'Fast 6:' Not really an action movie
MANILA, Philippines - It may not be that obvious, but "Fast & Furious 6," the latest in an unlikely franchise that began in 2001, is not really an action movie.
Sure, it has car chases, car flips, car crashes and mixed martial arts star Gina Carano. True, it has people punching, kicking, shooting, stabbing and leaping at each other. And boy, does it have explosions, bombs set off, cars shot at, a car-loaded cargo plane held up or an out-of-nowhere tank blasting away in broad daylight.
Such surface impressions aside, "Fast & Furious 6" is actually about a subliminal “F&F”—fantasy and freedom.
Of course the "Fast & Furious" movies have essentially been one big fantasy-and-freedom mélange after another. Perhaps it’s this film's particularly thin plot—reformed bad guys are recruited to thwart an active bad guy’s plan to hold on to some militarily powerful microchip—and B-movie dialogue (“I got a tank on my ass” is a highlight) that let my mind wander long enough to realize director Justin Lin, scriptwriter Chris Morgan et al.’s, um, effing agenda.
Here is the final trailer for ‘Fast & Furious 6’:
Within its 130-minute spread, this movie fulfills many an adrenaline-seeking viewer’s fantasy for souped-up vehicles that not only roar like wild, urban jungle animals but also crash through aircraft and glitzy boutiques. It satisfies the extreme desire of vehicular warfare enthusiasts with the image of, say, a tank flattening random cars. It satiates any voyeuristic urge to ogle at barely-dressed women with shapely butts or steroidal men who are more muscular than their auto-monstrosities. And it serves as platonic vessel for anyone raring to put fists and feet to fighting and flinging use.
On that score, and beyond its detailed yet uncomplicated story, "Fast & Furious 6" is a dramatization of many freedoms yearned for by its millions of faceless viewers—the freedom to break glass, the freedom to kick ass, the freedom to reduce premium cars to a battered pulp, the freedom to race away as if gravity, traffic, gasoline and global warming are inconsequential figments of our imagination.
I believe it may be that quality that drove some friends and other Filipinos to root for "Fast & Furious 6"—and that’s not counting the goodwill visit to the country by cast members Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Gina Carano and Luke Evans. Its high-octane trailer had promised drop-dead ludicrous stunts and the full-length finished product does deliver, with many of its riotous set pieces bordering on head-slapping amusement and creative craziness. Even the epilogue that kicks off the end credits is a hoot, not only for inducting a blistering new addition to the franchise (no spoiler here) but also for circling back to a previous "Fast" installment.
Still, the film is not without ills.
For one thing, it features some post-production excesses, namely wanton use of either much too CGI or haphazard editing, or both, resulting in several action scenes being more about inducing confusion than building tension. And there are the emotional and verbal loopholes, such as the unbelievably fleeting acknowledgement of a character’s demise and an array of woeful spoken lines that are not even campy fun, making Sylvester Stallone’s "The Expendables" seem like high art.
Would it be foolish to yearn for the film's star and executive producer Diesel and his cohorts to have injected some oomph into "Fast's" story and dialogue as much as they have into the flick’s menagerie of gas guzzlers—or for them to make up for it via part 7 (already due out in 2014)? After all, who wants to be stuck in a snazzy hunk of a car whose sound system is blasting nothing but muzak? - Rappler.com
‘Fast & Furious 6,’ rated PG-13 by the MTRCB, is showing in theaters across the Philippines.