After a massively successful fifth entry, it was a given another ‘Fast and Furious’ movie would surface. Like its predecessor it discards the initial street-racing theme in favour of something different. Still having the same formula of macho men, hot chicks and fast cars, the new elements bring much needed vigour. ‘Fast and Furious 6’ is just as slick, confident and entertainingly silly as the others with the action spectacle at full throttle.
Still wanted and on the run, Dominic (Vin Diesel), Brian (Paul Walker) and their gang think they have left their old life behind. When security service agent Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) finds them, their peace is interrupted. Wanting help in bringing down dangerous gangster Owen Shaw (Luke Evans), Hobbs promises the motley crew a pardon for their crimes. Seizing the chance, they attempt to eradicate Shaw’s shady influence and settle some personal scores.
‘Fast and Furious 6’ is pure popcorn entertainment. These types of films aren’t made for critics but for audiences wanting a thought-free good time. This sixth entry perfectly fits the bill. Effectively utilising its’ established mythology for further adventures, the series’ sense of danger remains. The new cast additions aid in keeping things fresh with the regular cast having a good time amidst the many explosive incidents. It’s amazing seeing how far the franchise has progressed since its simple first foray with the pyrotechnic displays here suitably dazzling.
Justin Lin directs his fourth ‘Fast and Furious’ instalment with plenty of energy and imaginative flair. He maximises the opportunities in showing off gorgeous foreign locales during the many spectacular car races. All are amazingly staged with the mix of CGI and stunt-work well blended. Almost every scene is expressed in broad comic-book strokes although you still believe in the characters. This is perhaps the franchises’ biggest achievement – the ability to care about what happens to them despite the preposterous situations in which they find themselves.
Beyond ridiculous and extremely ludicrous, ‘Fast and Furious 6’ is still tons of fun. If you go along with the pure silliness of its story you’ll enjoy it and have enough enthusiasm left for the next inevitable instalment.
Rating out of 10: 7
Based on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s acclaimed novel, ‘The Great Gatsby’ seems a perfect fit for director Baz Luhrmann. Famed for his opulent story-telling techniques, he goes out all in this umpteenth cinematic rendering. A bedazzling display it certainly is as it captures the excess of its character’s life. Unlike previous efforts Luhrmann remembers to deliver a solid story with his stylised visions deftly mixing with Fitzgerald’s revered tome.
In 1922, Nick (Tobey Maguire) works as a sales bondsman. He meets next door neighbour Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio), a multi-millionaire regularly holding lavish parties for New York’s social set. Attending one, Nick is amazed at its spectacle. Becoming firm friends, Gatsby and Nick, and Nick’s cousin Daisy (Carey Mulligan) are taken on an adventurous path where they discover the trappings of wealth doesn’t always bring true happiness.
Like any good tale ‘The Great Gatsby’ has many layers. Conveying drama, humour and romance it captures the decadence of the nouveau riche. It explores the illusion of power and money with its related fame and friendships existing within fleeting moments. The desire to re-capture past glories drives its characters as they exist in an emotional vacuum. Their wealth becomes an extension of themselves with it controlling their destinies.
Often accused of favouring style over substance, Luhrmann’s efforts in concentrating on the dense screenplay are commendable. Whilst flashes of self-indulgence emerge, the lead performances and exquisite production design quickly bring things back into focus. Occasionally an air of repetition creeps in with some slight modern touches to the orchestral score failing to suit the time-frame. Overall it maintains interest with some depth amongst the glitz.
One of Baz Luhrmann’s more restrained efforts, ‘The Great Gatsby’ is worth viewing. A cautionary tale on the lust for monetary and emotional supremacy, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s words still ring true decades after yesterday’s conquerors have faded from view.
Rating out of 10: 7