In times of great boredom I am drawn to escape the tissue of lies that is my benign corporate existence and I achieve this by seeing anything and everything I can at the cinema.
While many podcast reviewers would tend to be a little more discerning, I love to see possible stinkers with a glint of youthful optimism; in the hope that someone, somewhere, thought it was a turd worth polishing.
With this in mind I fronted up to Fast and the Furious 6 with two car enthusiast friends in it for the automotive eye candy. I have casually watched the series and in all honestly, it hasn’t exactly got me on the edge of my seat waiting for the next instalment. I’m not above watching the stunt driving and Vin Diesel’s ever-expanding chest and karate move repertoire in awe, and I’d be lying if I said I haven’t always wanted to own a fully sick Skyline, but in terms of memorable narrative and deep characterisation, it all tends to blur into one muscle-bound twin turbo candied turd. Or so I thought.
Fast and the Furious 6 gave me the shock of my life in more ways than one – firstly, while my viewing of the previous 5 instalments was casual at best, I found myself remembering enough intricate details to appreciate the near-flawless insertion of Fast 6 and the various subplots intertwining with the overall series picture, and Michelle Rodriguez returning to kick some serious ass. Vin Diesel remains a mostly soulless oil painting, especially under the depth of Jordana Brewster and even Dwayne Johnson.
Perhaps the main surprise was the utilisation of the female cast within the film, something not expected in a series that has mainly drawn a young male fanbase lured to the promise of fast cars and faster women. Women performed combat, espionage and tricky driving roles equal to the men, taking the same falls, kicks, punches and untimely deaths. Despite the obligatory romantic subplot, the film did not have the premise reliant on hero worship and damsel rescue that forms the backbone of so many examples of the action blockbuster.
Justin Lin, this is the best one yet and I unashamedly look forward to the next. However, do something about the never-ending runway yeah?