Director: Justin Lin
Starring: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Dwayne Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez and Gina Carano
Review Written By: Michael Dalton (Prime Minister)
I would attempt to recount the plot set-up for this film however essentially; there are good guys in cars and bad guys in cars. They race these cars and occasionally they punch each other. These films are not looked upon to provide layered or deep stories and needles to say, if its substance you’re looking for, look elsewhere. The dialogue is nothing more than cliché spouting, with every line sounding as if it was written for the trailer. The dialogue is at times laughably contrived and it doesn’t help that the cast delivering it aren’t exactly the finest actors working today. Where the script is most at fault however is in its second act where ultimately unnecessary subplots are introduced and ill-judged attempts are made at development under the misguided assumption that we actually care about the people involved (Apologies to all of you Fast & Furious lovers who do indeed care about the trials and tribulations of this ‘family’ of criminals) It is in this movement of the film where the pace sags significantly and the dumb action fun meter is turned down, revealing the hollowness within. Additionally the script is lazy and borderline if not outright offensive in the way in which it deals with two of its female characters, who despite establishing lives and in some cases families with the lead male characters, are more than willing for them to risk their lives and in one case actually leave them for another woman. It’s not just that they are accepting of these decisions, they actively push for them.
Moving away from a lazy, cliché and hole-ridden screenplay and towards the directing, this is where the film is legitimately commendable. Justin Lin is an incredibly accomplished action filmmaker and the set pieces in this film are genuinely thrilling and deserve much credit for their undoubtedly complicated construction. Unlike many action films, Furious 6 (As its title card calls it) escalates perfectly, with each set piece being bigger and better than the one that came before it. While all of them test your suspension of disbelief, none of them test your patience…well not if you’re a male under the age of 30 anyway. The plane scene despite appearing to take place on the world’s longest runway is quite frankly an astonishing feat of action cinema. The way in which multiple elements are coherently and excitingly handled results in a spectacle that any fan of action cinema is sure to get a kick out of. This film also contains many visceral hand-to-hand combat scenes, with this film having a tangibility that many blockbusters of this ilk lack.
The acting is expectedly mediocre, with Dwayne Johnson and Vin Diesel mumbling and posing their way through their dialogue, each in this movie due to the size of their muscles not due to their acting ability. However this isn’t a film you go into expecting great acting, or a great story, yet great spectacle and great spectacle is what you get. Will fans of the series and most of those who go into this be satisfied with what they see? Yes. While cliché the dialogue does provide moments of unintentional humour, ditto with the preposterous moments within the action, with one moment in particular garnering the mass laughter in my theatre that is usually reserved for comedies. The film’s two biggest sins are its story as opposed to its dialogue and it’s length, with two hours and ten minutes being forty minutes too long for a film of this sort. Due to the way in which the movie escalates, it left me on a high and the rather clumsily positioned ‘mid-credits’ scene ensured that not only will I be seeing the seventh installment of this franchise but that I’ll be looking forward to it. It was a reveal and surprise that like some of the action in this film, harkened back to better days of action cinema rather than of the modern era of action films that this series is a part of, helped create and continues to perpetuate.
By Movie Parliament Prime Minister,
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