I have covered a lot of my thoughts on the Fast & Furious series during this Franchise Retrospective. I am a massive fan of these movies, even when I can clearly see that most of them are not good movies. I would go so far as to call the original movie, the Troll 2 of the action genre, it's a movie so bad that it borders on brilliant. Highly quotable, audacious, wrongheaded in most of the key areas; it's not a good movie but it is an absolute fucking blast.
Drew Pearce is so hot right now, so hot in fact that he has been snapped up to write Mission: Impossible 5. Following the critical and commercial success of Iron Man 3 the British born screenwriter is being trusted to work under the hood of one of Paramount's most successful and lucrative series.
The gang's all here again, with the triumphant return (read: cap in hand and suitably ashamed) of original franchise stars Vin Diesel and Paul Walker, and they are bringing back a few other familiar faces. Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster and even Sung Kang from Tokyo Drift make appearances. Justin Lin, director of the superior third installment, also returns to helm the picture.
Pacific Rim unleashes its final trailer and delivers an even clearer look at the Jaeger-on-Kaiju action that will make young kids wet their pants with excitement, and some not-so-young geeks do the same.
The sixth instalment of the really fast car franchise that could, Fast and Furious 6 (directed by series regular Justin Lin), is set in London with Vin Diesel's Dominic Toretto's crew all in multi-million criminal retirement in warm climes. They all still drive their very shiny cars extremely fast but furious natures have been transformed into blissful domesticity with Brian (Paul Walker) married to Mia (Jordana Brewster). They're neighbours to Toretto and his understanding cop girlfriend Elena (Elsa Pataky). What else would tempt them out of their extradition-free happy homes bar Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) arriving with a photo of Letty (Michelle Rodriguez), presumed dead and buried but seeming very much alive and well. Hobbs needs Toretto to catch a new and less family-orientated criminal car gang led by Shaw (Luke Evans) who have apparently recruited the once dead Letty. The stage is set for some revved engines and souped up action.
Hobbs with his new partner Riley (Gina Carano) provide the money and excuses for hugely extravagant car chases and clashes between the opposing crews. Lin stays true to the music video roots of the series and scantily clad girls and immaculately clean cars frequent the film with an unashamed lack of necessity. One need not worry about having missed any or all of the previous instalments as the film's three editors use the opening credits to bring everyone up to speed on the finer points of the characters and plot under three minutes. It could well be argued that without knowledge of the other films Fast and Furious 6 might well be a more textured film. There are layers to relationships and in-jokes that give the sort of nuanced references that any indie film would be delighted to achieve.
However, this is a Fast and Furious film and there are entertainingly astonishing car stunts, some realistic gritty fights provided by Gino Carano and all out ludicrous, joyous and hyperbolic action from Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and the gravelly-voiced Vin Diesel. Of the five possible endings contained in Fast and Furious 6 the most pleasing one features an action superstar who is most likely the one to set the stage up nicely Fast and Furious 7.
I was very disappointed last year. Like many others I found it disheartening that last year's Dredd, starring Karl Urban, proved disappointing in its box office takings. Against a budget of $45 million, the comic book film grossed only $36 million. It did have a tough draw with it being an 18 certificate, but a lack of 2D showings and next to no marketing didn't help. Queue much crying and cursing.
It appears I'm not one of the chosen few who will get to live out their days on Elysium, but perhaps you are! Want to find out? Are you beautiful, rich and happy to leave the polluted and overcrowded Earth? If so, check out the new viral website asking you to complete a short test on whether you are suited for life on Elysium.
The Fast And The Furious: Tokyo Drift is unique in the series, in that it involves no original cast members, or any undercover operations with the police. It still involves street racing and organized crime but, at this stage in the franchise, its placement is an anomaly. In fact, save for the coda sequence with the Vin Diesel cameo, you could chop the "Fast And The Furious" prefix and just have a badass little movie called Tokyo Drift. It stands alone far better than any of the previous movies.
The extended Agents of SHIELD trailer is here and it's even better than that miniscule teaser.