Now that I'm out of school for the summer, I can turn my attention to the summer movie season that I have purposefully neglected for the sake of my studies. We're about halfway through it, and wow, I have never been this disappointed by the crop of blockbusters that have come out, and no other month but May has illustrated this trend. Sure, there are a few good ones, but for the most part, it's been good, but not great and just plain bad. June has so far bucked this trend, bringing out This Is the End, the summer best film far and away, and the criminally underrated Man of Steel, both films which will be review this week. For now, here's the "Meh" of May.
|Looking over a dead creature, or over the corpse of M.Night's career? You be the judge.|
* 1/2 stars out of ****
|The End...Thank God.|
* star out of ****
|"We're getting too old for this s#@t."|
*** stars out of ****
|The gang's all here.|
Fast & Furious 6 - The Fast and Furious franchise has really pulled off an incredible feat: This is a film series that got better, despite three mediocre to poor installments (The Fast and the Furious, 2 Fast 2 Furious, and The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift) previously. Maybe screenwriter Chris Morgan (who's been writing all the scrips since Tokyo Drift) realized how utterly ridiculous this whole series is, decided to take the simple concept of fast cars, action and T&A and turn them into heist films, instead of the original street racing films the first three were centered around. Maybe director Justin Lin figured out how to combine show-stopping action set pies and get the best out of actors who really can't act, but get the audience to care about the stakes they're in. Whatever happened after 2008, the series has really taken off and found it's grove in 2009 with Fast & Furious, and once again two years later with Fast Five. In Furious 6, Dominick Torretto (once again played by Vin Diesel) has retired from a life of crime, and the rest of the gang have gone their separate ways. But here comes Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) to pull him back into the criminal underworld: he needs Dom's team to track and capture Owen Shaw (Luke Evans), a ruthless ex-Special Air Services soldier-turned smuggler who's been stealing military software that he intends to sell on the black market to the right buyer. For Dom, it's a chance to find Letty (Michelle Rodgriguez), his former girlfriend who he believed died and truly reunite the large family that has been sprawled out throughout the franchise. Most of the cast returns, including Dom's right-hand man Brain (Paul Walker), her sister Mia (Jordanna Brewster), smart-ass Roman (Tyrese Gibson), weapons specialist Gisele (Gal Gadot) and her partner Han (Sung Kang), and tech wiz Tej (Chris "Ludacris" Bridges) and the interaction between them is as playful and as fun as the last installment. The action set pieces have gotten more and more elaborate and a hell of lot more fun, but at the cost of Lin taking all known laws of gravity and physics out of the equation, especially in the 3rd act, in which the stunts become so ridiculous and over the top, that even the most ardent fan of the series will begin to roll their eyes and/or yell 'bullshit!' Still, Furious 6 is one of the most exciting, balls-to the-wall popcorn movies you'll see all summer, and that's a good thing.
*** stars out of ****