Fast & Furious 6 (2013)

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Directed By: Justin Lin 

Written By: Chris Morgan and Gary Scott Thompson

Starring: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Dwayne Johnson, Luke Evans, and other various supporting actors

Well that was realistic…

They’re back and they’re the good guys. That’s right. Leave it to Hobbs (Johnson), a special forces cop, to get Toretto (Johnson) and his crew back to work. They are working to capture Shaw (Evans), a military-trained criminal, that is out to steal a chip that is capable of shutting down an entire country for 24 hours. This chip would be capable of essentially destroying that respective country. The stakes are high, the muscles are big, and the cars go fast.. What could go wrong, right?

To answer the previous question, a lot more than viewers would think. I’m struggling to tell the difference between action movies anymore. Just about everyone has begun to feel the same. Fast & Furious 6 is no exemption. The storyline is washed out and utterly disappointing. The attempt to differentiate itself by switching the setting (again) backfires on them (again). While I like watching big guys kick each others asses as much as everyone else, I can simply not get over the redundancy of the series.

The first Fast & Furious is a good-watch and one of the better action movies of 2001. The second, third, and fourth installments were very disappointing (especially three). I take my hat off to them for their perseverance for sticking with a series that had three consecutive disappointing efforts. Fast Five brought back viewers interest in the series. The Rio setting was appealing and people were  again drawn in by the badass thieves.

Unfortunately, the only aspect of the fast & furious series that was even somewhat original was removed in Fast & Furious 6. They are now the good guys. It’s human nature to want to be a badass, so when the protagonist(s) are bad guys, the movie instantly becomes more exhilarating. Take that aspect away, and it might as well be  Mission Impossible 5: Fast Cars.

The action scenes make no effort to be the slightest bit realistic. In fact, it is just the opposite: It is almost as if the writers made an effort to be unrealistic. I mean, didn’t we already see the ending of this movie in Toy Story? And Argo? In what would be taken by many as the most climatic scene, my theater began to laugh uncontrollably. The writing of the story is embarrassing and the directing could not save it. Just Lin’s direction is perfectly good. He does the best he could with what he had, but he didn’t have much.

The acting is typical action crap. Don’t Worry! Dwayne Johnson is just as awful at acting as he is at hiding his steroid use (nothing new). Paul Walker continues to do his best with a series that seems especially exhausted. Jordana Brewster is still a babe, but we don’t see her much in her relatively minor role. The acting is simply nothing to speak of.

Overall, Fast & Furious 6 can not successfully follow in Fast Five’s foot steps. Bad decisions with the characters mixed with general poor writing made the film just another mediocre summer action flick.

IMDb: 76/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 70/100

Metacritic: 61/100

Best Picture Movie Reviews: 63/100

Series Roundup: With every new addition, I like to rank every film in the series from Best to Worst:

1. Fast Five (2011)

2. The Fast and the Furious (2001)

3. Fast & Furious 6 (2013)

4. 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003)

5. Fast & Furious (2009)

6. The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006)

In Theaters this Week (April 26 – May 2)

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Expectation: 50/100

Pain & Gain. Hmmm… one of my least favorite directors directing a movie starring a mediocre action star and one of my favorite actors. Michael Bay is a joke of director. He relies too heavily on special effects and not heavily enough on a script or even a developed storyline. Dwayne Johnson is an actor that will keep getting strong and stronger, but his acting will stay equally as disappointing. Now Mark Wahlberg is a different story. I had always had respect for this man, but after seeing The Fighter, my appreciation for his work went through the roof. When I met him in person last year, I realized that I was meeting one of my favorite actors. Now I might be able to get over my hatred for Michael Bay if he actually decides to direct a quality script. While I am interested in the story behind Pain & Gain, I just can’t see any quality material behind this one.

Expectation: 10/100

Expectation: 10/100

The Big Wedding. I could have told you what a disaster this one was going to be before it received an 8% on Rotten Tomatoes. I don’t know what it is with these ensemble comedies, but they really seem to be a disaster as of late. Just take a few examples from the last couple years: New Year’s Eve, Movie 43, Valentine’s Day. These are all movies that have caused viewers to feel like they have just wasted an hour and a half of their life. Expect The Big Wedding to be soon forgotten, and I don’t think that will be a bad thing. Oh, and I thought De Niro was done with this shit after Silver Linings Playbook.. I guess I was wrong.

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Expectation: 90/100

Mud. There were three movies that I was really excited for the first 1/3 of the year. Two of them were Side Effects (met expectations) and The Place Beyond the Pines (a disappointment), and the last one was Mud. Mud has been towards the top of my watch list since I heard about it when I was reading up on Cannes last year. After getting a glimpse of the trailer, my “great movie” light went off. Matthew McConaughey has recently become one of my favorite actors. While I’m not a huge Reese Witherspoon fan, I’ve heard she only has five minutes worth the screen time. I’m expecting a lot out of Mud, so anything short of fantastic will be a disappointment. Mud is getting a limited release on April 26 in 353 theaters nation wide.

In Theaters this Week (March 29-April 4)

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Expectation: 20/100

What was Paramount thinking? After the disaster that G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra was both critically (34% on Rotten Tomatoes) and financially (income of $150 million on a $175 million budget) one would think that they would realize that this whole G.I. Joe idea is one to throw away, but nope. After the June 2012 release date was pushed back to expand upon Channing Tatum’s character due to his new level of stardom, it was clear that there was very little faith in this film. Dwayne Johnson will continue to attempt (and fail) to prove himself as an action star. It looks like it will be more of the same for the G.I. Joe series (not a good thing), and all that we can do as viewers is hope that this is the last time Paramount wastes their money on this failed reboot of a previously successful franchise. G.I. Joe was cool in the 80’s, but not anymore.

Expectation: 40/100

Expectation: 40/100

Based upon a novel coming from one of the most famous modern authors, Stephenie Meyer, is The Host. What else did she write, you ask? Ever heard of Twilight? No way! Hold up, it can’t be that bad can it? I don’t think so. I’m not saying it will be good, but it would have to be quite the disaster if it ended up as bad (and successful) as Twilight. It will attempt to follow the same path as Twilight with the ” teen epic romance” genre, which is a disaster of a genre as it is (see: I am Number Four). At least it doesn’t have Kristen Stewart in it :p. I’m having trouble finding positive or negative things about The Host, so I expect it to be as mediocre as the prologue and trailer suggest it to be.

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Expectation: 10/100

What is Tyler Perry? Is he an overweight old woman? Is he a comedy writer? Or is he a dramatic director? Some would say all the above, but personally I think he should stick to being an old woman. The fact that he must put his name on everything that he does just shows how desperate he is for people to recognize him as a legitimate filmmaker. All of his films are embarrassments to the screens that they are shown on, and don’t expect Temptation to be any different. In fact, if it is different, it might even be worse. Keep trying Tyler, maybe you will finally make a film worth watching, but that film will not be Temptation. Actually, maybe he should just stop trying.

Expectation: 90/100

Expectation: 90/100

As I said in my previous edition of ‘In Theaters this Week’ my most anticipated movie of 2013 comes out this week. That movie is The Place Beyond the Pines. With my newfound respect for Bradley Cooper as an actor and my never-ending appreciation for Ryan Gosling, the cast looks very strong. The only questionable decision was the casting of Eva Mendes, but from what I’ve heard, she does a decent job in her role. The entire epic vision behind ‘Pines’ is really what gets me excited. I’m also a big fan of movies that take place over an extended period of time, and this film takes place over a 19 year period. Yes, the prologue and trailer did scream Drive to me too, but if you were to ask me what my favorite 2011 film was, it would be Drive, which makes the idea of “Drive with a twist” sound pretty damn good to me. Not to mention that Blue Valentine was a true piece of beauty, which makes director Derek Cainfrance’s name one that instantly grabs my attention. It should be noted that March 29th is the limited release (April 12th wide release), and it will only be playing in four theaters (two in LA and two in NYC).  I am fortunate to live within 4 miles of one of those four theaters, but I am on vacation in Chicago until Tuesday, so don’t expect a review until Thursday. I will be sure to also include this in my April 12th edition of ‘In Theaters this Week’.

An interesting fact is that my average expectation for March was a 47. All we can hope is that April is something that gets March out of our minds.

This week starts a string of three weeks in a row where there is a film that will have above a 75 expectation rating :D!