Commentary

June 7, 2013

Fly Over: ‘Fast & Furious 6’, and ‘The Internship’

In theaters:

Fast-and-Furious

‘Fast & Furious 6’

I’ve always been a fan of the “Fast & Furious” movie franchise. After hearing how great the sixth movie is, I had to see it.
“Fast & Furious 6” is about a team of criminal gang members led by Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) who retired after their heist in “Fast Five” (2011). While Toretto and his gang remain inactive, another group of skilled mercenaries led by Owen Shaw (Luke Evans) are wanted for destruction of a Russian military convoy. Unable to catch Shaw and his crew, Diplomatic Security Service agent Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) turns to Toretto and his team for help. To convince Toretto to join in, Hobbs shows him a recent picture of Letty (Michelle Rodriguez), Toretto’s presumed dead girlfriend. Dominic brings his crew together, and they agree to the mission in exchange for full amnesty for their past crimes, allowing them to return to the United States.
After finding one of Shaw’s men, the team is led to Shaw’s hideout where Shaw speeds off, blowing up the entire complex. As Shaw races off, Toretto and his crew are given the go to chase him down. Toretto’s team quickly realizes that it’s going to be harder to catch Shaw than expected. Though each team member is given a BMW M5, it is no match in comparison to Shaw and his crew’s customized race cars. It seemed that every time Toretto’s team would get closer to Shaw, Shaw’s crew had another trick up their sleeve. First, one of Shaw’s crew members would flip incoming cars up in the air with their specially designed ramp in the front end of the car, further deterring Toretto from catching up. And when Toretto would be at Shaw’s heels, Shaw’s crew would shoot hockey puck-like chips onto the M5s, disabling the BMW’s steering in the right wheel. Though Toretto’s main job was to catch Shaw, he spots Letty in one of the vehicles then quickly steers away from the chaos to chase her down. Once Toretto corners Letty, she gets out of the car shooting him without hesitation below the collar bone before driving off. Toretto is left shocked and finds that Letty may not remember him, but he still persists in fighting Shaw to get Letty back.
After failing to catch Shaw, Toretto’s crew investigates one of Shaw’s men who reveals Shaw’s connection to Arturo Braga (John Ortiz), a drug lord imprisoned by Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker), Toretto’s right hand man. To unveil more information, Brian returns to the United States as a prisoner to get to Braga. He learns that Letty had survived an explosion that was supposed to have killed her. When Shaw discovered she wasn’t dead, he went to finish the job, but after learning she had lost her memory, he recruited her.
“Fast & Furious 6” isn’t about a group of wannabe street racers as in previous editions. This time the emphasis is on the storyline. It was packed with action and a little romance. Additionally, Diesel is great as Toretto, playing a cool, calm but tough guy no one wants to mess with. Surprisingly, Johnson was great at playing a cop who was polite but could be physically forceful. To anyone who loves cars, romance and action, this is a must see.
This film is rated PG-13.

In theaters:

Internship

‘The Internship’

“The Internship” is hilarious. Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson team up again, this time as Billy and Nick, a couple of recently fired salesmen who appear as relics trying to find employment but without the requisite tech skills necessary for the digital age. But despite this, with a dream and an abundance of charisma, Billy and Nick goofily talk their way into an internship with Google.
So, with nothing to lose, the pair makes their way to California optimistically hoping to finally break free from their lifelong regret of never taking a chance on doing the impossible. However, it is soon readily apparent the duo are completely out of their element, but they remain undauntedly optimistic and refreshingly upbeat – Vaughn and Wilson’s characters are so charming I had a difficult time wiping away my dimwitted grin after the movie. After a brief orientation by Mr. Chetty (Aasif Mandvi) and the Google crew, the interns are broken into teams to compete against each other throughout the summer and for eventual employment.
It’s obvious from the get-go that Billy and Nick don’t belong and are grouped with outcasts that include a list of typical loners: the cool kid who cares about nothing; Yo-Yo, an Asian kid with Tiger-mom issues; an Indian girl who talks provocatively but is in fact still a geeky, Cosplay virgin and a nerdy Google employee who is charged with leading the group.
The disgruntled team finds a difficult time coming together and falls woefully behind a group led by Graham (Max Minghella) a Harvard-grad Alpha male and grade-A dirtbag. However, Billy is soon able to corral his group of oddballs using a list of 80s references, often referring to the protagonist’s plight in “Flashdance,” which of course is often lost on the 20-year-olds, but the message nonetheless gets through.
Through the course of a series of challenges, the team finds itself neck-and-neck with Graham’s group of A-list techies. The rest of the film plays out in typical fashion as the plotline really offers nothing new. As an aside, Nick falls for one of the beautiful Google executives played by the always gorgeous Rose Byrne. Their brief courtship is rather charming and provides for plenty of laughter. But, really the film revolves around the older Billy and Nick providing their younger cohorts life lessons and opening them up to a life the younger team members initially perceive as a bit gloomy – provided they’re unable to land a job at Google. Unfortunately it’s true. Currently, employment prospects for recent college graduates are quite bleak as the young interns allude to.
Any viewer who has watched a happy-go-lucky comedy can probably guess what happens at the end; everyone wins out – well with the exception of Graham. Director Shawn Levy (Date Night) could probably have shaved off a half hour or so from this almost two-hour-long film, especially the strip club scene that seemed out of place in this PG-13 comedy. But, overall I couldn’t keep myself from laughing throughout, and if the rest of the audience was any indication, neither will you.
This film is rated PG-13.




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