- Green Lantern or Van Wilder: The Rise of Hal - 6 January, 2014
- The Internship or Google: A True Underdog Story - 10 December, 2013
- Alien Vs. Predator or Salmon Fishing in the Arctic - 2 December, 2013
There’s something just so reassuring about watching a Fast and Furious film. The pneumatic, testosterone fuelled men and women, the ludicrous plotlines, the pimped-out pageantry, the inevitable triumph of the anti-heroes, even the whimsical resurrection of key characters as and when required. You can turn up halfway through the spectacle and still know exactly what’s going on. It’s a little like watching a painstakingly choreographed wrestling match which kind of explains the casting of the Rock and Vin Diesel as the main protagonists, Luke Hobbs and Dominic Toretto.
This latest installment sees the action transplanted to London thus keeping with the recent F&F tradition of moving the franchise between Olympic locations, (Rio, Tokyo, London). The Rock, or Dwayne Johnson as he now insists on being called, uses the film to take another giant leap forward in his quest to become the first human to be composed entirely out of muscle. In Fast 6 he persuades fellow meathead Dominic Toretto to come out of retirement and assist him in catching ex-Special Forces soldier turned mercenary, Owen Shaw (Luke Evans).
Shaw has assembled his own crew of outlaw racers who, as helpfully pointed out by Tyrese Gibson, are the evil twin counterparts to Toretto’s crew. Shaw’s cadre also comprises Michelle Rodriguez as Letty who, it conveniently turns out, wasn’t horribly blown up in an earlier film. Shaw’s dastardly scheme involves stealing a number of hi-tech doo-hickeys and somehow welding them all together to create a Bond villain-esque device to shut down half the internet thus provoking global riots by World of Warcraft fans.
The only thing standing in his way are Toretto and his motley collection of hustlers who count amongst their number a serving Diplomatic Security Service officer, an ex-Mossad operative and ex-FBI agent. Crime obviously paying the bills then. For some reason, the Rock seems to have the ability to grant pardons, oversee both police and military operations in whatever country he’s in and pull rank on much more senior officials and diplomats which I can only assume is the same in real life as well.
As the film meanders on, everyone is able to gallivant around London in their shiny souped-up vehicles causing untold mayhem and destruction. Any local law enforcement that does dare intrude on the action is soon slapped back into place and the carnage is allowed to continue and escalate. Eventually everyone tires of the London weather and the conscious decision is made to relocate to sunny Spain and get a tank involved because, let’s face it, car chases can get a little monotonous after while without a little changeup.
The film’s finale involves the world’s longest runway, flying cars, explosions, betrayal, sacrifice, three hundred pound men falling from the sky, and of course the ragtag band of misfits overcomes the highly trained military professionals, secure their pardons and fly home to enjoy domestic bliss with their millions of dollars. Until such time as their unique skillset to generate millions of dollars is once again required by studio executives. So, next summer then…
Is there anything out there that can derail or even slow down the Fast and Furious express? No matter how preposterous the story, how ludicrous the set pieces, how insanely ripped the lead actors the box office receipts show that our need for speed and petrol head porn remains unabated and increasing with every latest installment. Indeed, rather like a rolling stone, the franchise seems to be gathering more momentum and attracting an ever more stellar cast. A further three sequels are in the pipeline with talk of a spin-off film for the Rock’s character. So, until the world runs out of fuel and descends into a state of anarchy, buckle up and enjoy the ride.