Saturday, 26 October 2013

Fast & Furious 6

Lowdown: Good people with fast cars beating bad people with fast cars.
It’s not often that I feel the need to defend me watching a particular film, but Fast & Furious 6 is such a case. As in, why did I bother wasting my time in front of a film that I know with quite a lot of confidence, even though I only caught snippets of its prequels and never watched one of them from start to finish, to be pathetically silly?
My excuses are two. First, there is nothing wrong with the occasional mind numbing that comes with the likes of a Fast & Furious. Call it catharsis from the grinding daily routine. And second, it’s not me; it’s my son. As in, we watched the trailer while he was sick and we ran through a movie trailer marathon on our Apple TV. He got very excited with the prospect of an action scene featuring fast cars battling a tank, so we progressed through watching the entire scene in YouTube (through a video that must have infringed every copyright and user agreement ever conceived, but yeah, I cared a lot). And now that the movie itself became available for proper viewing at home, that was the next possible escalation.
You might stop me at this point to ask what a six year old is doing watching a movie that’s rated for humans older than twice his age. The answer is that I do my own classifications: I do not see much harm in my son getting occasionally exposed to that most evil of words, “fuck”, which seems to be the classification board’s most dreaded nemesis. It’s the violence that counts, and Fast & Furious’ type of violence - people driving cars in so improbable a way it feels more like a video game - is perfectly fine for the video gamer that happens to be my son.
Anyway… Being that I don’t know much about the series, it was surprisingly easy to figure out what’s going on in Fast & Furious 6. Essentially, we have ourselves a gang of criminals (but good Christians) who made their money robbing things with fast cars, led by Vin Diesel. They did their thing already and now they’re retired, living out of USA law enforcement reach in all sorts of exotic locations. On the other side of the ring we have a carbon copy gang that is now doing its round of robbing. For reasons the movie never bother clarifying, the former are goodies and the latter baddies; so when fast cars are used in an exotic robbery at Russia, American law enforcers (now taking care of Russian law enforcement too, obviously) led by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson come knocking on Diesel’s door for help, offering amnesty as a reward. Because, you know, the only way a gang of robbers with fast cars can be stopped is with another gang of robbers with fast cars. Let’s make a film or six out of that!
Adventure follows. A silly adventure, because things don't make sense and the laws of physics are defied left and right. For example, did you know that falling off a high speed car would get you killed, but jump off a high speed car to land on another car and you'll be perfectly fine (whether that destination car is stationary or not is of no consequences in the F&F world of physics)?
The resulting film does feel a lot like James Bond. Not only do we have men being machos, good looking women playing various support roles, cool cars and gadgets; we also have an adventure that moves about a world connected by one theme - wherever one goes, Americans are the ones that call the shots. Oh, and arguments are settled either by standing firm and looking tough/cool, or with some sort of a car chase.
Best scene: That tank vs. cars chase on a Spanish highway doesn't make the slightest of sense, but it is exciting.
Funniest scene: At the end of the day, our heroes - people who do not hesitate to kill, to rob and to put the public around them in danger - join hands for a Christian prayer to commemorate their upcoming meal. That's religion in a nutshell for you.
Overall: This mind numbing nonsense with fast moving cars does not deserve more than 2.5 out of 5 stars.

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