Location: ArcLight Pasadena
Memorable Scene: Fight between Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson
Memorable Line: Did he smack that ass, or did he grab it?
I went into the theater assuming this was gonna be a “just for show” type of film where none of the stunts had any sense of realism or belief in exchange for some great action. With that frame of mind, it helped me really enjoy the experience. Some of the more obviously unrealistic scenes included a car speeding off a cliff with two passengers that looked like they just jumped into a kiddie pool and were perfectly fine, two mustangs dragging a vault across the city, or the multiple use of “I had a life before this” to explain how a character obtained some key item for their heist that the film just didn’t have enough time to show. My favorite example is when Paul Walker’s character decides to jump from a couple stories and land through sheet metal roofing in a Brazilian favela. In the very next scene the movie’s trio (Walker,Diesel, and Brewster) walk out of a random sewage line where they are all fine and apparently planned to meet despite the fact that their initial apprehension caught them off guard.
The film is broken up into 3 sections. The first third of the film is dedicated to transitioning from previous installments of “The Fast and Furious” saga and to set up the plot for the rest of the movie. It was extremely fast paced; If I had gone to take a piss I would’ve missed like five major plot points. I was pretty confused early on probably because I didn’t see 2 of the 5 other movies (Fast and Furious and Tokyo Drift). Anyway, the second portion is where the Ocean’s Eleven twist starts to creep in. In this case, Vin Diesel’s character, Dom, is the Daniel Ocean, the mastermind…yea right. They even have a couple scenes where they pick the other members of the team, who all have specialized skills and attributes, just like in Ocean’s. The last segment of the film is where the execution of their plan happens. This is when the bulk of the action scenes are and I probably could’ve missed most the movie and just saw this part; I would still be satisfied.
I read up a little bit about Taiwanese director, Justin Lin. Interesting fact: he pretty much directed all the Fast & Furious movies EXCEPT for the original. There will also be at least one more sequel. Lin also directed Better Luck Tomorrow, Annapolis, and Finishing the Game which explains the casting of Sung Kang and Tyrese Gibson, but leave’s me wondering how he came to work with James Franco. It’s crazy to me to see his different directing styles. He went from a couple of independent films to direct Fast Five in a Michael Bay fashion.
Okay, time to talk about the main fight scene between Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Vin “xXx” Diesel. First of all, Johnson makes Diesel look puny, but nonetheless both of these guys are huge. Judging by the hits they took in this scene, the fight should have only last a few seconds, but they just kept going at it as if it was just a pillow fight. Whoever Justin Lin decided for his stunt coordinator probably didn’t care about the creativeness behind this fight. Vin Diesel uses the same body slam after a high block at least twice in this fight. Still, it was an awesome scene that I’ve been waiting for ever since Dwayne dropped “The Rock” from his name and Vin Diesel came out with xXx.
The most confusing part of the movie (and this bugs the hell out of me) is why Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) and Reyes (Almeida) are competing to capture or kill the Dominic and the rest of his team. It seems to be, at least in the beginning, two sides and not three. If either Hobbs or Reyes just let the other get Dominic wouldn’t they both benefit? They could’ve even worked together instead of killing each other off so that Dominic and his buddies could run away. Maybe I’m missing something here, but that was really confusing for me. Either way, the movie was good. I’d categorize it as one of those movies that understands that it lacks in plot but makes up for in comic relief and awesome action.