Tag Archives: fast and furious

Movie Review: Fast and Furious Presents: Hobbs and Shaw (2019)

This review will be brief.

As action movies go, its OK.   It’s worth the price of admission and fun to watch on the big screen.  On the other hand, it isn’t something that I’m clamoring to watch again.

The Fast and Furious movies have always required suspension of disbelief in their brand of putting awesome stunts above little nit picky things like laws of physics and gravity and so on.  Probably the most unlikely suspension though is that the Fast and Furious team accepts Shaw (Statham) as one of their own even though in a previous film, he openly murders one of their teammates in a gruesome way.  I guess eventually that becomes something we’re supposed to forget and frankly, I think most people do because it is silly to expend too much brain power on these films.

Hobbs (The Rock) a government agent who sometimes chases and sometimes works with rhe F and F crew, teams up with Shaw to help save Shaw’s sister (Vanessa Kirby) who has been implanted with a capsule containing a virus that could destroy the world.  Once a pair of awesome badasses, now they kind of look like old bald men going off on an adventure with some young chick paid to act like they are interesting.

Idris Elba picks up a payday as the villain but we won’t hold it against him.

There are some great scenes and it is fun and at one point, The Rock pulls a helicopter down with a chain.  Like I said, it’s fun and worth a ticket but it’s not something you’d want to see again and again.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.

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The Fate of the Furious Trailer (2017)

Jump in your ride and crank up the rap music, 3.5 readers.

It’s time to check out the new Fate of the Furious trailer.

I have literally lost track of how many of these films have been made now.

They began in the early 2000s but were ahead of their time.  They needed CGI to catch up with them, not to mention a little sprinkling of The Rock’s film franchise resurrection powers.

Fast Five, where they took the show down to Rio, will always be my favorite, mainly because it was the one where it was like, “Hey after four movies I think we figured out a winning formula!”

Anyway, you’ve got the fast cars, the non-stop rap songs, the fight scenes, the gratuitous booty…it’s all a young man’s wet dream or, if you’re like me and refuse to grow old in spirit (because my body’s agreed to get old) then you love them too.

It looks like Dom betrays his team of early 2000s rappers and works with Charlize Theron, who is hotter than ever.  I assume we’ll get some sort of explanation.

I dunno.  These films are fun to bust on but you know you’ll all be there front row with popcorn in hand.  I know I will.

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The Writer’s Battle: The Limits of Our Language (Examples from Fast 7)

BQB here.

Have you ever had a scene appear in your head so vividly and yet, you’re not able to come up with the words that do it justice?

Have you ever changed your story from what was in your head to what will work on paper?

Here’s an example that popped out at me while I was watching Fast and Furious 7.  Yes, I’m going to use an example from a car racing movie to discuss writing.  Shut up.

SPOILERS.

OK THE SETUP – Lettie, an amnesiac, remembers she used to be married to Vin Diesel aka Dom.

LETTIE:  Why didn’t you tell me we were married?

DOM:  Because you can’t tell someone that they love you.

OK, so what’s the problem?

“They” is a word used to refer to multiple people – plural.

EXAMPLE:

PETE: “Fred, did those hula dancing penguins steal my cheese sandwich?”

FRED:  “Indeed they did, Pete but don’t worry.  They’ll bring it back.”

Yet, a limit of the language, when you talk about “someone” or a singular individual where the sex isn’t stated in the sentence, your main option is to use “they.”

EXAMPLE:

PETE:  I can’t believe someone stole my cheese sandwich.

FRED:  Don’t worry, Fred.  They’ll bring it back.

See?  In this example, Fred has no idea who, how many, and the gender(s) of the culprit(s).  “They’ll” becomes an option, though I have no idea if it is proper or if it is just something that has become common in our vernacular.

What say you, fellow scribes?  What should Dom have said?

DOM:  You can’t tell someone she loves you.

ANALYSIS:  Eh, it’s ok but Lettie is right there holding him.  Seems odd to refer to her in the third person.

DOM (to Lettie):  I couldn’t tell you that you love me.

ANALYSIS:  Well, that becomes a whole other kettle of fish, doesn’t it?  Was he unable to tell Lettie she loves him because he wanted her to figure it out on her own or because he was choked up about the issue or some other reason?

So that brings us back to:

DOM:  You can’t tell someone that they love you.

Ahh!  I get it.  That great free-thinking mind inside Vin Diesel’s brain has come up with quite a concept.  The takeaway for the viewer is that Dom did not tell Lettie that they were married because Lettie, who remembers none of the past, would feel obligated to pretend to love Dom and Dom didn’t want that.  He wanted her to fall in love with him naturally like she did in the past.

And you thought the seventh sequel to a special effects saturated car chase movie couldn’t be deep and meaningful…for shame!

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Movie Review – Fast and Furious 7 (2015)

Fast cars?  Check!

Ridiculous action sequences?  Check!

Rap music?  Check!

Hot babes?  Check!

Catchy one liners?  Check!

Copious amounts of testosterone?  Better believe that’s a check.

Plot?  Ehhh…

Fasten your seat belt and hit your nitrous switch, it’s time for my review of Fast and Furious 7.

But be forewarned…the spoilers are going to come…at a fast and furious pace!  (:::rimshot:::)

Cars jumping out of planes?  Sure, that could probably happen…

BQB:  Yeti, what did you think of the movie?

THE YETI:  I did not understand the plot.  I have not seen parts 1-7.  Did a scientist unleash a chemical that turned most of the characters into a bunch of angry jacked bald men?

BQB:  What?

THE YETI:  The Rock, Vin Diesel, Jason Statham, Tyrese Gibson, Djimon Honsou…like 90% of the cast are a bunch of cueballs!

BQB:  I’m pretty sure that’s the great cosmic deal, Yeti.  The universe can make a badass, but in exchange, you have to give up your hair.

THE YETI:  The film company must have saved a mint on shampoo costs alone.

Paul Walker

Let’s get the sad part out of the way first.  Paul Walker passed away during the film’s production in a tragic car crash (sadly and ironically, on his own time).  Since he plays a main character (Brian) in these films, would the continuity of the film suffer without him became the question on the minds of movie buffs.

THE YETI:  BQB, do you think the continuity of the movie suffered due to Paul Walker’s unfortunate passing?

BQB:  Good question, Yeti.  That was just on my mind.  No, I don’t think it did.  Going into it, I assumed his character would somehow leave mid-film, but he stays right to the end, so apparently a great deal was taped before the world lost this action star.

I would be interested in learning what had to be done to compensate for his passing.  Toward the end of the film, there are some action sequences that take place in the dark, and “Brian” is either seen from far away, or if his face is on screen, it’s only for a split second between various karate moves.  That made me wonder whether a stunt double was utilized or if that was just the intent of the scene since it took place at night in a dark building.

In other words, there are times when I’m not sure whether or not it was Paul and I don’t want to diss Paul if in fact he was in said scenes.

There is a scene at the end where Dom and Paul do their usual “pull up to each other at the end” and have a heart-to-heart talk.  There, the scene did look like footage taken of Paul in the past.

And whereas these movies usually end with Dom and Paul drag racing, they instead, drive off, going their separate ways…Dom to continue his life as a bad ass, Brian to be a husband and Dad.

Aww.  Tear.

Obviously, I care more about Walker’s life than an action movie, but from a critic’s perspective, I did not think that Walker’s death impacted the overall quality of the film and in my eye anyway, I did not notice any defects or flaws caused to the film.  Any changes they had to make were minor or barely noticeable.

Great question, Yeti.  Do you have any others?

THE YETI:  Yes.  Were there any sad scenes made even sadder due to Walker’s passing?

BQB:  Indeed there were, Yeti.  There’s a scene where Brian has a heartfelt phone conversation with Mia, where she tells her husband that the way he’s talking makes it sound like he’s never coming home and well, that becomes more depressing now that we know Walker is not coming home.

There’s also a montage of Walker through the years in the past 7 movies, dating back to 2001 and it’s just amazing how you don’t recognize it while it’s happening, but people really do grow and change over the course of a decade.

One more thing – Walker left one more movie behind.  Last year’s Brick Mansions, was, in my opinion, another must see flick for fans of urban action films.

Alright then.  Let’s move from the sad to the awesome.

Obviously, with these films, you check your thinking cap at the door.  In fact, here’s my thought process with every outlandish stunt I see:

BQB:  Oh, come on.  That could never happen!  Cars jumping out of planes?  Preposterous!  Through buildings?  Get out of here!  That defies all laws of science and physics and…OH MY GOD THAT WAS SO AWESOME!!! DO IT AGAIN!

Nope, you don’t go for the plot.  You go for the action and special effects.

THE YETI:  Why do they bother pulling all of these fast car jobs when they have so many skills?  Driving skills, computer skills, planning skills…

BQB:  Shut up, Yeti.

I dare say that the scene where Dom jumps a 3.5 million dollar plus car through three buildings (as in it exits out one window, jumps a large expanse, does it again, then ends up in a third building).

THE YETI:  What did you think of Kurt Russell?

BQB:  You’re full of questions, aren’t you, Yeti?  Personally, I think the Rock is awesome and let’s be honest, he saved this franchise.  I get the impression that the Rock enjoys Hobbs, a character who is unapologetic about his awesomeness.

Therefore, it was sad to see Hobbs get laid up in the hospital for most of the film, with Kurt Russell taking over as the agent that convinces Dom’s crew to pull a job.  That being said, Russell did a great job and he was awesome.

At one point, I was left wondering about the overall question of what makes a movie great.  Let’s face it.  Flicks like this one will never win an Academy Award and yet when you think about it, with all the stunts, action, special effects and so on…there’s probably more moving parts and issues to coordinate than, say Birdman.

And while I’m not saying, “Let’s give Fast and Furious an Oscar!” I am saying that F and F 7 is a better film than Birdman.

Yup.  I’m sorry.  I said it.  Had F and F 7 come out in 2014 it would of been more deserving of an Oscar than Birdman.

Other notables:

  • Game of Thrones fans will be pleased to see Nathalie Emmanuel aka the Khaleesi’s translator Missandei in a major on screen role.
  • Did anyone else think “If it is possible for this franchise to have a “Jump the Shark” moment, that it might have been the part where the crew jumps out of plane in their cars and somehow they all manage to land on one road in perfect formation?
  • Why are their cars constantly being sprayed with bullets and yet they never die?
  • Was the Rock’s epic fight in the beginning with Jason Statham the best thing ever?
  • Has anyone figured out why so many musclebound dudes go bald?

THE YETI:  But it’s so stupid.  They drive cars.  They blow stuff up.  Constant chaos.  It reminds me of the Yeti village.

BQB:  Again, suspend your concerns about plot and substance at the door.  These films are basically one big on screen thrill ride.  They might as well make the seats shake it charge admission to it at Disney World.

THE YETI:  Are you going to talk about Paul Walker again before you go?

BQB:  Yes.  So, on this blog, I talk a lot about heroes for average people – folks that the ordinary man can look up to.  Now, Walker was an above averagely good looking movie star, so obviously we can’t call him average.

But here’s what sets him apart from other action stars.  There’s a scene where he takes on a bus full of terrorists while wearing a hoodie.  That may not seem like much, but think about other movies where the hero wears a uniform, or a bullet proof vest or armor or something.

Maybe I’m just reading too much into it but when you see a good guy taking out bad guys while wearing ordinary street clothes, it makes me think that maybe that could inspire moviegoers to become better than average.

You too can do awesome things in just your hoodie and jeans.  But, you know, just don’t try to take out a bunch of terrorists by yourself.  Duh.

I’ll be interested to see what direction the series goes in from here, if it does continue at all.  As discussed above, it was left that Brian drove off in his own direction to become a family man.  I think that was a good decision because to kill the character off would have been a bit macabre given the the actor’s tragic passing.

Will the crew go on without Brian?  Will they hang up their stick shifts and call it quits?  Time will tell.  But all in all, they were faced with a difficult task – deliver an over the top action blockbuster while remaining respectful to the loss of one of the main stars…and it delivered.

STATUS:  Shelf-worthy.  RIP Paul Walker.  You will be missed.

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Fast and Furious 8 – Yeti Drifters – Part 2

DOM:  We’ve all flown to Toyko, first class.  We’ve rented a warehouse to be our lair.  We’ve purchased ten high end tricked out sports cars to drive and we’ve rigged a state of the art computer system to monitor the entire caper.

LUDACRIS:  Question.

DOM:  Yeah?

LUDACRIS:  If we’ve got so much money that we can easily buy all this shit, why are we running around committing car crimes, driving through buildings and off bridges and getting blasted at by tanks and shit?

DOM:  That’s actually a pretty good question.

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Fast and Furious 8 – Yeti Drifters

DOM (VIN DIESEL):  This is it, family.  One last ride.

TEJ (LUDACRIS – Cuz, really, who remember these character names?  I hate to look them up on IMDB): You said that already!  We’ve had like 7 last rides now!  We’ve been last riding since Bush’s first term!!!

LETTY:  (Michelle Rodriquez) – Yeah, I thought our last ride days were over a couple movies ago so I let the writers kill my character over.  She had to be resurrected when the movies started making big bucks again.

ROMAN (TYRESE):  Something funny!

HOBBS (THE ROCK):  Toretto, you son of a bitch.  You and your crew have cut such a wide path of destruction with your car crimes that as head of the anti-car crime task far, I should throw your asses in car crime jail for a million years!

DOM:  But we’re family!

HOBBS:  Your crew’s working for me now.  There’s a new duo in town:  BQB and The Yeti:  Tokyo Drifters.

ROMAN:  You mean they’re homeless hobos who wander the streets of Tokyo aimlessly?

HOBBS:  No.  The other kind of drifter.

DOM:  Why should we listen to you?

HOBBS:  Because I saved the franchise!

CUT TO:  TOYKO

:::LUDACRIS RAP SONG PLAYS::::

FAST ASS YETI

As rapped by Ludacris

God damn, that fur be flyin!

Hairy dude’s rollin and I aint lyin.

He’s gonna win the race I’m willing to bet-tee

Look out y’all, here comes the Yeti!

(Bookshelf Q. Battler in a tricked out muscle car vs. The Yeti stuffed into a tiny Nissan sports car)

BQB:  (revving the engine)  I’m gonna wipe the road with your hairballs, Yeti!

YETI:  Roar!  I’m the Yeti!

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SNL – The Rock as Bambi

As a lover of action movies who will be there opening night for Fast 7, this was the funniest thing I’ve seen in a long time:

“Wham…bam…Bambi!”

“I’m always thumpin…”

“Yeah, it’s always somethin'”

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