of inner turmoil, however said turmoil never comes through in the script or the actor’s performance. So all it amounts to is the actor switching loyalties constantly for no apparent reason. Paul Walker’s Brian is, from some more of that too-on-the-nose dialogue, meant to be an idealist. So what’s he even doing with Dom? I’m sure this was covered in the first movie, but I haven’t seen that one since it was first out in the cinema, and have no particular desire to revisit it. It’s not covered here. It’s revealed late in the movie that he’s partially responsible for putting Letty in harm’s way, but this is played as a twist, not a major motivating factor for the character. Is he trying to redeem himself for this? If so the film doesn’t so much as hint at it – we only really see Dom’s reaction to it, not Brian’s. It’s also revealed that he feels guilt over what he did to Jordana Brewster’s character. So what he does to fix this is deceive her even more? And apparently she has no problem with this? Again, what the hell?

    What really shocked me was how bad the action was. The opening robbery scene was ok, nothing special, certainly nothing compared to most of the action scenes in Fast 5 or 6. There were three major car chases or races in the movie after that, and all of them were badly edited, to the point that it was hard to tell what was going on. At one point Brian is driving side-by-side with Dom, and in what seems like the space of a single take, Brian suddenly advances fifteen or twenty seconds ahead of him, as does one of the bad guys chasing them (who I’m pretty sure was supposed to be behind both of them before that point).

    There’s also a lot of badly-edited stuff of people driving through a long tunnel between Mexico and the US. Not sure what that’s supposed to say about US-Mexico foreign relations, but ok. If that’s your bag, enjoy, I guess.

    Yeah… this one did nothing for me. A shame ’cause I thought it was supposed to be one of the good ones. It certainly wasn’t as bad as #1 or #3 for me, but it’s nowhere near as good as #5 or #6, and nowhere near as much fun as #2.

  157. The Original Paul

    February 15th, 2015 at 2:37 pm

    On a more humorous note, I love secondhand DVD stores. Here’s the description from the DVD cover of Werner Herzog’s deeply affecting masterpiece INTO THE ABYSS, as purchased from said store:

    “On a snowy Christmas Eve in the nation’s capital, a team of terrorists has seized a major international airport, and now holds thousands of holiday travellers hostage. The terrorists, a renegade band of crack military commandos led by a murderous rogue officer (William Sadler), have come to rescue a drug lord from justice. They’ve prepared for every contingency, except one: John McClane, an off-duty cop seized by a feeling of deadly deja-vu.”

    Man, my memory of this movie is off!

  158. Does your secondhand DVD store make its own covers?

  159. The Original Paul

    February 16th, 2015 at 6:00 am

    Pacman – what happened was that I bought several DVDs with the cardboard envelope-style covers on top of the plastic laminated ones, and they just mixed up two of the envelopes. The DVDs themselves were fine.

    Although I gotta admit, although I don’t think there’s much that could have improved INTO THE ABYSS, John McClane might certainly be a possibility.

  160. The Original Paul

    February 16th, 2015 at 7:05 am

    Shoot – I love those covers. “But this time he has shoes!” Hahaha.

  161. You can´t argue with the title either. RELUCTANT HERO says it all.

  162. RELUCTANT HERO WITH A VENGEANCE has a nice contradictory ring to it. “He doesn’t even want to be here–to the extreme!”

  163. RELUCTANT HERO IN RUSSIA – “He destroys Russia. So does his son. Both have shoes.”

  164. I bought a Pirate VHS of COLO(U)R OF NIGHT just because it featured an extremely negative review of the film on the back in full. It said something like “now Bruce Willis has managed to make a turkey in every genre”.

  165. The great thing about a review that uses the word “turkey” is that I know I don’t have to take the critic’s opinion seriously. That’s some Leonard Maltin shit right there.



  168. -shoes no longer issue.

  169. The Original Paul

    February 17th, 2015 at 4:56 am


    (Y’all know it’s gonna happen.)

  170. The Original Paul

    February 17th, 2015 at 4:57 am

    Oh wait, sorry…


    Now he has boots.

  171. “He lost his shoes again! But this time it´s space shoes”

  172. Looks like my local cinema has a midnight screening of FURIOUS 7 tonight. I might go, even though it seems to be a crowded screening. I am not really comfortable among a packed audience.

  173. It´ll also be a long 40 minute walk back home, since there are no buses available to take at 2 o´clock in the morning.It´ll be an especially long walk since it is expected to snow AND rain at that time. Fuck. The irony of going to see a movie with fast cars without means of transportation.

  174. The movie might be FAST and FURIOUS, but getting home SLOW and TEDIOUS.

  175. Shoot, by the time you’re home again you’re most likely FURIOUS, so…

  176. How FURIOUS I am depends on how FAST I get home. If I come home 2 FAST I might not be 2 FURIOUS

  177. Ticket booked. Tonight will be a furious evening.

  178. Just got back from FURIOUS 7. A few initial impressions. Statham really killed it. I am glad that the filmmakers knew what they had because they get great mileage out of Evil Statham. And that is the best part. No mega-acting, no evil laughing or twirling moustache. Just Evil Fucking Statham, being grimlooking, menacing and pretty scary looking when he is pissed.

    Best parts:
    *Stathams introduction.
    *Paul Walker getting ONG-BAKKED down a staircase
    * The filmmakers get a bit more mileage out of their badasses than THE EXPENDABLES 3 does.
    *Kurt Russell is having a good time
    *Some genuinely emotional moments
    *I seem to have been with a much better crowd than my FURIOUS SIX experience. they were invested in the characters and even if they laughed at the most blatant comedy moments
    they also digged the more insane moments.
    * The action is handled well for the most part. Tony Jaa gets some steady camera work and decent editing to show off some of his signature moves.
    * Rodriguez vs Rousey. Oh, man!
    * Statham vs The Rock surprised me in a few ways that I didn´t expected.

    Worst part
    *The action might have been a bit much. Seriously. There is so much action to fill two FURIOUSes. Hardly a complaint, but…
    * The comedy moments. Romans whiney antics is played to death in this. The only real complaint.
    * I wanted more Kurt Russell kicking ass though. Damn it, movie. You left me wanting more! Not a complaint, but…

    Basically from my initial impressions , you must be an asshole not liking this

  179. Hey Shoot is Lucas Black anywhere in it?

    Also how often do you end up missing Justin Lin throughout the movie?

  180. Yep, Lucas Black is in it. And yes, I do miss Justin Lin. The action is a quite more chaotic than previous films

  181. FURIOUS 7— Saw it at an IMAX matinee yesterday; rather disappointing. Where to begin?

    As Shoot mentioned, Statham’s character has a badass intro, and while he’s ruthless throughout, one doesn’t get the sense that his motivation for payback is personal. He’s not a whole lot different than Frank Martin or Chev Chelios, except he grits his teeth occasionally. Then again, Luke Evans wasn’t exactly the villain extraordinaire in F&F 6, so fuck it. Tepid must run in the family.

    After the Statham intro, things slow down for about a half-hour, and we get these tedious Hallmark moments between Dom/Letty and Brian/Mia, because you can’t have car chases, gunfights, and hand-to-hand combat for a full 2 hours and 17 minutes. This ain’t THE RAID, people.

    There is this one early sequence involving Dom and Letty that harkens back to the first movie, ostensibly done to help jog Letty’s memory. It may also be a nod to the fans who preferred the format of the first 3 F&F movies, but it feels perfunctory at best. You’ll know it when you see it.

    I did enjoy how the relationship between Toretto and Hobbs has evolved to the point where they’re firm allies instead of trying to outmacho each other. Hobbs has a few suitably cool moments at the beginning, then he gets nudged aside for a big stretch of the movie. Scriptwise it made sense, but I would’ve liked more of him.

    Lucas Black *does* turn up, but only for the purpose of linking TOKYO DRIFT with the rest of the series. Toretto doesn’t recruit him and bring him into the fold. It’s a very odd sequence, because one moment we see 2006 Lucas Black reacting to his homey’s “Hey, Sean… there’s a guy here wants to talk to you; says he knew Han”, and a moment later we see 2015 Lucas Black having a brief conversation with Toretto. It’s said that the burdens of adulthood (marriage, kids, mortgage payments, etc.) will age a person more quickly, but apparently one chat with Vin Diesel will zing that right along like nothing else.

    Kurt Russell’s character functions much the same way Samuel L. Jackson’s did in XXX: the retired badass operative who’s now an administrator. I agree with Shoot; he *does* look like he’s having fun here. and while he comes close to playing it in a jokey “Hey yo, lookah me—I’m in a F&F movie!” kind of way, he never quite crosses that line. I kept expecting him to betray Toretto and his crew at some point, but he never did. Definitely a plus factor.

    The real dealbreaker here is handing the directorial reins from Justin Lin to James Wan. The car chases, the shootouts, and (most unfortunately) the hand-to-hand fights all suffer from camera cuts that are way too abrupt to let you savor the better moments. And *since* all these things are the foundation of the F&F movies, it was frustrating to watch Wan squander what could’ve been a much more visually dynamic movie.

    For what it’s worth, Paul Walker’s character was given a respectful sendoff that was part goodbye to Brian O’Conner and part tribute to Walker’s performances as the character. It was subtle and touching and, while it didn’t get me all misty-eyed, I did feel this little tug I haven’t felt since Walker’s untimely death. As far as closure goes, it was fitting.

    FURIOUS 7 was IMO what I like to call an Ecclesiastes movie (“There is nothing new under the sun”), in the sense that everything about it is either overtly or peripherally a rehash of things we’ve seen in previous F&F movies, albeit in a slightly different context. With that in mind, I’m tapping out on seeing any future F&F movies in the theatre. It was fun, but sorry to say now it’s played out.

  182. I think some of the choices in the movie is clearly the work of a different director, which kind of bums me out a bit after having some time to chew the movie inside my brain. I do think as a cinema experience it was a serious hoot. But I am afraid that the movie will disappoint further down the line as my TV and blu ray has not the muscles to reflect the action and mayhem. The story and characters were a bit over shadowed by the insane amount of action on display here.

  183. Well, of course it looks like the work of a different director. It is. As much as he’s following Lin’s template, you can’t expect a guy with his own successful body of work to be completely subservient to somebody else’s style. You want that, just promote the second-unit director from the last one and tell him not to change a thing.

    I’ve heard people complaining about the shakycam and I think they’ve got rose-colored glasses on concerning Lin’s cutting and shooting style, particularly in his hand-to-hand scenes. I would say the level of choppiness is comparable to Lin’s, and it’s often smoother. Take for example a segment of the Statham/Diesel chase after the funeral where the only action is the cars deftly weaving through traffic. It’s shot from far away and up high so you can see the obstacles ahead of the chase and understand how quickly the drivers have to react to make it through. Lin is great at action but he would have thrown in a bunch of bumper POV shots and cutaways to Vin and Stathe popping the clutch to keep the pace up. He try to put you in the thick of the chase, where Wan opted to let you sit back and watch it. Ironically, Wan’s catching heat for not being Lin, but I think we would have gotten more of that approach (Wan’s work on DEATH SENTENCE certainly indicates a preference for classically composed long-take action) if he hadn’t been tasked with aping the house style that Lin established.

  184. The Undefeated Gaul

    April 4th, 2015 at 2:57 pm

    Lin to me seemed to have a better handle on the big action scenes, like the way they were built up, kept escalating etc. Nothing in Furious 7 blew me away like the climax of either Fast Five or Six (the assault on Tony Jaa’s truck was cool obviously but it suffered from being spoiled start to finish in every trailer they released) but the hand to hand stuff I thought was excellent. The final fight between Diesel and Statham delivered as promised, and I enjoyed the hell out of Paul Walker’s fights with Tony Jaa. I liked Wan’s camera movements during stuff like The Rock smashing Staham trough a table. Speaking of Rock VS Statham, that was the only fight that disappointed me slightly because it seemed like it was done 80% by stuntmen, you only ever see the back of the character’s heads. Probably because every single fucking hit sends either one of them through a glass wall, which apparently is still quite dangerous even with break away glass.

  185. Mr. Majestyk – I have to agree entirely with what you’re saying about the action scenes. I don’t feel like camera was any shakier than it was in Lin’s films, nor did it really cut any more often. It held long enough on all the good stuff, I never felt confused and could clearly see what needed to be seen. It’ll be interesting to compare them directly once the DVD comes out.

  186. The carchases in 7 were a lot more shakier. Undeniable fact! Did it bother me? No. But I do think the action sequences should have had some memorable stingers of sort. A little more memorable awesomer moments in between the exploding cars which in the end all kind of feels samey. I don´t remember all that much of the action sequences. They are in a kind of a blur.

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