Peter Suderman Reviews Fast & Furious 6

Universal PicturesUniversal PicturesReason Senior Editor Peter Suderman reviews the sixth installment in the auto-centric action Fast & Furious franchise. Suderman says it's the best one yet:

"Fast & Furious 6” conjures up a world that consists of little but muscle car mayhem and macho showdowns. And for those who can appreciate that sort of thing — and the series’ box office to date suggests that there are plenty who do — there’s an awful lot to like.

Indeed, the “Fast” films offer a rare, possibly unique, example of a franchise that takes six installments to truly find itself. “Fast & Furious 6” takes everything that “Fast Five” did right, and then does it more: It’s louder, it’s funnier, it’s bigger — more exciting, more over the top, and more delightfully absurd. In every way, it is a movie that is truly faster and, yes, furiouser than any of its predecessors.

Virtually all of the credit for the film’s success has to go to director Justin Lin, who has overseen the franchise since the third installment. When Mr. Lin took over, it was a flagging, mid-budget series about urban illegal racing culture that had lost all of its original cast. But starting with the fourth entry, he made the smart decision to bring back the stars of the original, and open up the series’ appeal to a wider audience. Later, he added to the cast former wrestler Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who now anchors the series along with Mr. Diesel.

Over time, Mr. Lin has slowly transformed the franchise from its modest origins into a sort of streetwise, auto-centric “Ocean’s 11” — broad, big-budget, comic heist films with roaring engines at their core. Each entry has improved on the last, but it’s never quite worked all the way — until now.


Read the whole review in The Washington Times

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  • itsnotmeitsyou||

    Suderman says it's the best one yet:

    You're worse than Hitler, Suderman.

  • CE||

    You know who else was worse than Hitler?

  • A Serious Man||

    The villains in that Nazi planet episode of Star Trek?

  • itsnotmeitsyou||

    I am.

    It is known.

  • ||

    BOOOOOSH!

  • Rrabbit||

    Hitler?

    Two Hitlers?

  • GILMORE||

    ""You know who else was worse than Hitler?""

    GUIDO HITLER

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Evil Hitler?

  • Aloysious||

    Snookie Hitler?

  • Entropy Void||

    Hitler with an Evil Spock beard.

  • Scotticus Finch||

    I haven't seen F&F 6, but I have a seriously hard time believing that it succeeds as a pure action flick while Into Darkness (which I did see) was evidently so unpalatable.

    Don't get me wrong; I think F&F 6 looks as mindless (but sorta fun?) as Into Darkness was, but this seems like some drastically uneven expectations leading to incongruous reviews.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    I hate the new ST franchise, but I concur entirely - how does ST:ID not work as an action film but FF6 does?

  • ||

    IO9 explains Into Darkness.

    And why the hell would Abrams and crew stick to Khan’s origin timeline, even though it makes zero sense, but also suddenly change him to a white dude? That’s cherry-picking the stupidest parts of canon and non-canon!

    I don’t know. I think it’s nice that in this day and age, a white male can still be cast as an Indian played by a Mexican. White men really have come a long way!
  • ||

    So what wouldn’t Khan’s blood fix? Decapitation, but most other mortal wounds? Poisons? Phaser blasts, I bet. Certainly most other illnesses and cancers and such. And probably aging, at leats to an extent. So basically Bones has discovered the secret to eternal life, and not only will no one on the Enterprise ever need to die again unless their body is somehow destroyed, but all of the civilization — heck, probably galactic civilization – will be irrevocably changed because of this amazing discovery.

    Uh, I don’t think so. I think they just save Kirk and then forget about it.
  • A Serious Man||

    Also the trans warp thingy that lets you go anywhere in the galaxy was stupid. Why even have starships?

  • ||

    Yeah, if they had this technology why do they need starships for the coming war? Just teleport nukes onto Kronos and you're good.

  • itsnotmeitsyou||

    Beyond stupid. Hell, the knowledge of transwarp beaming only came about in the last movie, and regular, limited range, transporters still take up entire rooms. But somehow Kahn was able to make one the size of a suitcase that can beam him several light years away with pinpoint precision.

    Yeah, Kahn is a beast and ridiculously intelligent, but I call shenanigans.

  • Rasilio||

    What is worse is it would have been just as easy to say it was a regular old transporter beaming him onto a ship waiting in orbit and then tracking that ship to Kronos

  • Goldwyn Smith||

    How's that anymore ridiculous than Threshold or Genesis?

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    What is with this hackneyed malarkey?

    Genesis was a forerunner to powerful nanoprobes that can realign matter. That's solid science fiction. Threshold was a one-off about a rare mineral.

    Neither undercuts its own plot. Intergalaxial transporters do.

  • Goldwyn Smith||

    Radiation can turn salamanders back into humans?

    And that transwarp works and should be the end of the show but they don't use it for some reason.

  • Entropy Void||

    So what wouldn’t Khan’s blood fix? Decapitation, but most other mortal wounds?

    Sounds like they are merging Star Trek with a Highlander theme.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    Thank you, io9. You're the one decent ray of sunshine in the darkness that is Gawker Media.

  • ||

    Into Darkness- bad.
    F&F 6- good.

    Got it.

    This is why no one takes libertarians seriously.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    They're both the same movie and they're both bad. There, happy?

  • Scotticus Finch||

    From Suderman's ST:ID review:

    No one ever conducts a conversation, or has a thought, without something interrupting: an explosion, a crash, a shoot-out or some other meaningless reveal. This is a movie that lives in terror of boredom, and projects a deep-rooted anxiety about its own ability to hold an audience’s attention.

    From Suderman's FF6 review:

    It’s louder, it’s funnier, it’s bigger — more exciting, more over the top, and more delightfully absurd. In every way, it is a movie that is truly faster and, yes, furiouser than any of its predecessors.
  • A Serious Man||

    I guess we expect more from a Star Trek movie.

  • Scotticus Finch||

    I guess we expect more from a Star Trek movie.

    We should, but that's not what we got, and his review never said that was the problem. So to me, this is like Suderman judging a chili cook-off by saying "Chili One is awful -- it tastes nothing like foie gras! But Chili Two is great -- the cheap beef and prepackaged spices are right up my alley!"

  • A Serious Man||

    Everything he said about Into Darkness was spot-on. It was loud, full of plot holes, the pacing was way too fast, and the characters never got a chance to interact in a way that made the originals so endearing. Instead Abrams would just throw in as much shit on screen as possible.

    I'm not going to see Fast and Furious, but I expect it will involve a lot of car chases, hot women, and shootouts. And I guess it does not disappoint.

  • Scotticus Finch||

    From my OP: this seems like some drastically uneven expectations leading to incongruous reviews.

    We don't seem to be disagreeing. I just say you can't call it garbage in one movie and celebrate it in the next.

  • Rasilio||

    Um, Suderman prefers body builders to the more cerebral action stars?

  • Mint Berry Crunch||

    Apparently I'll see just about anything Hollywood shits out, because I don't even like these movies that much but I think I've watched all of them except the one set in Japan. I mean, I see them on DVD or cable, not in the theater, but still.

    Also, am I crazy, or in the original installment, was there a street racing scene where the drivers never make any turns - but somehow the same spectators who were at the start of the race managed to be waiting at the finish line?

  • itsnotmeitsyou||

    Also, am I crazy, or in the original installment, was there a street racing scene where the drivers never make any turns - but somehow the same spectators who were at the start of the race managed to be waiting at the finish line?

    Shhh! It's not polite to point out plot holes in movies where the plot is thinner than a feminist's skin.

    These movies are nothing more than an excuse to have cool car scenes, shit blowing up, and hot girls. Like porn, the "plot" is only there as a means to go from one action scene to another.

  • Mint Berry Crunch||

    I just looked up the first movie on IMDB and skimmed its incredibly long 'Goofs' section, but I didn't notice a mention of what I described.

    Know what? My recollection is probably off. Either the drivers made a few turns and raced around a block, or the group of spectators at the finish line was different from the one at the starting point.

  • Bam!||

    Or they could have just made a u-turn at the end of the street, and the finish was just the start.

  • NeonCat||

    Those were identical twins!

  • np||

  • Fatty Bolger||

    So is this any good if you haven't seen the first five?

  • sarcasmic||

    How can you avoid them? Not a day goes by without one being played on some cable network. Just yesterday I caught myself admiring some petite Japanese ass before I realized I was watching Tokyo Drift.

  • ||

    I've never seen any of them. But I did see Gone in 60 Seconds, so sort of?

  • sarcasmic||

    I don't think I've seen any of the F&F from beginning to end. It's something I'll stop on when channel surfing, but that's about it.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Who plays Eric Holder?

  • ||

    +1 Toyota Supra

  • ||

    Hugh wins.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    "Terrence Howard stars as the idealistic Attorney General who gets a crash course on dirty politics when a congressman (Gary Oldman) tries to frame him for a crime he didn't commit."

  • CE||

    Oh great, now there'll be a Fast and Furious 7.

  • NoVAHockey||

    I was picking up my son from daycare (3-years-old) and another parent said he was traveling to Toyko. another kid asked if he was going drift racing. so somebody likes these movies.

  • sarcasmic||

    Tokyo Drift was on cable last night.

  • Brandon||

    so somebody likes these movies.

    It's usually hard to identify special-needs kids that young.

  • Brandon||

    OT, because this is boring:

    http://www.newrepublic.com/art.....ment-pays#

    New Republic doubling down on "IRS scandal is actually Republicans' fault."

  • NoVAHockey||

    crap, i had "low-level" employee in the pool.

  • Otis B. Driftwood||

    Paul Walker: the poor man's Ryan Phillippe.

  • Mint Berry Crunch||

    Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson: almost as overexposed as Ryan Gosling.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Yet neither is nearly as overexposed as Jeremy Renner.

  • GILMORE||

    ""Suderman says it's the best one yet""

    Ok, fuck this = Suderman gets all fucking snotty and superior about the humor in Hangover III... then pens a paean to FAST AND FURIOUS.... **XI**??

    You need a beating in the crotch with a sock full of rocks, then a bag of fire ants placed on your head while forced to listen to an entire Lady Gaga album on repeat. You do not suffer from a lack of taste or discrimination. Your taste and discrimination is *complete shit*.

    And you're ugly.

  • itsnotmeitsyou||

    Aside from that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you enjoy the play?

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    I like Lady Gaga #noshame

  • Peter Suderman||

    Brief comments on a couple issues:

    Expectations matter: I do expect more from a Star Trek movie than from a Fast film. For one thing, I expect it to be true to the core sensibility of the franchise, which has always placed a premium on ideas. I want council chamber discussions of international diplomacy! And the ethics of stranding a bad guy on a dead planet! That sort of thing. The Fast films on the other hand don't really promise anything but macho hijinks and badass car action. And this one delivered pretty well on that front.

    I also give Fast credit for being self-aware. It doesn't pretend to be anything it's not. But the Abrams Trek struck me as unduly self-important, and grossly dismissive of the legacy of the Trek franchise.

    Loudness: I like loud, over the top movies. I like big action sequences, and stuff blowing up. A lot. And sure, Star Trek had some of that. But it wasn't just loud. It was distracting and spastic. It couldn't finish a thought, couldn't hold still, couldn't stick with an idea for more than a few seconds. Fast & Furious 6, on the other hand, is quite focused. Much more than Trek.

  • itsnotmeitsyou||

    You're still worse than Hitler.

  • Rasilio||

    Well I gotta give you props Peter, you and a couple of the other Reason writers are the only journalists I have ever seen willing to descend from the crowds and mingle with the riff raff in the comments section.

    For that I'll elivate you from being worse than Hitler to only being somewhere in the general vicinity of Edi Amin.

  • GILMORE||

    For that I'll elevate(sp) you from being worse than Hitler to only being somewhere in the general vicinity of Edi Amin.

    EDI AMIN HAD CHARISMA

    Suderman has NOTHING

  • Scotticus Finch||

    Expectations matter: I do expect more from a Star Trek movie than from a Fast film.

    That's the rub, and it's entirely fair. In a medium where it comes down to 2 stars versus 3 for mindless action, I was skeptical of the difference. Having not seen Fast, I don't have much of an argument beyond that.

  • GILMORE||

    It doesn't pretend to be anything it's not.

    NEITHER DO GUIDOS

    THEY'RE STILL HORRIBLE INSULTS TO THE HUMAN RACE

  • ||

    For one thing, I expect it to be true to the core sensibility of the franchise, which has always placed a premium on ideas. I want council chamber discussions of international diplomacy! And the ethics of stranding a bad guy on a dead planet!

    But this is what Star Trek is freaking terrible at. ST:VOY "Death Wish"--let's have a serious council chamber discussion on the ethics of allowing someone to commit suicide and come to the conclusion that only one race in the entire history of the knowledge the Federation possesses has thought such to be ethical, and then only in cases of terminal illness. The "ideas" part of Star Trek is at least 50% vapid statist nonsense. Only once in a while is it actually good, and usually then only for a few minutes before someone else says something stupid.

  • A Serious Man||

    Oh come on Nikki, bringing up Voyager is like bringing up Rosemary Kennedy as an example of Kennedy family aptitude. We just don't talk about it.

  • ||

    It's just the apex of Trekian statism.

  • Goldwyn Smith||

    And the premium ideas are Roddenberry's utopian communist ideas.

  • Peter Suderman||

    I find TNG's confident socialism kind of charming, actually. (Infuriating too, at times.) Part of what made the show work was that it did have a worldview. It wasn't trying to hide the ball, or avoid its priors. It embraced its socialist tendencies, and then built its stories around them. You knew what the show was about.

    Relatedly: What I really liked about the show, and one of the things I think was important about it, was that it provided a sort of fictional guide to thinking about social problems. Star Trek: TOS and TNG were basically the only shows I watched regularly as a kid. It didn't turn me into a socialist. Instead, it taught me how to think about social and political issues - not as partisan arguments but as long-term hypotheticals about how society should or could be. I think that's a valuable thing for people to learn, and I think stories, generally, and the hour-long sci-fi drama format, in specific, offer a pretty decent (partial, to be sure) education in how to think that way.

  • Rasilio||

    Babylon 5 was better at that

  • Dr. Frankenstein||

    It is ironic that so many of us on this libertarian board like Star Trek.

  • ||

    I get what you're saying. I mean, I'm a fan. It's not like I don't enjoy the show. But the priors are so shaky that if you think about them very hard, it all becomes absurd. Which is fine, and I think you're right about "long-term hypotheticals." But you have to think, because a lot of the time, the writers actually aren't.

  • Goldwyn Smith||

    For one thing, I expect it to be true to the core sensibility of the franchise, which has always placed a premium on ideas.

    Utopian Communist ideas you mean. And if anything the closest to Real Trek was the first movie and the first two seasons of TNG which I understand are not well thought of by Trekkies.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    Another shining example of the Politicization of Everything.

  • Goldwyn Smith||

    Erm if anything I think Roddenberry using Star Trek to depict his utopian communism is an example of the politicizing of everything rather than me pointing that out?

  • Goldwyn Smith||

    And Roddenberry using Trek as a vehicle for his political views is no secret. And it's not like he is the first (or last) man to use Sci-fi as a way to get around the censors.

  • Lord Humungus||

    as a (now retired) gearhead, the F&F franchise fueled foul foreign car fun.

  • ||

    The book was better.

  • Download Fast 6 Movie||

    Download Fast And Furious 6 Movie : http://www.fastandfurious6movie.org

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