What started out as a franchise about car racing thieves has now morphed into a live action version of Grand Theft Auto. After everything I’ve said about the previous movies, this one is actually hard to review.
Dwayne Johnson recruits the old crew to go to Europe in search of Liddy where they find she’s hooked up with a crew of bad guys who are out to get a McGuffin, but it turns out that Liddy has no memory and is now a bad guy. She’s so bad she shoots Vin Diesel, but it’s okay because his body is made out of Nerf.
The crew realizes that this all ties back to the bad guy from the fourth movie who is in prison in Los Angeles. Rather than have Dwayne Johnson, who is a government agent, go and beat the information out of him (which is what Johnson does to another informant), they come up with this stupid plan to have Brian turn himself in for 24 hours.
Furious 6 goes out of its way to tie the other movies into this one. They show flashbacks during the opening credits and the final scene is a twist on the scene from Tokyo Drift which we now know takes place after Fast & Furious 4,5 and 6 despite being the third movie. I’m not sure why they go to all the trouble for that because it’s clear throughout the franchise that they basically just do what they want regardless of character or continuity.
The final battle takes place on and near a plane that is trying to take off literally for 13 minutes. Some people have said that the runway would have to be between 13 and 25 miles for that to work. Others insist that there’s some scrap of realism. I don’t know why. From the outset, the Fast & Furious movies made it clear they took place outside of reality.
In the pilot episode of Aaron Sorkin’s Studio 60, a character goes on a rant and says, “We’re all being lobotomized by this country’s most influential industry that’s just throwing in the towel on any endeavor to do anything that doesn’t include the courting of 12 year old boys. And not even the smart 12 year olds. The stupid ones.” This quote was in my head throughout the entirety of my watching of the Fast & Furious movies this past week because it’s incredibly clear that stupid 12-year-old boys are exactly who this franchise is targeting.
Directly after watching Furious 6, I decided I needed to watch a character driven action movie with cars that doesn’t openly insult my intelligence. So I watched Ronin. In Furious 6, Dom is shot in the upper chest. He yanks out the bullet, puts a Band-Aid on it and is good to go. In Ronin, Robert Deniro gets hit with a bullet ricochet in the gut and ends up helping his buddy surgically remove the bullet. Deniro passes out and is injured the rest of the movie. It’s not just about being realistic. By having actions have consequences, Ronin has more character and plot than six Fast & Furious movies.