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15 May 2013 @ 10:47 am
Picoreview: Fast & Furious 6  

Picoreview: Fast & Furious 6 does what it says on the tin.

I won tickets to see a preview and Ted, who is a most excellent husband, told me to go ahead and go, despite the impracticalities thereof. So I wrangled up a friend and we went.

It is a completely ridiculous movie. There are moments of inhuman feats so outrageous one wonders when Vin & Crew got the Superhero upgrade. There are two epic lady fights. There are fast cars. There are explosions.

There are basically two white dudes in the movie, and one of them is the bad guy.

This, really, is the true reason I love the F&F franchise. I mean, the fact that Vin Diesel’s voice registers at the same frequency my hormones do doesn’t hurt, but I love these movies mostly because they’ve got the most diverse and interesting casts of anything I’ve ever seen out of Hollywood. In the last movie there were perhaps technically three white guys, but one of them had a beard to his eye sockets, making his ethnicity appear to be Caveman. The rest of the leads in this one are Vin and The Rock, whose ethnic backgrounds strike me as flat-out melting-pot American, two black guys, an Israeli woman, three Hispanic women, Gina Carano whose ancestry qualifies her strongly for Wonder Woman but I have no idea what it actually is (some smattering of Italian, she says, but beyond that, look, if she wants to say Amazon, I ain’t gonna argue with her) and a Korean dude. They look (aside from being unusually beautiful, but let’s not get hung up on that) like a bunch of people you’d see inside of half a city block in New York or San Francisco. It’s like a miracle of God, and in 2013, I feel like I shouldn’t have to be so delighted that this wee little miracle has occurred. The F&F movies are the only films out there that appear to be aimed at the mainstream white audience and yet dare to have a wide range of ethnic diversity in them, and I do not understand why more studios aren’t going ‘Oh look, this works.’ But I’ll keep going to F&F movies until Vin and I are both a hundred and five, as long as they keep giving me characters and faces that challenge the mainstream.

And then on *top* of that, they rate stupendously well in Female Leads Who Kick Ass, which they took that to a whole new level in this one. There are five women of note in this (against 7 men of note, which I think is pretty flipping awesome all by itself), and every one of them does something important. Some of those important things aren’t as over the top or dramatic as, well, okay, pretty much all the shit the guys go through, but even so, not one of them is relegated wholesale to Helpless Female Lead. And not once in the entire series have any of the women been so relegated, not even with Letty’s ashes-bitter death.

So in a nutshell: fucking awesome. Moments that made me laugh. Moments that made me gasp. A storyline that kinda didn’t go where I wanted it to, but wasn’t badly handled. Overall, for the win.

Stay through the first credits run, because there’s a teaser clip after a minute or two.

(x-posted from The Essential Kit)

Bryantbryant on May 15th, 2013 01:27 pm (UTC)
My only concern was that Gina Carano might not get to fight anyone. It is now assuaged.
kitmizkit on May 17th, 2013 06:40 pm (UTC)
Gina Carano not only gets to fight someone, but is *way* more at ease before the camera than she was in Haywire. Give her another two, three movies under her belt and she's the *only* choice for Wonder Woman. She can even do that "pretty in an ordinary girl way to holy shit GAWGES" thing that I think is critical for the transformation from Diana Prince to Wonder Woman.
Mary Anne: pixelpers1stence on May 15th, 2013 02:17 pm (UTC)
I <3 The Rock. He's absolutely willing to be silly and goofy at his own expense (the movie Be Cool, for example) and doesn't seem terribly concerned with maintaining an absolute machismo. And he has a great smile.
(Deleted comment)
Bryantbryant on May 15th, 2013 07:21 pm (UTC)
It's pretty up and down in quality. You could actually skip #2 without missing much; #3 is also stand-alone but it's the debut of Han and I liked it for its own sake. It's also where Justin Lin took over directing duties. Probably not a coincidence.
kitmizkit on May 15th, 2013 10:16 pm (UTC)
I think #3 is actually the only one I haven't seen. I gotta watch it sometime.
rasmusbrasmusb on May 17th, 2013 05:46 pm (UTC)
It has the kid from "American Gothic" all grown up. ;)

Also what I liked about it was that it showed how easy it was to completely wreck your car (& definately your expensive tires) if you have no clue what you are doing.
kitmizkit on May 17th, 2013 06:00 pm (UTC)
We're gonna watch it after my husband (who also hasn't seen it) goes to see FF6, as 3 takes place chronologically after 6, despite being filmed 3rd :)
Bryantbryant on May 25th, 2013 08:09 pm (UTC)
This is probably obvious, but having now seen FF6 I will point out that the post-credits sequence in 6 spoils 3 something fierce. On the other hand, 3 spoils 6 worse, so yeah.
kitmizkit on May 25th, 2013 09:39 pm (UTC)
The thing was that I knew the spoiler from 3 already, having picked it up through osmosis, so I was vaguely confused in 5 when the spoily thing appeared, but deduced on my own, and then had it later confirmed, that they were officially stating that 3 takes place after 6. :)
kitmizkit on May 15th, 2013 10:19 pm (UTC)
I should probably take a moment to stress that these are not necessarily *good* movies, nor do they lack in their gratuitous T&A-candy. But they're kinda hella fun, and I do love them.

Also, I just like the fact that the first one was supposed to launch Paul Walker's career and instead Vin came outta nowhere and dominated. :)
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Lauratavella on May 15th, 2013 06:42 pm (UTC)
There was a comment in an Entertainment Weekly piece on F&F, riffing on the Bechdel test: "When was the last blockbuster you saw where two non-white people talked to each other? About _anything_?" and it's certainly on point. I haven't actually seen any of them yet, though, not being much of a car racing person. Maybe I'll suggest one of them for movie night.
The One and Onlytechnocowboy on May 15th, 2013 06:50 pm (UTC)
*cough* Avatar. Blue tiger-monkeys. :D
Lauratavella on May 15th, 2013 08:17 pm (UTC)
Hmm, I haven't seen it -- I assume Saldana's character had a conversation with Rodriguez's? Or was it some of the minor characters? Looks like there were several who were not white.
The One and Onlytechnocowboy on May 15th, 2013 08:25 pm (UTC)
What I was getting at was that they were all aliens.

However, having gone back to look, Zoe Saldana had conversations with Wes Studi (Cherokee), Laz Alonso (African American), and CCH Pounder (African American). There was a lot more memorable screen time for them than not.
Lauratavella on May 15th, 2013 08:35 pm (UTC)
While race-blind casting is important as well, it's not the same if a cgi'd alien is voiced by someone not-white. The under representation of minorities in movies is really not a joke.
kitmizkit on May 15th, 2013 10:15 pm (UTC)
I'm going to put a stop to this conversation right here, because to my reading it has the sense of about to descend into going for one another's throats, and I'm not in the mood. I do not doubt for a moment that the "they're all aliens" implication was not intended to take anything away from the very real problem and discussion of under-representation, but I did think it was pretty funny, and I have no wish to see what I read as a good-hearted joke and joker get laid out and stripped bare here.
kitmizkit on May 15th, 2013 10:19 pm (UTC)
I don't think of myself as being a car racing person either, but I love 'em anyway. :)
The One and Onlytechnocowboy on May 15th, 2013 06:49 pm (UTC)
the fact that Vin Diesel’s voice registers at the same frequency my hormones do doesn’t hurt

Have you seen this?

Edited at 2013-05-15 06:50 pm (UTC)
The Dread Vixen Alinsaalinsa on May 15th, 2013 11:10 pm (UTC)
Am I seriously the only person on the planet for whom Vin Diesel does absolutely nothing? I mean, I don't have a problem with him or anything, I generally have enjoyed his movies when I've seen them, but... eh. Not even the voice registers! ...and this is from someone who could listen to James Earl Jones or Ron Perlman (Mmmmmmmm... Vincent) read the phone book all day.

Maybe there's something wrong with me.
kitmizkit on May 17th, 2013 07:30 am (UTC)
Mmmm. Vincent. :)

Statistically I suppose there *have* to be people for whom Vin does nothing. Maybe you could start a club. :)
Miss May: angel puppetvalancymay on May 27th, 2013 06:21 pm (UTC)
That is the perfect description of Vin Diesel's voice.
kitmizkit on May 27th, 2013 06:31 pm (UTC)
I must cop to having stolen it from somebody else, who said it (also accurately!) about Liev Shriever's voice. :)