December 31, 2013.

This blog is now closed. After three years and 311 posts, I have decided to end this blog. I have enjoyed watching the films, reviewing them, and interacting with global readers.

If you are interested in contacting me, you can do so by commenting on any of the posts. The blog will remain live on the web.
Thank you to all the readers for your comments, ideas, and thoughts. They were helpful, stimulating, and enriching. This is Alene, signing off.

June 14, 2013

Fast and Furious 6 (2013)

When it’s over, what a rush. Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and Brian Conner (Paul Walker) regroup with the crew to stop a terrorist (Luke Evans) and to save Letty (Michelle Rodriguez), who has resurfaced after being presumed dead.  In return for their services, Dom wants full pardons for his crew from CIA Agent Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson). Two words that make this sixth installment so exciting – Justin Lin. He is incredibly fast and furious in his direction as demonstrated in the last four installments - The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, Fast and Furious, Fast Five, and now Fast and Furious 6. He knows the characters and the genre, and brings it full-throttle on the screen with all the action, sexiness, and style that has made the series so popular. There are some great stunts involving a tank, a cargo plane, and of course, cars (more than 30 different models and makes). The stunts defy gravity and are all over the top, but they work, and in an unbelievable way, they offer the illusion of realism. Lin directs these sequences with pure NOS. He holds nothing back. Well shot. Well executed. Well edited. Action does not only come in chases and explosions, but hand-to-hand combat, and there’s plenty of realistic choreography to make the fights believable, especially between Letty and Agent Riley (Gina Carano). There are some serious fighting between the two tough women, making the fight scenes between the men pale by comparison. Evans is terrific as the ruthless villain, Shaw, and holds his own up against Dominic, proving that a well-cast villain bumps up the value of the film. The returning cast pick up where leave off in Fast 5. Roman (Tyrese Gibson) and Tej (Ludacris) play off each other, offering up some of the best one liners in the film. Mia (Jordana Brewster) is back playing mother to baby Jack Conner, and even though she has limited screen time, she represents the poker chip in Shaw’s pocket. Han (Sung Kang) and Gisele (Gal Gadot) are still together, and I am disappointed that their relationship takes a turn. I think the two deserve more, but who knows? Anything can happen in Fast and Furious 7. In this installment, Hobbs and Dominic work together instead of against each other. They are partners in an unconventional way, blurring the fine line between law and crime, and it looks like a beautiful friendship may be brewing. Lastly, Brian meets fatherhood, and a new set of responsibilities come with the job. Fast 6 feels like it comes full circle, ending where it started back in 2001.

My rating: 4 out of 5

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