The modern Hollywood landscape is mostly populated by brooding superheroes with daddy issues, fantasy worlds filled with gorgeously animated, annoying magical creatures, post-apocalyptic futures overrun by monsters and the teenagers who love them, and Johnny Depp’s makeup artist. And then there’s Fast & Furious, the ongoing epic globetrotting saga about acrobatic automobiles and the attractive meatbags who hit the gas pedal of said acrobatic automobiles. The trailer for the next Fast movie debuted yesterday and is already on the record as the biggest event in TV history, although unfortunately the trailer only lasted a minute before being pre-empted by some sporting event. In an effort to stave off Fast withdrawal, we’ve done a deep dive into the trailer for the movie which dares to ask the tough questions, like “What if a tank could drive really fast?” and “Isn’t a plane just a car with wings?”
We begin in London, a city which is only just now getting over the Summer Olympics and the filming of Skyfall. With this sixth installment, the Fast franchise is continuing its Manifest Destiny exploration of every corner of the world. The movie also filmed in Scotland, Liverpool, and the Canary Islands, which is thisclose to Africa. Inevitably, the franchise will run out of earth; expect an epic car chase across aircraft carriers and submerged submarines in Fast Twelve: Puddle Jumper.
Luke Evans plays the movie’s Big Bad, Owen Shaw, the leader of “a team of highly coordinated drivers capable of executing massive automotive heists. Basically, if Dominic Toretto is Walter White, a homegrown talent with a ragtag gang of criminals on his side, then Owen Shaw is Gus Fring, an extremely disciplined master criminal with a global operation.
Except Gus Fring never drove a car like this, which is specifically designed to flip every car on the road in the most cinematic way possible. Fun fact: Rumors originally had Jason Statham in line for the role of Owen Shaw, which would have led to an inevitable Bald Bicep Mexican Standoff Arm-Wrestle between Statham, Vin Diesel, and The Rock. But Evans played Zeus in Immortals and a different Greek God in Clash of the Titans. Maybe “Owen Shaw” is just a pseudonym for Zeus. Maybe the Fast franchise is the closest our society comes to the Modern Myth. (In this metaphor, Vin Diesel is Ares, Michelle Rodriguez is Hades, and Ludacris is that one god who always hung out in the corner going “Oh, hell no.”
Just to demonstrate how smooth the Luke Evans crew is, we see a quick shot of them taking down a military convoy. This marks the first Car Flip of the trailer. It won’t be the last.
Dwayne Johnson returns as Luke Hobbs, a government agent created in a lab called the ’80s to save America from only the most awesome villains. In Fast Five, Hobbs was on the hunt for the Toretto crew, but they ultimately became allies in the fight against the most evil man in Brazil. Now, Hobbs asks his old enemy for help one more time. “I need your help, Dom,” he says.
CUT TO: Vin Diesel, wearing the white tank top which has become his superhero costume. His Diesel stare back at Hobbs, with the world-weary glare of a man who has already done three One Last Jobs already.
I think this city is in the Canary Islands. Or maybe it’s in Greece. Either way, those buildings are all going to be destroyed in a car chase.
New to the franchise this go-round is Gina Carano, who plays a member of Hobbs’ team of American Badasses. Carano is former Mixed Martial Arts fighter who played a government agent in last year’s underrated Haywire. It’s not clear what she’s doing in this movie. But in the immortal words of Anton Chekhov: “If in the first act you have introduced Gina Carano, then in the second act Gina Carano really needs to get in a fists-and-kicks-and-somersaults fight. Ideally on top of a burning building that is collapsing.”
Meanwhile, we’re introduced to the old gang. There’s Tyrese Gibson, returning as Roman, the Well-Dressed One…
…there’s Ludacris, who has now been a supporting actor in the Fast & Furious franchise longer than he was a rapper…
…and there’s Gal Gadot and Sung Kang as “The Hotness” and “The Wry Sense of Humor.” Fun fact: Kang’s character Han Seoul-Oh — say it out loud — actually died back in Tokyo Drift, but he’s appeared in all three movies since then. Fast Five openly joked about the character’s final fate, with the promise that he would get to Tokyo “eventually.” This either means that the three recent Fast movies are set in the mid-2000s, or Tokyo Drift was set in 2025, or each film is set in its own unique alternate universe. Or Sung Kang is just too cool to kill off.
It’s important to remember that the Fast franchise is set in a world where every city features an elaborate underground street-racing subculture populated entirely by dancing supermodels dressed like schoolgirls.
And now even the cars are dancing! Check out that sweet, sweet fifth-sequel cash money in the budget! Honk-hoooonk!
Toretto and his brother-in-law Brian agree to help Hobbs, but only if they receive full pardons from the U.S. government. “Well, the United States does not negotiate with terrorists,” says Hobbs, “But…aw, shucks, you guys won’t commit any more cool car crimes, right? Right?” Also: Paul Walker is back, everybody, once again playing the role of “Whitest Dude On The Planet.”
Anyhow, now that we’ve set up the complicated plot points, let’s get to the really important things. First thing’s first: Yes, that is a car flying through the air. As we all know, the Fast franchise is set in the same reality as Grand Theft Auto, which means there are handy-dandy car-jumping ramps just lying around the world.
“We’re talking Vehicular Warfare,” says Ludacris, indicating that this movie will be “the war movie” in the same sense that Fast Five was “the heist movie” and Fast & Furious was “the vengeance movie.” (To complete the series: Tokyo Drift was “the fish-out-of-water movie” and 2 Fast 2 Furious was “the bad movie.”) Just to underscore the whole “warfare” motif, the bad guys apparently have a tank, shown here emerging from a container vehicle. It sort of looks like a butterfly emerging from a chrysalis, except this butterfly can shoot missiles. Also, apparently this tank can drive like 100 miles an hour.
“Damn,” says Hobbs, apparently watching the whole tank incident from a circling helicopter. Three things to notice in this shot: Gina Carano is there and is notably not kicking anyone in the face; Even when The Rock is at rest, his arm muscles look like they are carrying a mountain; and that helicopter is totally going to crash, probably.
“I can reach out and break you whenever I want,” says Zeus. “That’s dangerous talk,” answers Dom. This can only end one way: A zero-gravity car-chase bazooka showdown. Or it could end other ways, too. Just one man’s opinion.
To underscore his ability to reach out and break the world, Zeus uses his fancy car-flipping car to totally eliminate this poor policeman from this world. If you’re keeping track, the car-flip count is currently hovering at about a dozen.
I’m no expert, but it looks to me like The Rock is flying.
Yes, the trailer for Star Trek Into Darkness ends with a spaceship crashing into the San Francisco Bay. That’s impressive. But you know what’s really impressive? Three expensive cars chasing an airplane on a runway and pulling it back down to earth using just a grappling hook and the power of friendship, or whatever. Anyways, this would definitely be an impressive way to end a trailer…
BUT HOW ABOUT INSTEAD WE END WITH A CAR DRIVING OUT OF THE NOSE OF AN EXPLODING CRASHING AIRPLANE?!?!?!
And then the car flips over. And they lived happily ever after.
Being cruel to be kind here, they really couldn’t come up with a better title than Fast & Furious 6? This, from a franchise that gave us the straight-to-the-point Fast Five, the immortal subtitle Tokyo Drift, and the equally immortal 2 Fast 2 Furious, which mathematically seems like it should add up to 4? Here are a few possible suggestions. Fast Six. Furious Six. Six Fast Tank Furious. Tank Fast Plane Furious. Fast Six So Furious. Diesel Six Rock Furious. The Fast and the Furious: London Calling. The Fast and the Furious: Chrome Wheeled, Fuel Injected, and Steppin’ Out Over the Line. The Fast Five Saga, Part 2: Catching Fire.
Also, as promised in the epilogue to Fast Five, Michelle Rodriguez is still alive. And apparently, she’s gunning for her old lover Dom. Is she a member of the Luke Evans crew? Is she really a villain, or will she wind up joining her old compatriots? What does this mean for Elena, Dom’s love interest from Fast Five, who will appear in the movie, but is absent from the trailer? If Vin Diesel wears one white tank-top, and Michelle Rodriguez wears another white tank-top, could it be that they are really two sides of the same coin, like Batman and the Joker? So many questions. So few answers. We’ll know everything when Fast & Furious 6 opens May 24, which is unfortunately like a billion years away.
Follow Darren on Twitter: @DarrenFranich
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