Posts Tagged ‘Dwayne Johnson

23
May
13

Fast & Furious 6

From fast food to Nascar, to amusement parks claiming to have the fastest ride on earth, one thing about America is abundantly clear: we’re a nation addicted to speed.  With a nation seemingly unable to get its fill of speed, it’s not a shock that a film franchise built around speed and adrenaline, the Fast and Furious films, would be so successful.  As has become the norm, this summer brings another Fast and Furious film.  The latest, Fast & Furious 6, directed by Justin Lin, stars familiar faces Vin Diesel and Paul Walker.

Fast & Furious 6 begins with our anti-heroes, Dominic (Diesel) and Brian (Walker) weaving in and out of traffic, pulling hair pin turns on a narrow thoroughfare.  When they reach their destination, what they encounter changes Brian and Dom’s life forever.  Soon after this life altering event, Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) approaches Brian and Dominic needing help capturing a group of international criminals wreaking havoc and evading police.  Initially, Brian and Dom are uncooperative, but both relent when learning a character previously thought dead may be alive.

The entire gang from Fast Five is off enjoying their new riches in exotic locales with private jets, expensive cars and beautiful women.  Their picture perfect life is quickly interrupted when they all are summoned back into action by Brian and Dom.  They all drop what they’re doing and the entire squad is reunited.  What follows is a film filled with car chases, action, bulging biceps, and more testosterone than Lance Armstrong during the Tour de France.

Fast & Furious 6 is peculiarly written and directed.  Anyone buying a ticket to a film in the Fast and Furious franchise knows what they are in for; fast cars, car chases, and some decent action sequences. And Fast & Furious 6 comes with all of the above in an overwhelming amount and that’s when the film works.  But for whatever reason, the story goes off into several tangents that have nothing to do with the central story once so ever.   It’s not only distracting, it slows the film and gets away from what made it so successful; the action and car chases.  The film also spends an unnecessary large amount of time trying to explain the reappearance of a major character which could have been done in a few scenes.

The story is not bad at all. In fact, despite the undisciplined direction, the story is able to hold your attention.  However, the dialogue is very, very bad.  Almost all of it consists of characters speaking in usual tough guy cliché’s.  The acting is ok, except new comer Gina Carano, who is Razzie- worthy bad.

The Fast and Furious franchise has produced some decent to average films (the original) and some not so great ones (Tokyo Drift ).  Fast & Furious 6 starts off on a high note, but as it progresses, the more outrageous and absurd it becomes.  Fast & Furious 6 isn’t the worst in the franchise, but it’s not the best either.

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20
Feb
13

Snitch

No one enjoys being proven wrong, right?   Whether it’s an argument with your significant other, a dispute at work with your boss, or the Facebook timeline, where you spend hours debating some trivial topic for the entire world to see, no one relishes being proven incorrect.  But, believe me or not, sometimes being wrong isn’t all bad.  And I can name an instance where being mistaken won’t result in spending the night on the couch, job loss, or a lost virtual buddy.  By this time the anticipation must be mounting to an almost unbearable amount as you sit on pins and needles waiting for the answer.  The Answer:  an expected unsatisfying trip to the theater, which is instead, met by a rather enjoyable experience.

And the new Dwayne Johnson flick, Snitch, is a great instance of me being wrong at the theaterAs high as my expectations were for Identity Thief  to be good, they were equally as high for Snitch to be bad, perhaps more so.  Going in, I had Snitch pegged for just another typical Dwayne Johnson film with a weak, see through story, where the bullets fly endlessly.  However, what we have with Snitch is a well concocted story, with fully developed characters.

Snitch at its core is a story about the love of a father for his son and how far he’s willing to go to protect his child.  John Matthews’s (Dwayne Johnson) son lands himself in prison for accepting and attempting to distribute narcotics.  Even with this being his first offense, federal minimum sentencing law is ten years in prison.  Desperate to save his son from spending ten years behind bars, John Matthews makes a deal with an ambitious federal district attorney (Susan Sarandon).  He helps deliver known members of a Mexican drug cartel, the drugs, and the money and in exchange, she’ll significantly reduce his son’s sentence.  What follows is entertaining and a surprisingly thought provoking look at the war on drugs.

The film succeeds on many levels.  First, even though its rated Pg-13, it has a feel similar to Training Day in terms of tone, characters, and setting, but not as good on any level.  The characters are well drawn and feel like actual people instead of the cardboard cutouts these films generally produce.  The script is unique and intelligent for a film of this genre.

The downfalls of the film are few and far between, but big enough to keep it from being really good.  First, Dwayne Johnson is becoming a better actor, but when the film calls for an emotional reaction, he’s just not able to deliver.  The emotional scenes between him and his son do not work because the Rock just isn’t at that level yet.  And Benjamin Bratt as the drug lord is rather laughable.  He’s not intimidating in the slightest and comes off as a joke, badly miscast.

Snitch is surprisingly an entertaining time.  It had potential to be really great, but its drawbacks were big enough to hold it back.  However, if you find yourself at the theater any time soon, Snitch is definitely worth checking out.




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