When it comes to movie escapism, does it get much better than the adrenaline-fueled Fast & Furious franchise? Over the course of five films, soon to be six, and twelve years, the Fast & Furious movies have evolved from low-grade actioners into a form of avant-garde exploitation films. Between the scantly clad women, the tricked up cars, and the always impending shoot outs, these movies have all the makings of a teen boy fantasy on paper, but on screen, these car crime dramas sizzle thanks to expert direction (it’s like Michael Bay but with polish, control, and purpose), breathless action choreography, and acting that at first appears wooden but somehow fits perfectly into the sleazy vibe of these supped up spectacles. With an ingenious bank heist and the debut of the reliable Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson into the franchise, Fast 5 breathed new life into the aging franchise, and between the one-minute Super Bowl trailer and this new extended first look, it appears Fast & Furious 6 will only do more wonders for this time defying franchise; take a look below for the new trailer & our reaction:
Why I’m Stoked:
1. Is This The Dark Knight of the franchise?: One big impression this new look at Fast & Furious 6 gives off is that the film is going to be dark, quite possibly the darkest Fast movie yet, which keeps it in line with the era of gritty sequels a la The Dark Knight and, more currently, Skyfall. By bringing back Michelle Rodriguez’s Letty Ortiz, who was believed to be dead and who was once romantically involved with Vin Diesel’s Dominic Toretto, the filmmakers are elevating the stakes in the most personal of ways. Most films in this franchise strenuously focus on going big and over-the-top, and while Fast 6 will certainly do this without a problem, it appears it also will be rooted with more character development and a stronger sense of emotions than we have ever seen before (I mean, were you not jaw dropped by a scene that shows Letty reuniting with Dom and shooting him?). There’s obviously a twisty story at the center of this latest installment, one that will give our characters their most emotionally thrilling ride yet. If the movie can get are hearts pumping AND feeling too, than this will be the Fast movie to end all Fast movies.
2. The Whole Gang’s Back: You have to hand it to the filmmakers of the Fast franchise for keeping director Justin Lin and the core group of heisters consistent throughout mostly all of the movies. Joining Rodriguez this time around are franchise veterans Paul Walker, Vin Diesel, Ludacris, Jordana Brewster, Tyrese Gibson, and new members from the last movie like The Rock and Haywire‘s kickass Gina Carano. Best of all? Just look out how much everyone has to do! From the Rock and Diesel’s love/hate banter to Gibson and Ludcaris’ continually attempts to one up each other with cars and babes, the gang seems more entertaining than ever. Oh yeah, they’re also all badass as hell! Though we only get brief flashes, just seeing The Rock do a smack-down leap, Diesel and Walker drag racing, and Rodriguez and Carano duel it out in an epic, brutal female beat-down is enough to get the blood pumping and the anticipation rising. The key to the Fast movies, especially the more recent ones, is that they are self-aware of how ridiculous everything is and the acting, primarily Diesel’s wooden line delivery that gives a hilarious undertone to all his action-ready one liners, helps audiences get lost in the fun and makes sure they never take things too seriously.
3. The Stunts: Let’s face it, we come to the Fast movies to see cars doing absolutely insane things and this trailer is the definition of bat-shit crazy. Is that a car soaring into the air doing a sideways somersault? Is that an army tank cruising down the highway blowing up bridges and other obstacles in its way? Is that Diesel driving his car out of an exploding airplane that’s taking off from the runway? Wait, let me repeat that again: IS THAT DIESEL DRIVING HIS CAR OUT OF AN EXPLODING AIRPLANE?? That scene that ends the trailer is the most insane thing I’ve seen in 2013, so insane that it will be impossible for me not to see this bad-boy beast of a movie in the theaters. Every Fast film goes bigger than the next and Fast 6 seems to be no exception. And yet, like every film of the franchise, director Justin Lin seems to know how to expertly stage these over-the-top chases and heists, and the kinetic energy that has come to define the franchise’s greatest scenes seems to be in place here as well. When Ludacris proclaims, “It’s vehicle warfare”, he doesn’t seem to be kidding and this looks like one hell of a war.
4. The Release Date: After the fourth and fifth installments took the franchise out of the summer movie season and into the end of Spring with April release dates, Fast & Furious 6 is being released over the lucrative Memorial Day Weekend, returning the franchise back to the summer in a huge sign of confidence from Universal Studios. With each Fast film, the franchise has grown critically and economically (Fast 5 was the franchises’ most critically praised and biggest film with over $200 domestically), and by moving the sixth installment into the summer, the studio seems fairly certain that this latest Fast film will be a tentpole of the summer movie season a la Star Trek Into Darkness and Iron Man 3. In the summer when all you want to do is kick back and relax, Fast 6 seems to me like the perfect time at the movies (How can you not start smiling when Diesel pulls up to a drag race amidst sexy women and even sexier cars?). Dare I say it, but from this extended trailer, Fast & Furious 6 has become one of my most anticipated movies of the year. These are films that know their purpose (which is to entertain, even at the risk of being illogical) and execute it flawlessly; how could you not be pumped?
Are you eagerly anticipating Fast 6? Or are you suffering from Fast fatigue? Let us know!
Article by Zack Sharf