Fast & Furious 6 Review


The ride must go on. Fast Five ended up being my favorite title in the series but little did I suspect that it would get surpassed so quickly. 6 takes everything I liked in the 5th film and then adds on to it. We get a lot of great fight scenes and character moments here. The series holds onto its strong family values and makes it across the finish line in record time.

The movie starts out with Hobbs realizing that he’s up against a villain group that can’t be taken down easily. Usually he doesn’t need any help but this time is an exception. He grabs some intel from one of the villains pretty easily and then sets about recruiting Dom and the old gang for one last ride.

Dom and friends are all millionaires who are having fun around the globe so it may seem hard to recruit them right? Well, not when you have the right ace up your sleeve and Hobbs has a doozy. See, there’s a photo of Dom’s old wife Letty around and it seems like she’s riding with the villains. That should be impossible since she is dead but if there’s even the slightest chance that she is still alive, Dom can’t waste it. He quickly agrees to help. Still, can these heroes stop this new villain group or are they simply outmatched here?

One thing I really liked here was how quickly everyone dropped what they were doing to help Dom. It shows that the money didn’t change them. They’re still a very close knit group and show up when the call goes out. Dom doesn’t have to talk to them for more than an instant to get them on his side. There’s no complaining, whining, or any of that. They’re just ready for action no matter what it takes.

It keeps on reinforcing the family aspect of the series. Dom always explains that these guys are his family and you don’t give up on family. You help out whenever you can with no second doubts. It’s hard to think of any series where the main characters have such a close bond. It’s just nice to see and immediately puts the film in a good spot so far as knowing who to root for and getting you personally engaged in the fight.

As always Dom is a great character here. He really doesn’t waver and hasn’t gotten sloppy in his driving skills. It’s safe to say that the film still portrays him as the best racer in the series. You could maybe make a case for Brian matching him but under pressure you want Dom on your side at all times. When the chips are down he won’t fail. The guy is also the better hand to hand fighter. Dom is a natural leader and just doesn’t back down. One of the more impressive scenes is when he’s face to face with Shaw and doesn’t even flinch when a gun is pointed at him.

Brian has his own subplot here where he breaks into a jail to try and find out what happened to Letty. Ultimately he doesn’t learn a whole lot to the point where he comes back and Dom doesn’t even want to hear what he learned. That said, it was a huge risk and Brian proved that he was willing to do whatever it took to find her again. He also proved himself in a fight as he took on several opponents at once.

Brian’s always been a fun character. He gets overshadowed by Dom but I like the guy and it’ll be sad once he’s gone. His wife Mia doesn’t get to appear much this time around but she encourages Brian to help the team out. She’s still a team player for sure. Elena also doesn’t do much here but you can pretty much see why. With Letty back on the table you can basically confirm that her romance with Dom can’t last.

It’s why I was never on board with that romance either way. It seemed like a rebound no matter how you slice it. Letty would certainly have good reason to be upset about this as well although everyone takes it in stride. Hopefully Elena returns and we can see her in more of an action setting next time.

Of course Hobbs has a big role as you’d expect. He sets the tone right away with how he beat up one of the minions in the interrogation room. That was pretty impressive and it showed that he is just as obsessed as ever with bringing crooks down. He may be a lot more by the book compared to Dom’s crew but he’s willing to be flexible. He has a pretty fun scene with Tej when they have to round up some cars. Most importantly, Hobbs can still fight and comes in clutch during the climax of the film with the 2 vs 2. As a driver he’s slightly below Dom’s crew but holds his own surprisingly well considering that isn’t really his thing.

His new teammate in this film is Riley. She’s pretty solid and gave us the first big fight scene of the film against Letty. I would have to say that was one of the better fights in the movie, there was a ton of back and forth there. It’s definitely not The best fight of course since the climax threw in some big ones but it was a blast. Riley’s also no nonsense and can fight really well. She also knows how to take a hit and keep on going. She left an excellent first impression and always leaves the opponents guessing.

Tej is pretty good at getting the cars set up and planning things out as always. He may not get quite as much to do as some of the other characters but always has good banter with Roman. Likewise, Roman is a pretty charismatic guy. Not all of his jokes land but he does have a lot of fun moments. His lack of fighting skills do get exposed at one point but he does keep getting up so you can’t doubt his determination.

Han may not get a big role during the film but it’s certainly a memorable one. He’s always got a lot of confidence in Gisele and lets her do her own thing. When she moves in on a villain he just moves onto the next one because he knows she has this covered. Gisele does well with her gun and consistently makes accurate shots from long range. She has to be the best shooter on the team by far.

Then of course you have Letty. She isn’t quite herself during the film due to some memory loss. Of course you’ll be wondering how she survived. The film explains how this happened which will answer any questions on that. It doesn’t really make sense why someone did something which allowed her to live though. She makes for a good antagonist and definitely has a lot of fighting skills. I can see a lot of potential for battles in future films as a result. She has a solid character arc.

As for Shaw, he’s a solid main villain. After watching the trailer for Hobbs & Shaw the whole time though I was waiting for a certain twist that never happened. It makes the experience pretty unique to be sure but he still stands up well as a villain in his own right. He can’t fight but is a smart villain who plans for every contingency. The heroes never make a move without him being ready for it. His futuristic cars were also impressive both in how fast they were and also for their raw strength.

The rest of his villain group wasn’t too memorable though. The one who gave Roman and Han a good fight was impressive but good luck remembering his name. The rest of the group doesn’t get a whole lot of dialogue or anything beyond their initial scene though. It is cool that the film set them up as a dark version of the main characters though. They may not have had a proper team fight but it was still cool.

The battle scenes are the best that they’ve been. My favorite fight out of all the films is probably Hobbs vs Dom from Fast Five but this one just has many fights on that level back to back. There is a lot of nonstop action here so something is always going on. You’ve got different climaxes and high tension moments with both sides making move after move. It’s all extremely entertaining and also high quality. This is definitely what you would expect from the series.

The only weakness I would say the series has is the never ending fanservice. As always whenever the heroes go for a rare drive you’ve got everyone dancing on the cars or walking right into the camera. It’d be nice if the films could tone down this aspect and just focus on the fights. It’s not as heavy as in other titles though and the positives still outweigh this negative to a pretty high degree so it shouldn’t hurt your enjoyment of the title.

The writing is on point and has a lot of good humor moments throughout. The film is fairly long and since it has a fast pace that means you can expect a whole lot of adventures here. Fast & Furious 6 just keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout. It’s sort of like the non comic book version of the Avengers (2012) in terms of tone and action. Things even get pretty serious by the end as the film actually does have a body count. While the movies always end on a high note, the gang certainly goes through their share of trials. The soundtrack is also on point. The series always has a lot of different tunes that bring a lot of energy to each scene.

Finally, we can’t miss talking about the end credits scene. This was pretty hype and I always believe you should end your film with a cliffhanger like this one. It’s probably the most hype end scene since Tokyo Drift. We see an event from that film in a new light. Turns out that what happened to Han was a lot more personal than expected. It may be a retroactive change but it’s a solid way to make Tokyo Drift even more important all of a sudden. The new villain is also immediately going to be one of the better FF villains. You can tell from this scene that he means business.

Overall, Fast & Furious 6 was very impressive. This one is going to be extremely tough to defeat but I look forward to seeing how good 7 is. We’ve still got the full cast here so I am expecting it to be pretty good. I wonder if Brian will get a bit of a power up to keep up with Dom and Hobbs or if he will still mostly be more of a support fighter. With that stinger at the end you definitely know that 7 is about to get personal. Dom’s family will need to be ready to meet this challenge.

Overall 8/10

Fast Five Review


Time for some more Fast and Furious action. This film really dials up the action and turns the series into more of an epic thriller. It’s a transition that works well for the series as it is easily the best film I’ve seen yet. The first 4 can’t touch this one. You’ll be at the edge of your seat for the whole movie and the fight between Vin and Dwayne that is hyped up for the whole film really ends up matching that suspense. It’s going to be tough to top this one going forward.

The movie starts off with showing us how Brian and Mia broke Dom out of prison. More specifically, they break him out of the truck driving him to prison. The gang then end up trying one more robbery to get some money but it turns out to be a trick to bump them off. Dom and friends escape but not before a few agents end up getting murdered by the villains. Naturally this turns into a frame up with the government calling in Hobbs, the greatest agent of them all.

Dom and Brian have big plans though and they don’t have time to flee. They want to take revenge on the mobster who framed them and what better way than stealing all of his money right? They’re going to pull off a heist but to do this they will need the best of the best. So they call in various characters from the first 3 films and prepare to race the clock. Can they get the money or will they be caught by Hobbs?

Right away this film is just so much more interesting than the others. I like when you’ve got multiple parties running around all aiming for different things and this film pulls that off really well here. You’ve got the mobsters, the heroes, and Hobbs’ group. Technically speaking while Hobbs is rather extreme, his group are the only heroes here. Dom and Brian are repeat criminals and if they weren’t betrayed in the first scene they would have gone through with the mission. This time they’re stealing from other criminals which is more of a gray area (Personally I’m cool with it. The criminals are basically officially sanctioned at this point so the only one who can stop them is Dom and the gang) but Hobbs and his group are official government agents who do their best to uphold the peace.

They may not look too much into the situation but then again that’s not necessarily bad. In this case of course Dom was framed but Hobbs is right that it’s not really their job to look into that. Odds are that being framed is rather rare and that’s something you wait for the courts to decide. Not everyone can be a vigilante or things would really start to go off the rails right away.

I also liked Hobbs group. For one thing they are shown to be highly competent. They have several fights with the mobsters and they manage to come out on top each time. Until the climax of the film they don’t even take any injuries and win quite cleanly. After seeing so many films where the agents lose to untrained thugs it was a nice change of pace. Meanwhile Hobbs has a lot of the best lines throughout the film.

One hype moment is when the translator Hobbs hired starts looking through the files and saying that it doesn’t make sense. Hobbs throws the papers away and says that this makes sense (The action of throwing it away) and it was just such an out of the box answer that I found it hilarious. Hands down it was my favorite line in the film. In general I also really liked the banter between him and Dom. Both of these guys are the definition of the “tough guy” character so they don’t tend to back off.

The fight between them was also the best fight in the series without question. They were throwing each other through walls and even leaving dents in the car with each hit. You can see how the characters were starting to get superhuman here. Throughout the movie there’s a lot of good action. You can’t really expect to see any big races here this time but the brief racing that we do get looks pretty solid. I liked the scene where all of the main characters have a big race although you won’t be surprised at how things turn out.

The effects are good as always and the character cast is also at its best. Hobbs aside, Dom is a great character as always too. He looks after his family first and foremost. The guy has a lot of drive and can fight with the best of them. He has a good conversation with Brian about his father. The two may not always see eye to eye but at the end of the day Dom always has his back.

As for Brian, he’s also a pretty solid character as always. He’s not quite as smart or capable as Dom but he doesn’t let this hold him back. He’s still the second toughest member of the team and comes in clutch when needed. Then you have Mia who also helps out a lot in the fights. It’s pretty tough for her since she’s expecting a kid soon but doesn’t let this hold her back.

Now for the rest of the heist crew, I wouldn’t say they’re the most memorable guys around but they’re okay. Roman and Tej get their moments as each person uses their specialty skill to help out. Gisele has a lot of confidence and keeps the others at bay although the way she manages to help out could have been handled a bit differently. You sort of know exactly how things are going to go down early on. Meanwhile that pretty much got rid of Han’s big moment so he didn’t have one here. It was nice to see him…but he ultimately didn’t really contribute. Elena was a solid newcomer to the series. She’s a cop who couldn’t be bought off the way that all the others were. That alone already makes her a pretty solid character and she also has a great motivation which helps make her such a tough character. Elena jumped into danger on multiple occasions and really ended up contributing.

So there’s a lot to like in this film. On the weaknesses side the film still jumps whole heartedly into the fanservice angle. The writing isn’t always great with the side characters making a lot of comments that make you want the villains to bump them off already. In a way maybe it’s for the best that we cut out the racing from these films since that’s all that really happens when the heroes get to the track. I found it pretty ironic that the actual race was cut out so we only got the atmosphere instead. If the writing could be tightened up a bit and we get past the unnecessary moments then the film will really make it into the great territory. Now, there are a lot of funny lines as well so don’t get me wrong but the film isn’t super consistent is what I would say. Tokyo Drift still has the best ending in the series but this one is very solid. It wraps everything up quite nicely.

Overall, This is the best installment in the series yet so it feels like things are moving up now. This is more like what I expect from the series just based on what I knew about it before actually entering the franchise. We get to see a lot of cool looking cars, rock songs, and an intense main cast. The fact that we’ve finally gotten into a lot of big hand to hand fights only helps. I would go as far as to say you could basically start with this film and you’re set since the first scene recaps the important part of the last film anyway.

Overall 7/10

Snitch


It’s time for a film based on real events. I am not really familiar with the actual event in question so at least this way I was in for a fresh adventure right from the start. Snitch is a pretty solid film. There’s a solid story going on and some pretty good characters. In the end everyone is pretty hard to deal with here as the “heroes” are pretty manipulative and the drug dealers….are drug dealers. Ultimately John can really only trust himself on this mission.

The movie starts off with Jason’s friend asking if Jason can help him deliver some drugs. Jason half heartedly says no but isn’t able to properly end the conversation as his Mom comes in. The friend sends the drugs anyway and after he is caught claims that Jason asked for them. The cops snag Jason and now say that he will serve at least 10 years in prison without bail unless he can also trick a friend into getting caught or exposing another drug dealer. Jason doesn’t know anyone else since he really isn’t into drugs so his hands are tied. His father John decides that he’ll have to do something himself. He owns a truck company and decides to use this as leverage. The cops agree that this is a good idea so they’ll let Jason go if John is able to bring in one of the big drug leaders. John has his mission, now he just has to pull this off!

Fortunately John has the help of Daniel, one of his staff who used to be in the whole drug business. It’s really fortunate that he has Daniel around because I can safely say that John would have been doomed without him. The whole thing’s pretty tragic for Daniel because he was really trying to go straight. He was keeping away from doing any kind of crime and really wanted to do good by his family. Unfortunately his circumstances weren’t great at the moment and so he took John’s offer. Daniel’s a likable guy and definitely the brains of the operation. He does have quite a few connections and I guess he did a good job of not burning any bridges when he got caught the first time.

Meanwhile John’s definitely a great main character as well. He definitely does all that he can to save Jason and never gives up. The plan is especially dangerous for him since there’s a whole lot that can go wrong here. He puts himself in danger with each mission but continues to go through since he knows it will save Jason. The prison itself isn’t exactly safe for the kid as he gets beaten up quite a bit over there. If John didn’t go to pull this mission off there’s a very good chance that Jason wouldn’t have survived the whole ordeal either way. So much for security in there.

Snitch manages to keep this plot pretty engaging thanks to its quality writing and pacing. Something is always happening during the film which is important and the characters are all pretty reasonable. John’s ex is definitely portrayed as not being very reasonable for sure but there’s a lot of tensions between them that the film wasn’t going to get into. Otherwise John’s family as well as Daniel’s were also doing their best to get through this. I’m glad that John came clean about what he was doing early on or at least relatively soon. At the end of the day it’s still better that the family knows in case things do end up going badly.

The film is also a good reminder to watch out who your friends are. You never know what’s going to happen but if a friend starts to talk about drugs or committing crimes then it’s time to quickly establish some distance. It also goes without saying that if you receive a package for something you’re not expecting then you should not sign. I think that’s something that you may easily do by mistake. If it has your name and address on it then it might be for you right? Wrong! If you’re not expecting it then don’t sign it. Worst case you’ll get a call or an email asking why you never got something but they should have told you in advance. You want to make sure you minimize the amount of ways someone can sabotage you. You can’t prevent everything but some scenarios you can at least prep a bit for.

Overall, Snitch is a pretty solid film. It shows how big the drug dealing game is and how the law treats it very seriously. It’s true that with many drug related crimes it is hard to avoid jail time. It’s also still a pretty big business to this day. It’s just hard to completely shut down such a big network even if you don’t really come across it during the day. Being a mole has got to be one of the riskiest jobs that you can do. There are tons of things that can go wrong and you have to play everything perfectly if you want to come out on top. It’s definitely not something that just anyone can do and you need a fair amount of luck to pull it off as well. I thought the situations were handled pretty realistic. So if you’re looking to check out a film based on real events with some quality action then this is one to check out. I assume there are probably some creative liberties taken with the climax as it all got pretty explosive but it definitely worked pretty well to end the film on a high note. It’s a very satisfying conclusion all the way through the ending.

Rampage Review


It’s time to look at a giant monster film that for whatever reason wasn’t getting a lot of people excited when the trailers were coming out. Most likely this was because the film just didn’t look intense enough but granted, the trailers weren’t bad either. My main concern was that the film would have a lot of animal violence and unfortunately this film delivered on that. It ends up limiting its own potential and essentially becoming another Jurassic World film. Trust me when I say that this is something that you typically want to avoid.

The film starts off by showing us a giant Rat in space. It murders the crew and a few more blocks of serum crash land on Earth. It infects 3 creatures, a Gator, a Wolf, and George. The corrupt villains decide to track down the monsters to make a fortune off of this although that seems unlikely but more on that later on. This gets us introduced to Davis who has been looking after George for a very long time. He’s not happy about his friend getting infected like this and decides to bring the villains to justice, but he’s going to have to go through the government in order to do it.

One of the main issues with the film is that the writing is no good. The characters don’t come across as being all that likable and everyone is extremely overconfident and refuses to listen to the others. George loves pranking everyone the whole time which isn’t handled well and the script is like something out of a horror movie with everyone having a potty mouth. It’s definitely not an element that will help the film since you need quality writing to make it to the next level.

Then we’ve also got the animal violence. Naturally George and Ralph can’t help but destroy animals on their way to global conquest. The animals never asked for this and they should have been spared this cruelty. Davis also gets a sob story involving animal violence and as the giant monsters are really just giant animals, the same can be said for all of their action scenes. It’s the reason why you will look forward to seeing Davis take on some humans instead. At least those scenes won’t make you feel bad for the opponent. As such, while the visuals can be impressive for the monsters, you really can’t enjoy the fights as much as you’d like to.

Lets take a look at the characters. Davis is the only reasonable one here. He wants to protect George so he quickly gets to work on doing so. The film addresses the reason why this random guy can pilot helicopters and take down trained professionals. It turns out that Davis used to work for the government as a secret operative and his whole life is shrouded in mystery. I guess that could be a plot point for the sequel as well. Davis is very no nonsense and he even gets to take on one of the monsters in the end as well. If only the rest of the cast was as solid.

Next up is the main heroine Kate. Right away we learn that she isn’t the most responsible person as she is about to be late for work yet again thanks to sleeping in. We’re never given a reason to sympathize with her so she is just coming in late for no reason. She lies to Davis about who she represents and after being exposed has the nerve to question Davis about how he doubts humanity. Davis doesn’t like people because he thinks they’re all liars and cheats. Kate may have a point in telling him not to generalize, but considering that she is guilty of this exact thing it’s not the best time to talk. She also questions his plans quite a lot and just can’t get with the program.

Claire is the main villain and on the surface she is fine. Claire’s an intimidating villain who is very smart and knows how to run a business. Based on that I’d say that she is a great character, however it all comes crashing down when you actually think about her plan, or lack therof. She wants to turn animals into giant monsters and then collect some money. What is she going to do with them though? It’s not like she can deliver them to a private company when they’re on the news and they aren’t going to sit still long enough for her to draw any blood. Her plan makes absolutely no sense and calling the monsters to Chicago isn’t going to do anything for her either. Her plan never had a chance at succeeding so at best she was prolonging the inevitable.

Then we’ve also got Brett who is her comic relief sidekick. He’s not the brightest bulb in the outfit and basically he is just around for her to have someone to mock. Brett does do a good job of living it large while things are going his way, but that’s about it. We’ve also got Harvey from the FBI who likes talking in a very sarcastic tone the whole time. By the end of the film he gets to be a little reasonable but it’s not really enough to make me think of him as a great character. He’s better than the field commander who is even more extreme, but that’s about it.

The cast is just pretty bad and I’m glad that Davis’ three partners from the very beginning of the film were written out. Those guys seemed pretty annoying and would have just held Davis back the whole time. They weren’t ready for this kind of mission and deep down…maybe they never were. This isn’t something that just anyone can handle after all and even Davis barely made it through. I think the film didn’t like some of these characters either as most of them get disrespected or straight up murdered at some point or another. I don’t think Brett really deserved such a death and Claire’s was also pretty vicious. The film could be surprisingly violent at times like in the very first scene where you see a head float by. The monster scenes were also quite vicious which didn’t help.

Overall, This film was just not a good one. Without good characters or fight scenes that you can get behind, there just isn’t much left. Throw in the animal violence plus the bad script and then you’ve really got a mess on your hands. I think the film should have stuck a little closer to the source material and had humans turn into giant monsters. That would have been great. Also, the film messed up on Lizzie’s design as she should have looked a little more like Godzilla. Perhaps they were afraid of copyright but at the very least it should have stood on two legs if you ask me. I think a potential sequel certainly has a lot more potential if it focuses on Davis, but the odds of that happening seem pretty slim to me. If this sounds like your kind of film then by all means check it out. Otherwise I would recommend watching the classic Tron movies instead.

Overall 3/10