FAST & FURIOUS 6 (2013)
I’m not the biggest fan of the Fast and the Furious franchise, but I admit it’s a guilty pleasure to watch. I thoroughly enjoyed the last installment, Fast Five, so I was looking forward to seeing Vin Diesel and his team back for Fast & Furious 6. The latest film follows Dom (Diesel) and his street-racing team as they go head to head with notorious criminal Owen Shaw (Luke Evans) to stop him from acquiring a valuable weapon. The whole pursuit is properly incentivized when Dom is informed by Dwayne Johnson’s Detective Hobbs that his presumed-dead old flame Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) is actually alive and working for Shaw. Fast & Furious 6 features some pretty ridiculous stunts (some impressive, others unintentionally hilarious), but it underwhelms with a story that is kind of hackneyed and so all over the place that it becomes hard to invest in the different subplots. Despite the shoddy, often cheesy writing, I thought Justin Lin did a solid job making everything look good. This film does demand that the audience suspend a great deal of disbelief for many of its action scenes, but it manages to do so in a manner that is still quite entertaining to watch.
I was very pleased that the film featured a very diverse cast – probably one of the most diverse ones in terms of major cast – and especially placed the femme fatales front and center. Gina Carano, Michelle Rodriguez and Gal Gadot were all pretty heavily involved in the action of the film and I loved watching them throw punches and kick ass just as much as the guys. I especially loved that Gadot’s character Gisele has a pretty pivotal part in the film that is unexpected not only for a female character but for a female character in an action franchise dominated by men. One can argue, however, that despite all the strong women in the film, it still featured a great deal of female objectification. I don’t like saying that it’s just something we should come to expect from a series about fast cars and muscled men, but unfortunately that really does come with the territory. Whether this fact cancels out the female empowerment displayed by Rodriguez, Carano and Gadot, I’ll leave up to audiences to decide for themselves.