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Non-Review Review: The Fast & The Furious 6

The ideal The Fast & The Furious film could only properly be summated with hand gestures and poorly improvised sound effects. “Rrrrrrr….” and then (wavy hand movement) and then “smack!” and then (index finger jams into opposite palm), followed a “bb’tccccch…” and (outward gesture of hand indicating explosion). Fast Five came close to being that perfect macho car chase film, one less concerned with plot and performance than a riveting high-octane spectacle treating its human cast as much like props as the vehicles they drive.

The Fast & The Furious 6 backs away a great deal from the charm of the previous film. There’s the same dumb action set pieces delivered in a charmingly intense manner by Justin Lin, but the script feels over-plotted. There are lots of big emotional moments between an ensemble that really wasn’t built to give those sorts of performances. There are lots of shocking revelations from events several films earlier. There are lots of personal conversations where Lin has no idea what to do with the camera but circle around his actors and hope that the audience doesn’t get too bored.

Not so fast...

Not so fast…

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Watch! New Fast & Furious 6 Trailer!

The folks from Universal Pictures Ireland just sent over these two clips from The Fast & the Furious 6. I actually quite liked Fast Five, so I’m a little curious if the franchise can maintain the relatively light touch and no-nonsense action movie vibe for another instalment. I remember watching one of the trailers at the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival before the surprise film. The audience reacted much more strongly to two minutes of the tank and highway mayhem of The Fast & the Furious 6 than to a full two hours of the somewhat sterile Hollywood-violence-in-London of Welcome to the Punch.

Anyway, check them out below and let me know what you think.

 

Watch! Fast & Furious 6 Trailer!

I’ll confess that I actually quite enjoyed Fast Five, the fifth instalment in The Fast & The Furious franchise. Not to the extent that I’m salivating at the release of the next instalment, but enough that I’m cautiously optimistic. The series hasn’t been the most consistent from film to film, but when it is good it is very solid popcorn entertainment. Anyway, check out the Superbowl trailer below.

Non-Review Review: Fast Five

Fast Five reminds me a lot of the kinds of cars that its leads drive. Now, please excuse me if the metaphor is a bit clunky. I know nothing of cars. However, whenever we cut to inside one of these enhanced driving machines, it’s clear that virtually every unnecessary component has been stripped out in order to make room for more relevant pieces of equipment. The passenger seat, for example, has been removed and replaced with some canisters I can only assume allow the car to go faster. In many ways, Fast Five feels a bit like that. I knows exactly the film that it wants to be, and it knows exactly what it needs to be that sort of film. Anything else – whether wit, sophistication or character development – is all just dead weight between fast one-liners, impressive action sequences and effective stunt work. And, I am not ashamed to admit, I actually quite enjoyed it on its own terms.

Let’s Rock ‘n’ Roll…

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The Sequel Myth and the Death of Originality in Hollywood…

It seems that every other day somebody is taking the opportunity be bemoan Hollywood’s creative bankruptcy. The decision not to press ahead with Del Toro’s version of The Mountains of Madness sparked a similar debate a little while ago, and the success of films like The Fast & The Furious Five seem to be raising the topic once again as we enter summer. It’s become something of a mantra for film fans, quietly chanted and repeated, something that we can use to continually bash the studios over the heads with. And, truth be told, I’m tired of it.

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