The Countdown to “Fate of the Furious” Continues: “Furious 6”

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Remember when these movies were about street racing?

Kevin: It’s appropriate that the newest entry in the “Fast and Furious” series has been released on the weekend in which we celebrate the resurrection of Christ, as the franchise over the years has performed an even more divine miracle: resurrecting the careers of Vin Diesel and Paul Walker. With the addition of The Rock in “Fast Five,” our long march toward “The Fate of the Furious” is nearly complete as today’s entry, “Furious 6,” sees the series officially go from street racing to globe-trotting James Bond territory:

(You can read our previous reviews here):

“The Fast and the Furious”

“2 Fast 2 Furious”

“The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift”

“Fast & Furious”

“Fast Five”

In “Furious 6,” agent Hobbs has to stop a bad guy named Shaw from getting something that will do something bad if it falls into the wrong hands yada, yada, yada. The plot is not important, what’s most important in this movie is, yes you guessed it, family:

CJ: Dom to Brian: “Remember, the second you go through those doors, everything changes. Our old life is done.”

You know, unless literally anything else at all comes up.

Kevin: “Everything changes.” I’d like to see him add, “although I have no experience to say that, as even though I never shut the fuck up about family I have zero interest in actually having children of my own apparently.”

Also apparently family isn’t so important that the two of them couldn’t get in a quick race through the mountains that could have easily killed Brian before he even had a chance to hold his son, but whatever.

After this we are re-introduced to Hobbs as he arrives in Moscow in his standard issue tight black T-shirt. I know he’s apparently really committed to this look, but what if god forbid he had a case in a country during a period where the weather dipped below 70 degrees?

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CJ: We are also introduced to Hobbs’ new partner played by former MMA fighter Gina Carano, who does an excellent job of making me pine for Jordana Brewster’s and Paul Walker’s acting chops. I wonder if “Fast 7” will have an even worse actress who maybe used to fight!

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Seems unlikely.

Kevin: After some really half-hearted caressing of a naked Elena (Elsa Pataky), Vin decides he’d rather drink a Corona and work on some engine. I guess no woman in Dom’s life, no matter how gorgeous, will be able to match Michelle Rodriguez’s masculine charms. Also, is it just me or is Vin starting to resemble a balder and more muscular Adam Sandler?

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Hobbs then shows up and tells Dom that he wasn’t hard to find, to which Dom says, “I wasn’t hiding.” Like everything Dom says in these movies I guess that was supposed to be cool but I don’t know why. Great Dom, you weren’t hiding, and now you’ve been found, awesome plan. Anyway, Hobbs entices Dom to help him catch Shaw by showing him evidence that Letty is alive and working with Shaw.

Before she even sees the file Dom is reading, Elena says, “It’s Letty isn’t it?,” implying that she has had to hear a lot about Letty from Dom. Then even though she sort of gave up her career and life to live with Dom as a fugitive, Elena is completely understanding of Dom’s need to leave her high and dry and find the true love of his life, and I think I speak for all men when I say that this is a totally realistic depiction of how most women would react in a similar situation.

We’re then introduced to Roman on a private plane with about eight women, telling them about all the awesome stuff they are going to do in Macau. They are going to be even more surprised when they discover Roman has no interest in sleeping with any of them, and in fact would rather just talk about his awesome friend Brian and how Brian thinks he’s happy with Mia and his newborn child, but eventually he will realize that’s not what he wants in life.

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Someday Roman.

CJ: Then he immediately turns the plane around in order to help Dom because Letty is alive. Except, he’s never met her right? So what does he care?

Kevin: Then we get a shot of Ludacris, who is told by some random guy, “Yeah man. You used to be all Robin Hood, sharing all the money you got.” Once again, when the fuck have we ever seen these assholes share their money, a notion that was put forth back in “Fast Five” but has never been backed up by anything on screen. Ludacris then shows him, because apparently he rigged the ATM to shoot out cash that all the people nearby quickly scoop up (not shown are the fist fights and eventual shootings that would inevitably occur). Although technically that wasn’t Ludacris’ money to give away, so once again the number of times we’ve seen these supposed Robin Hoods give away their money to anyone other than strippers is: 0.

Next we see Gisele and Han in … holy shit is Han finally in Tokyo! Also in case you forgot that Gisele rides a motorcycle, she for some reason has her motorcycle parked right next to their dinner table. Immediately though Han starts getting passive aggressive with Gisele about why they are not settling down. Apparently Han hasn’t heard the ancient Chinese proverb, “Dude you’re already sleeping with Gal Gadot, don’t press your luck.”

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CJ: I know we’ve enjoyed making fun of Dom’s wifebeaters, but when Dom needs to have a serious talk with Brian about Letty, I appreciate that the wardrobe department knew to dress him in a somber and tasteful black wifebeater for this scene:

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Kevin: Then Brian says Hobbs could be trying to set Dom up, adding, “You know I used to do this shit all the time as a cop.” Really, because from what we’ve seen of you as a cop, what you used to do was tell the sister of the criminal you were trying to arrest that you were a cop because you had the hots for her, and then you let the criminal go because you got to know him after like a week.

When the whole team gathers in London to get briefed by Hobbs, Brian says, “Anyone seen Leo or Santos”? I guess those were the ugly guys from the last few movies, glad to finally know their names.

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Leo (or maybe it’s Santos)

Hobbs on Shaw: “He ran the UK’s mobility division in Kabul and Basra.”

Ludacris: “Ah damn, that mobility unit’s the truth. We’re talking vehicular warfare. Best in the world.”

Me: Are you kidding me!!!! For fuck’s sake, Ludacris started out in these movies as some low-rent Miami street race organizer who just wanted to get Devon Aoki to “pop his clutch.” I’ve barely adjusted to the notion put forth in “Fast Five” that he is now apparently the best computer hacker on the East Coast. Now apparently he’s an expert in “mobility units” in Afghanistan, whatever the fuck those are?

Mike: Something tells me “vehicular warfare” in Afghanistan is probably limited to welding a rocket launcher to the roof of 1986 Toyota Corolla. Must have been really difficult for Hobbs and his team to take that on with simple Humvees and AC-130 gun ships.

CJ: Wait a minute, as they are trying to set up Shaw, they realize it’s a fakeout and Dom sends the rest of the team back to defend Interpol. And they are just given guns? Can just anyone jump into the fray with the cops? When was all of this agreed to? I am positive Hobbs only wanted their help to catch Shaw, at no point do I remember him adding that if shit hits the fan they are all immediately deputized as CIA agents on foreign soil and can engage in gun fire and whatever else is deemed necessary. I’m thinking Hobbs believes in the Judge Dredd “I am the law” line of thinking.

Kevin: Also apparently all of Interpol is out for the night. They didn’t leave at least one security guard there?

CJ: As in the last “F&F” film, I’m again confused as to how employing generally good street racers is enough to bring down an international criminal. Sure, they can drive with him, but then what? Outside of Brian they aren’t trained in hand-to-hand combat. We’ve all seen Dom’s best move is wildly throwing his fists around while grunting, while everyone else’s best move is to generally just take a few steps back and not get involved when shit goes down.

During the race to track down the bad guys, Shaw’s crew unleash “hockey pucks” that cause everyone’s car to flip over. We are then reminded about Brian’s stunningly cold attitude to peoples’ lives as he sees cars flips over with no idea if the drivers (and his friends) are alive or dead and continues to drive by them all. Not on his watch! (helping other people that is)

I also like how a car sideswiping other cars causes Dom to basically go “I know Letty’s driving style anywhere!”

Kevin: Then after the chase Vin gets shot by Letty in the same shoulder he got shot in “Fast & Furious,” when Mia tried to remove the bullet but somehow just couldn’t find it, and the movie went about its business without this having any impact on Dom or the story. Dom apparently has an easier time finding this one, as he just does surgery on himself and pulls it out with about as much of a reaction as I do pulling a splinter. If you think that getting shot twice in the same shoulder will have any visible impact on Dom, then you don’t know the awesomeness of Dominic Toretto (also that would require Vin Diesel to show more than one emotion).

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CJ: Roman is pointing out how all of this is very dangerous and people are getting hurt or killed and they should probably walk away. I think we are all equally surprised at how Roman has become the smartest person in this series.

Later when Hobbs and Tej make the car dealer take off all his clothes (long story): a) What was the point of that? And b) is that some kind of sexual crime? You know, has Hobbs ever actually flashed his badge to anyone? What if he doesn’t even work for the CIA and is just some weirdo?

Kevin: After they make the guy take off his shirt, Tej looks at his chest hair and says , “Man you need some hedge clippers for that shit,” as if the dude has like Alec Baldwin/Robin Williams-level body hair, but instead he just has a not-unusual amount of hair on his upper chest. I only note this because I have no idea why, if they couldn’t find an actor with the appropriate amount of hair to make that “joke” work, the filmmakers still thought this was too good a moment to leave out. I will also note that earlier when Hobbs and Tej are scoping out the cars, you can tell Hobbs wants to blend in because we finally see The Rock wear a shirt with long sleeves in this series.

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CJ: I also just realized that Hobbs’ entire team is the “Furious” crew. So is he hunting Shaw off the books? Like, when they mention they need help with the CCTV cameras it’s just Tej; why isn’t Hobbs saying “Oh, okay, I’ve got a team of operatives in the next room working on this stuff. Should have something in a few minutes.”

Mike: Hobbs has got to be the biggest joke in the CIA because I have more people on my team at my shitty job than he has, and I’m definitely not responsible for bringing down international terrorists as I span the globe breaking a million different laws.

Also, why do they even need Roman, especially now that Brian is gone from the series? Tej, as far-fetched as it is, at least has a specialty in computers and alarm systems and every government security database in the universe, but Roman doesn’t actually know how to do anything other than sort of drive and scream all kinds of lame comic relief. I hope the new film starts out with them assembling the team and there’s just one shot of Roman on the phone saying he can’t make it this time and then they all kind of agree that they can easily do without him.

CJ: Later when Shaw’s men get the drop on some of our heroes, Letty seems conflicted about the bad guys shooting at Gal Gadot and Gina Carano, but once again it should be noted that Letty has never met Gal Gadot and should have no emotional connection to her. Then Gina Carano gets tangled up in a vicious cat fight with Letty, although personally I’d rather watch Gal Gadot being attacked by millions of beads of water from a showerhead.

Kevin: Then after she escapes, Letty is super offended that Shaw isn’t more bummed out that they lost their member Ivory, as opposed to Dom who I guess would pound a few Coronas and then kill 117 innocent people busting him out of jail if Ivory was in his crew. Of course Dom is also the same guy who apparently feels stronger about Letty than Romeo did Juliet, but would routinely allow her to constantly jump from multiple moving vehicles at 100 mph just to steal a few Panasonic DVD/VCR players.

Just wanted to highlight this bit of dialogue from Ludacris: “That’s high-tensile titanium cable. That’s what they use to anchor buildings and hold up bridges, stuff you know nothing about”! That’s pretty funny considering in real life I don’t think Ludacris knows half the words in that sentence, and that includes “anchor” and “and.”

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Later we find out that Shaw is connected with Braga, the villain from “Fast & Furious.” Brian decides to return to the United States and infiltrate the prison where Braga is being held, but he has to be out of there within 24 hours or they’ll discover his true identity and lock him up permanently. Braga tells him, “You put a lot of these men in here.” Uh how? He was a rookie FBI agent in the original movie in 2001 before he let Dom go free and lost his job, then in 2009’s “Fast & Furious” he was let back into the FBI on a provisional basis, but of course he once again throws it all away for Dom. So when did he ever have a chance to put anyone in prison?

Oh yeah, we also find out that Letty isn’t actually evil, she just has amnesia, so since the screenwriters are obviously taking their inspiration from bad ‘70s television, I’m sure all it will take for Letty to get her memory back is to get hit on the head with a coconut.

CJ: Speaking of Letty, Kevin previously pointed out how horrible Dom’s detective skills are when figuring out what happened to her. In this movie we find out her car also blew up, yet in “Fast & Furious” there are either no signs of an explosion or Dom completely missed it. Let me repeat, genius detective Dom somehow missed signs of an explosion! That thing where fire goes boom.

Dom and Letty are now street racing. The stakes for Letty are Dom’s car, and Dom for Letty’s … memory? Either way, the writers missed a perfect opportunity to have them get stuck in a roundabout.

I like how Dom’s version of romance is to reminisce over scars:

Dom: “That scar? A drug runner stabbed you in the shoulder.”

Letty: “Take me now!”

Kevin: Then Shaw shows up and speaks for every man in the audience when he says he can’t fathom why Dom is doing all this for Letty when he could be “relaxing on a beach somewhere with that cute little Brazilian number.” Yeah when you figure it out Shaw, please explain it to the rest of us.

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Shaw adds, “When I was young, my brother used to say, ‘Every man has to have a code.’” That does sound like something Jason Statham would say, because he says something like that in almost all his other movies.

CJ: Wait a minute. I just realized director Justin Lin has been in on the joke the whole time. What I mean is, Dom and the crew are trying to intercept Shaw, who is now behind the wheel of a tank and fires a shot that blows up several civilian cars. Lin immediately cuts to a shot of Brian watching and doing nothing. I’m starting to like Justin Lin.

Although the wanton disregard for innocent human life is kind of disturbing at this point.

Later, I’m glad Dom was able to smash his car, leap in the air, catch Letty and land on the windshield of a car going in the opposite direction. It’s not that he didn’t break his back that’s bugging me, it’s that his white t-shirt looks like it just came out of the wash.

Now that we have the team all back together, it’s time to regroup. Brian decides he must go to Letty to apologize, since him using her as a spy in “Fast & Furious” is what got her in this situation in the first place. It would have been funny that after apologizing Brian added, “So, you definitely don’t remember that night we shared in Vegas? Ok, good. Maybe don’t say anything to Dom.”

Holy shit you guys, Shaw had everything planned out from the beginning. And now Gina Carano has revealed herself to be a double agent! How did we not see this coming? They left so many clues, like her character never being given a name. I’m a little confused as to what happened to the entire army on the base though. They let Shaw go, and next we see him trying to flee the base, which is now deserted, and no one from the army going after him. So is the army just being really spiteful to Hobbs for letting him go? Yeah, we wanted this criminal, but you let him walk and he’s still on the base, but screw you, you were dicks and we are going to bed.

The flying headbutt Dom uses later is the dumbest thing I have ever seen. There is no way from that angle that he got enough speed for his head to hit the other guy’s head with any kind of force. In reality, Dom should have bounced off of him and fallen to the ground, but not before awkwardly landing on his ankle and screaming “Hold on! Timeout! Just give me a second.” (30-second mark):

During this entire fight on the runway to nowhere I kept wondering where Brian and Mia’s kid is.

Mike: Yes this is a 12-minute chase down a runway going over 100 mph the entire time. By my calculations that runway would be about 23 miles long. Also this movie and “Die Hard 2” are two perfect examples of pilots that put Sully Sullenberger to shame. They don’t abort the takeoff under any circumstances. Not for two dudes fighting on the wing, not for dragging half a dozen Honda civics, not for actual explosions on board!

CJ: As Han and Gisele are hanging onto the car during the big escape, Gisele notices a bad guy about to get Han, so she sacrifices herself and shoots the bad guy, then we assume plummets to her death. However, did she really fall that far? I am pretty sure she fell about 10 feet. I’d have to imagine she’d actually still be alive, maybe just with a broken leg.

Kevin: Yeah but she hit concrete, which is obviously deadly from any fall, whereas we learned in “Fast Five” that you can hit a body of water from about 20 miles up and still be fine.

CJ: Actually, after Dom survives a plane explosion, they just all seem to leave. What if Gisele actually is alive, just half a mile behind the plane and dragging herself screaming for help except no one can hear her over the exploded plane, so everyone’s just laughing over their big win and heading back to America.

During Roman’s ending prayer, he is thankful for Letty being back and fast cars, but no mention of hoping Gisele is resting peacefully. Probably cause she is still alive and in Spain plotting revenge for “Fast 9.”

In the post-credits scene where Han is killed in the crash first seen in “Tokyo Drift,” it is now revealed that Shaw’s bother Jason Statham was actually responsible. They still don’t explain how Statham knew it was Han in that car though:

Kevin: Or how Statham knew exactly where Han would be while he was being chased by the Yakuza. Oh well, I’m sure the notion that Jason Statham can just randomly show up out of nowhere at just the right time won’t be a ridiculous reoccurring theme in the next entry, “Furious 7.” Join us next week as we conclude this series with a look at part 7(!) of this fucking franchise, along with our thoughts on “Fate of the Furious,” after which I only plan on ever seeing Vin Diesel again in my nightmares.

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4 thoughts on “The Countdown to “Fate of the Furious” Continues: “Furious 6”

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