Once upon a time, a dude named Tayne stole the honor of writing “Five Thoughts About Fast Five” from Sir Morpiedra himself. And, now, the tradition continues, as I – Sahar – have commandeered the Fast & Furious 6 mini-review from Tayne. (HAH! So, eat it!) Very graciously, I might add.
Now, what can I say about the entire Fast & the Furious franchise besides the fact that I’m a huge fan. I saw the first one as a newly graduated middle schooler (many moons ago) in the delightfully run-down Beltsville Loews movie theater in Maryland. I admit that I dropped off for the next two films but, now that I’ve seen them all, I just have to give Justin Lin MAD props for reviving the series. To be honest, I wanted to hate Tokyo Drift but it introduced us to Han, and he is just one of the best things about the Fast & the Furious movies. Of course, more on him in the following SIX thoughts on Fast & Furious 6. (Yeah, I’m one-upping your five thoughts, Tayne.)
I’m going to assume you guys have watched the movie but as always, be aware that there will be some spoilers up in this piece. And if you haven’t seen it, I would appreciate it if you would stand up right now, walk or drive to Arlington Courthouse AMC, purchase a ticket to the movie, get comfy in their fully reclining seats, and ENJOY YOUR DAMN SELF. Any other movie theater will be acceptable, too.
1. What you want? A whole lotta…. TYREEEEESE.
Tyrese was hands down one of the most hilarious things about this last movie. First off, he had a bromance going on with every single one of his bros. Second, he had jokes. And I mean – HE. HAD. JOKES. That, quite literally, had the entire theater guffawing (yours truly included). One of my favorite scenes was when Tyrese compared the physical resemblances between members of baddie Owen Shaw’s crew to their own – ending with a delightful comparison between Paul Walker‘s character Brian and — a blonde woman. Yup. A whole lotta….TYRESE.
2. I didn’t yawn once during the action sequences.
I love me an action movie. But – I must admit – sometimes watching action sequences can be so boring. (Personally, I’m more forgiving of sword fighting scenes.) The car action sequences in this movie, however, were all engaging and worth paying attention to. The tank rolling over cars like they were made of dough. The tank being flipped over. Dom (Vin Diesel) propelling himself out of his car to catch Letty who is thrown off the tank. CRAZY AWESOME. Plus, there was that whole scene with Han and Roman fighting against Joe Taslim‘s character Jah, an Owen Shaw cronie. And, by “fighting against” I mean “getting their asses handed to them by.” It was sad and hilarious and adorable. Speaking of adorable, any time that The Rock and Vin Diesel shared the screen was the pinnacle of badassery! Let’s be real, seeing them team up against Owen Shaw was warm-fuzzies-inducing. Aww.
3. Owen Shaw provided a formidable foe.
Action movies can get a bit campy. And it’s usually because the baddie is a completely unbelievable caricature. Now, I won’t go so far as to say that Owen Shaw was an absolutely real portrayal of a human man. But he was pretty close. You could believe that he might exist. And the *gasp* double cross reveal was actually kinda shocking. Agent Hobbs might have sung Riley‘s praises a bit too loud and too frequently for it to be a total surprise. But the movie was so action-packed that I wasn’t really thinking about it until it happened. And then it was like BAM! She punked us all, including The Rock. And we were all left wide-eyed and confused and damn it if I didn’t feel a little betrayed. Who does this little upstart think she is!
4. I kept expecting everyone to hold hands and break out in song.
I’m not even kidding. There was this great feeling of camaraderie throughout the movie. We know Dom’s crew members all love each other. But Agent Luke Hobbs has also grown to love these guys. He trusts them and he respects them. And more so than anyone else, he specifically trusts and respects Dom. There’s more than one mention of “family,” Dom’s favorite description of his crew. Shaw points it out as Dom’s greatest weakness, but come on, we know that’s his most endearing quality. To go off script for a second, watching this movie was like watching a team of superheroes (a la the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles or something) banding together to battle against evil. But, ya know, with cars.
Han (Sung Kang) has been my favorite character in all of this since he showed up in Tokyo Drift. And, weirdly enough, I actually saw him in the fourth Fast & Furious movie before seeing Tokyo Drift. (Still loved him, by the way.) Unfortunately, watching Tokyo Drift makes it very clear where Han’s story will end. And, yet, I still refused to believe that he really died. Maybe he got out of the car before it exploded? Maybe he had an explosion-proof blanket that he covered himself with? Maybe he’ll come back as a ghost in Fast & Furious 7? No. I want any of that to be true, but no. HANNNNNNN. Whyyyy? But the reason he goes to Tokyo makes complete sense now. Losing Gisele was a game-changer for him – he just didn’t care anymore. I admit, I may have shed a tear when she dies for him. And I applaud Sung Kang for making that emotion real in those moments. I’m somewhat of an Asian American studies nerd (and Korean studies nerd), so Han as a character was a fascination. After we left the theater the other day, my Korean-American boyfriend says, “I’m sad Han’s dead, too. He was the first cool Asian good guy.” I think I can bet that a lot of people felt this way. The great thing about Han was that he was real. He’s not a supernerd (I love that Ludacris gets to be the super techie guy in this franchise) but he’s not a martial arts expert either. For awhile, that’s all Asian American men were portrayed as in film (i.e.: the notorious Long Duk Dong; i.e.: the renowned Bruce Lee). Let me try not to get into an Asian American film discussion (because, trust me, I will if you let me). It’s just that Han is cool – and he doesn’t have to prove it in any over-the-top way.
6. Three times the endings equals three times the fun.
Last but not least, I have to address the fact that this movie almost ended twice before the real ending. First, there’s the chase scene after everyone is lured to Shaw’s hideout. And, you’re thinking, This is too early for the final scene, right? Right. That’s not it. Then, there’s the tank chase scene on the bridge highways. That one’s so crazy and then they catch Shaw. So, you’re then thinking, Man, that was a great fight scene… was that the ending? But, I could’ve sworn there was something about an airplane…? Yeah, don’t forget that airplane. Because cue the DOUBLECROSS. And there goes Shaw, fleeing. And then we get the death-defying action scenes that bring us to the actual end of the movie. It was like each time they tricked us a little and then they turned up the dial one notch. Well worth it!