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Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Not as fast or furious as its predecessor, Fast & Furious 6 still keeps the revs high

Following the release of the second Fast & Furious film 2 Fast 2 Furious, it became clear that the proverbial horse that is the F&F franchise had died. In fact, 2 Fast 2 Furious was such a dud that I never even bothered seeing the franchises next two films, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift and Fast & Furious. I’m told I’m not missing much.

Yet, nearly ten years after the original Fast & Furious film hit theatres, the cast and crew of the F&F franchise proved that you can bring a dead horse back to life if you beat on it long enough. Fast Five was an exciting and explosive thriller that took the best elements of the F&F franchise and threw out the worst parts.

Like its immediate predecessor, Fast & Furious 6 benefits from never taking itself too seriously. No longer does the franchise pretend to exist in some distorted reality of the street-racing underworld. Instead, it exists in a universe occupied by films like Die Hard, where heroes are decided upon by both their actions and the subsequent destruction left behind in his or her tracks. This is a movie that suggests its audience not worry about logic – it merely asks for you to sit back and “just enjoy yourself.”

Picking up where Fast Five ends, we are reintroduced to Agent Hobbs (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson) of the U.S. Diplomatic Security Service as he attempts to catch current terrorist and former British Special Forces soldier, Owen Shaw (Luke Evans). For some reason Agent Hobbs decides that wanted criminal Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and his “family” (which includes Paul Walker as Brian O’Conner, Ludacris as Tej, Tyrese Gibson as Roman, Sung Kang as Han, Gal Gadot as Gisele, and a very under-used Jordana Brewster as Dom’s sister and Brian’s girlfriend/baby mama, Mia) are the only individuals capable of stopping Shaw. As Hobbs tells his colleague, “You want to catch wolves, you need wolves” (I couldn’t make that line up if I tried).

Getting Dom to help in the hunt for Shaw proves especially easy for Hobbs, as Shaw happens to be working with Dom’s former love-interest Letty (Michelle Rodriguez), a character who was presumed dead by Dom and the rest of the Toretto “family” after the events of Fast & Furious, but is actually alive and now suffers from amnesia (I don’t think I would be any less confused by this even if I had seen Fast & Furious).

Nonetheless Agent Hobbs’ hunch works out, because Dom and the rest of the car-loving Toretto “family” are the right wolves for the job. Shaw’s primary weapon of mass destruction is a vehicle that looks like the love child of a Formula 1 car and the Tumbler of Chris Nolan’s Dark Knight films, and is designed to literally flip over oncoming vehicles in a bid to cause mayhem.  

 And plenty of mayhem ensues. Shaw’s favorite weapons are of the mechanical sort and as such a slew of BMW M5’s are destroyed, a tank wreaks havoc on a Spanish motorway, and an Alfa Romeo Giulietta and a handful of Dodge Charger SRT8’s are responsible for stopping a cargo plane from lifting off.

In the end, the lack of a compelling storyline and a rather long runtime (130 minutes) caused me to have to use the restroom at one of the few slower scenes in the movie. With Fast & Furious 6’s nearly nonstop action I wanted to avoid leaving to use the bathroom; however, just as the “ball don’t lie” in basketball, the bladder don’t lie about movies. Fast & Furious 6 is a good summer blockbuster action movie, but Fast Five was a better one.

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Like many of you, I love a good movie. Unfortunately, I have a very small bladder. It’s a genetic abnormality: my dad has a small bladder, his dad had a small bladder and my kid will probably have a small bladder. Thus, without further ado, allow me to introduce you to my patent-pending bathroom break movie rating system, also known as the pee score. A great movie will keep me in my seat no matter how badly I have to pee. A good movie generally results in me leaving my seat once to use the restroom, a mediocre movie will usually cause me to find an excuse to hit the head twice, and a terrible movie generally causes me to find the restroom at least three different times. Though the pee score generally correlates to the overall quality of a film, there are exceptions to every rule – so don’t just look at the number of samples attached to this review, be sure to read my words as well to get the real scoop on the latest movies coming out in Gainesville’s theatres.

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