Sunday, May 9, 2021

FAST & FURIOUS 6 (2013)

If 5 was where the FF series transitioned from street racing film to high-speed heist caper, then 6 is where it transitioned from racing heist series into racing heist superhero series. Don’t believe me? At one point in the film, one of our rugged heroes launches himself through the air to catch a person falling off a bridge and then uses a car to break his fall. And this is shortly after being shot in the shoulder and pulling the bullet out himself. So…what does all of that mean? It means it’s fucking awesome, that’s what! Logic and reality can go straight out the window. I just want to be entertained.

After making all those duckets from part 4, the team is sitting pretty. Living the good life, but then Agent Hobbs takes time from trying to break the world record for "World’s Tightest Shirt" to inform Torreto that Litty is still alive. Who? Yeah, I forgot too, but she’s the girl from the first movie who wore the giant shoes and snared a lot. Grrrr! Anyway, it appears that Litty has convenient movie amnesia and now works as a driver for a bad guy in Europe. She’s such an invaluable driver, in fact, that even after her boss finds out that she used to be Torreto’s girlfriend…he keeps her on the team! I’m sure that will work out well for him. It doesn’t.

Fast pace; glorification of police brutality; multiple pretty locations (Spain, England, Scotland, Los Angeles); too many action scenes shot at night; Luke Evans as the new bad guy (I really liked him in The Alienist and The Pembrokeshire Murders, but he didn’t have much stage presence here); the longest airport runway in movie history; Kim Kold grossly underused…he should have be in way more scenes; Ludacris with a ludicrous amount of computer monitors; men and women all politely fist-fighting within their preferred sexual classifications; Dwayne Johnson still around (thankfully), but his character doesn’t progress at all…in fact, he makes multiple bad decisions and his overall character grew more two-dimensional in this installment; the subject of innocent people dying and getting injured during the car chases was brought up, but a lot of innocent people were still obviously killed in this story; cool fight scenes that were weakened by having the camera too close to the action; lots of wonderfully cheesy dialogue; breaking a thousand laws and then praying before eating; Han and Gisele still madly in love despite never doing more than just looking at each other with zero on-screen chemistry; people wrecking cars in all kinds of violent and horrible ways and never getting injured; multiple chances to take out the bad guy; the verbal sparring between Roman and Tej getting stale; pointless snobby auctioneer scenes that added nothing to the story and should have been cut; zero uses (that I noticed) of the word “busta”; some truly bizarre efforts to make Dwayne Johnson appear shorter than he really is; a completely overly complicated (aka amusing) hacking device that has to be shot out of a gun to then be used to hack a car via a tablet, causing it to wreck…if you can shoot the vehicle to implant the device, then why not just shoot it with an explosive?

Overall, while I did enjoy the film, I still think it was weaker and less focused than 5. Also, if some of those dark nighttime action scenes had been in the daytime, I would have liked the film better. Still, it’s 100% worth watching for fans of the series.  It's been a lot of fun seeing how the series evolves throughout the years.

Part 1 - The Fast and the Furious (2001)
Part 2 - 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003)
Part 3 - The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006)
Part 4 - Fast & Furious (2009)
Part 5 - Fast Five (2011)
Part 7 - Furious 7 (2015)
Part 8 - The Fate of the Furious (2017)
Spin-off 1 - Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (2019)

Monday, May 3, 2021

SAW (2004)

Two unlucky men find themselves in a really horrible place. That’s right...a Will Smith movie marathon. No, I’m just kidding. They weren’t that unlucky! Two unlucky men find themselves chained up in a dingy, fucked up industrial-looking bathroom.  Complete with a poo-filled toilet.  After talking for awhile and assessing that neither one of them can accurately throw an object over three feet, they discover that their lives are connected.  They're also given the message, by their mysterious captor, that if the one guy doesn't kill the other guy in a certain amount of time, the captor will murder the first guy's family.  All kinds of flashbacks and crazy shit happens next.

For a low-budget horror movie, SAW is a pretty impressive film.  The basic story is similar enough to SEVEN that it could almost be seen as a spin-off or imitation told from a different point of view, good pace, solid acting by an impressive cast, low amount of actual on-screen violence, an excellent musical score by Charlie Clouser (that's well worth listening to on it's own), creepy lighting and a very interesting villain, Jigsaw, who's completely different from other memorable horror movie icons like Leatherface, Chucky or Jason.

Another thing that I appreciate about SAW is just how much fun the entire series ended up being!  I've seen them all before, but when I sat down to watch the first one for this review...I ended up watching all eight of the films in a row and had an absolute blast!  It was great.  There's a few standout sequels (2 and 8), but overall, they're all fun.  No duds.  A few films (2 and 5) even come off like gnarly reality game shows!

Yeah, the story is totally unbelievable and dumb, but who gives a fuck?  Life is a pile of shit and a lie-filled hell from birth until release, so why not enjoy yourself and watch some goofy movies that make you laugh?  For anybody out there watching the entire series in order: whenever the Jigsaw puppet shows up on a television, right before he speaks, yell out "'ello, guvna!" It makes absolutely no sense, but is highly enjoyable.

Part 2 - Saw II (2005)
Part 3 - Saw III (2006)
Part 4 - Saw IV (2007)
Part 5 - Saw V (2008)
Part 6 - Saw VI (2009)
Part 7 - Saw 3D (2010)
Part 8 - Jigsaw (2017)
Part 9 - Spiral: From the Book of Saw (2021)