Seen: At the AMC/Loew’s at Boston Common.
My most anticipated movie of the summer! And that’s not me being ironic, it seriously was! And it’s here! And it’s GREAT! Fast & Furious 6 follows up the phenomenal Fast Five with even more ridiculous stunts and chase scenes and, best of all, badass ladies. The story picks up sometime after the previous film, with Toretto (Vin Diesel), O’Conner (Paul Walker), and their loved ones living quietly in a country without extradition. When their former adversary Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson), a super special agent (or something), shows up asking for help tracking down a deadly British gang composed of expert drivers, Toretto is talked into getting the old crew back together. His motivations, however, rest with the possibility that his dead girlfriend Letty (Michelle Rodriquez) might actually be alive and somehow involved with these British assholes. They all work together to uncover some mysteries and double crosses and bad guys, while driving around real fast.
I first watched all the Fast/Furious movies a while ago and admittedly I was pretty hard on them but I’ve come around since, and now I’m a big fan of the series, for all its ridiculousness and wild antics and corny writing. I’ve been through the whole series a few times now, most recently the month before 6 came out (admittedly, we skipped 2). In Fast Five, most of the film focused on a complex heist plan that worked kinda like an Ocean’s 11 plot line. This time around, we see how the crew reacts when their plans don’t come together. Everything is thrown at them, sometimes literally, from tanks and planes to kidnapped loved ones and treacherous partners. But everyone contributes their own skills (except Tyrese, who doesn’t really have any), and you know somehow they’ll pull through because of FAMILY (a word that’s used enough times to make it the only component of a Fast 6 drinking game). It is a truly exciting, intense film with jaw-dropping action and a good balance of levity and melodrama. These characters are so enjoyable to watch, and everyone seems like they’re having a swell time, even with the more serious undertones of the over-arching story. Ludacris and Tyrese are especially adorable together (and daaaaaamn Ludacris has nice abs!).
So this is a pretty rad movie in general, and for the most part I felt it was as great as Fast Five but then I realized it’s got one amazing thing that the other movies don’t showcase enough: Kickass Ladies! For real though, between Michelle Rodriguez, Gina Carano, and Gal Gadot, I was in super heroine heaven. They fight bad guys, they fight good guys, they fight each other, they fight all over the place! (They never actually pass the Bechdel Test, though I’d say they let their fists do their talking.) I was so happy about Rodriguez’s return that the amnesia cop-out didn’t bother me at all, especially since if I’m being honest you know I love most pulpy sensationalist twists/shortcuts. Also it meant she got to have all the fun of being a bad guy while still actually being a good guy! Wowee! Basically the ladies make this movie for me, even if as usual Jordana Brewster is given nothing to do and I kinda missed Elsa Pataky. But seriously these ladies are amazing and independent and written decently, and above all, ass-kicking. And while we’re on the subject, remember to read this Angie Han article.
Pair This Movie With: More Fast/Furious movies, I guess, if you’re marathoning like we do. Or Haywire to revisit the pure awesome that is Gina Carano.