WARNING: This entry contains a few major spoilers for Fast & Furious 6.
I want to start off by saying the Fast and Furious franchise is a guilty pleasure of mine, right beside The Transporter movies. On the whole, I acknowledge that the acting in the Fast and Furious movies is pretty terrible, the stunts are a far cry from realistic, and the story itself is generally forgettable. At the same time, there are some aspects to the franchise that I think are worth appreciating.
Right about the fourth movie, I started viewing the Fast story as one of those never ending soap operas (i.e. General Hospital, Passions, The Guiding Light, etc.), except condensed into movie form. We have characters that “die” and come back to life, really cheesy acting, and of course the overarching story only moving about a few inches each movie.
As ridiculous as half the film is though, I think what keeps bringing me back to this series (aside from the beautiful fast cars) would probably have to be the way all the movies just kind of fit together like little puzzle pieces. This is a set of movies where it’s not based off of a book, so there is no sure way to tell which way the story is going to go (though not to say it’s entirely unpredictable), and it’s also somewhat surprising how long it’s lasted.
My favorite character in the Fast series probably has to be Han, and yes, I admit it’s in part because he’s an Asian actor, but more so than that, it’s because he’s an Asian actor in a predominantly English-speaking movie that doesn’t make me cringe (the part underlined being the key thing here).
I didn’t do any research on the movie beforehand, but I can say that whether Fast & Furious 6 meant to or not, it sort of fleshes out Han’s back story and pulls Tokyo Drift in and makes it part of the canon. By the end of the movie, I was left with the question of whether or not we’d see characters from Tokyo Drift again next film, and whether or not Han will be confirmed as dead or will there be another eyebrow-raising resurrection like Letty. I don’t think Giselle will be coming back in any case, because if she lives then there’s no way Owen Shaw could have died since he basically took the same type of fall from that outrageous airplane scene at the end. A shame though, because I really did like her with Han, not to mention I thought it was pretty awesome the way her character bowed out.
Probably the funniest thing for me about this movie was that prior to seeing it, for the first time I thought to myself, you know what would be pretty cool? If Jason Statham were in this movie, and if he played a villain for once. Since I hadn’t heard of the rumors that this could be the case beforehand, I was totally boosted when I saw at the end of Fast and Furious 6 that Jason Statham would indeed be a villain, and that according to IMDb, he has been cast as Owen Shaw’s older brother, Ian Shaw. So next movie is going to be all about revenge for both sides—Shaw for his bro, and the Fast team for Han. All I can say about that is I’m very glad the seventh installment is slated for next year, and I can’t wait!
While I was proud that I called the Jason Statham bit out, the one part that I wasn’t able to call out (but I probably should have, in hindsight) was finding the mole in the Fast team. I blame the fact that all the action scenes successfully distracted me from focusing on figuring out who Shaw’s informant might be.
Supposedly this is supposed to turn into a 9-movie franchise, which is crazy in my opinion—I mean, after the 7th movie, I wonder what else there would really be left to cover. Then again, maybe that’s just talk and 7 will really be the last one. If they do decide to go on with two more films, then this franchise will be up there with some of the longest running movie franchises ever, like Halloween, the Star Trek films, and the Jame Bond movies. If you add the short films to the count, then this series is already up there.
Anyway, by the end of this movie, it had me wanting to marathon all the Fast movies as well as re-watch Jason Statham’s Transporter movies. At some point, I think I will do just that.
For those who are interested in the order of the Fast films by timeline, here it is:
The Fast and the Furious (2001)
Turbo-Charged Prelude (2003, short film on special edition of the 1st film)
2 Fast 2 Furious (2003)
Los Bandoleros (2009, short film on special edition of Fast & Furious, 4th film)
Fast & Furious (2009)
Fast Five (2011)
Fast & Furious 6 (2013)
The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006)
Fast & Furious 7 (slated for July 2014)
As I’ve mentioned before, by themselves, the films are pretty terrible and only really good as that movie adrenaline shot for when you’re just in the mood to watch something that doesn’t take too much thought and is visually appealing. Collectively, I personally have been finding it kind of entertaining to see everything pan out.
FINAL VERDICT: C
I think the movie is enjoyable enough to watch at least once in theaters, but it is by no means anything extraordinary. The first film will always be my favorite, but I think this comes at a close second when it comes to this series, with Tokyo Drift pulling in third only really because of Han.
I’m a little skeptical of how good the next movie will be since the director is changing, but hopefully it won’t be too bad. I’ll still be looking forward to it. Hope to see a trailer for it soon.
As far as mindless action, The Transporter was enjoyable enough; the story was every bit as flat as Fast 6’s, but Jason Statham did a good job and Shu Qi was beautiful. The action was plenty stylish too. I didn’t see either of its sequels.
I’m surprised you liked Tokyo Drift as much as you did since it is widely considered the worst film in the series. I saw a little bit of it and I remember the racing scenes being pretty unconvincing CG. I kind of felt like Han’s character more or less supported the stereotype people have of Asians having a fetish for fast import cars (I’m personally with Toretto in that I prefer American muscle :P).
Haha, it was the worst film in the series. I said the only reason why I like Tokyo Drift is because of Han, not due to any other reason. Sure his role wasn’t completely free of Asian stereotypes, but I like his laid-back acting style.
Tokyo Drift was actually the best film in the series…not just because of Han. People were upset that it took place in Tokyo, and that it wasn’t about any of the characters in F&F 1. However, as a standalone movie, it actually told fish out of water story and it was about Drifting and had character development. It is widely considered part 2 was the worse film in the series.
Nasen, clearly you are too young to remember Asian American roles before HAN and before Better Luck Tomorrow. You could not find many roles where Asian males were Asian American men who spoke English and were not into martial arts.
So apparently my response to this didn’t take on the website yesterday. Not sure why.
I actually liked that the story was set in Tokyo, though I do admit to being disappointed that at the time, it seemed like a spin-off rather than part of the canon, so I’m glad they reeled it in. I have heard mixed sentiments between 2 and 3, and I’ve also heard arguments for the 4th installment being the worst. The only thing I really enjoyed about Tokyo Drift aside from Han was the drifting, because I admit, that was pretty cool. As for the rest of it, I think it was too much overacting for me and I wasn’t particularly fond of Lucas Black, which is why his performance in 42 surprised me since I do think his acting has improved at least some.
I approved your comment since I do like hosting differing opinions on my blog, but I ask that next time please refrain from bashing others who comment. Everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion. Nasen is one of my regulars, and though I don’t always see eye-to-eye with others about how we felt about a movie, I don’t think it’s necessary to cut someone else down for their opinion. There’s more respectful ways of disagreeing that leave room for healthy debate, which I encourage. This blog is intended to be an environment where people can honestly speak their mind without people being afraid someone is going to try and take hits at them just because their view doesn’t align with the “majority.”
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Good review Rae. It’s crazy and insane, but that’s what makes it so much fun to begin with. You never have to take it seriously, and instead, just let loose of your mind and your brain.
Thanks! 🙂 Good to see you, Dan! 😀 I know I need to get on top of visiting your page soon! I stop by later this week if not sooner!