The Fast and The Furious

review furious 6

In 2011, theaters scored the biggest Memorial Day weekend of all time with $276m, led by The Hangover Part II. This year, a third Hangover film found its way to the box office on this holiday weekend, but it was Fast & Furious 6 that dominated while smashing the previous record to bits. With $98.5m domestic, the Justin Lin film took the top spot on a four-day weekend that will be north of $300m total. Plus, with a smaller budget at $160m and massive foreign success, Fast 6 ($275m) is already better positioned than Star Trek Into Darkness ($248m worldwide) with one fewer weekend under its belt. Not to mention it beat Fast Five‘s opening weekend by $12.4m. This is absolutely incredible. When has a sixth entry into a franchise been this big? James Bond aside, it’s remarkable that a series once headed straight to video was resurrected so thoroughly that it now towers over other summer entries. The shorthand version of all this? Get ready for Fast & Furious 7 in 2014 and then gird your loins for Fast & Furious 8-12 in the years to come. As long as they have The Rock and this, they’ll be able to go bigger and make movie fans leave their homes.  

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fast and furious yacht jump

It’s hard to believe that a little Paul Walker vehicle (pun so fully intended) from a over a decade ago has turned into one of the box office’s most beloved franchises, spawning no less than five sequels, all while seamlessly shifting genres, earning new fans at every turn, and keeping The Rock‘s baby oil handler very much in the money. The Fast and Furious franchise is a surprise hit all around, and with the release of the series’ unbelievable sixth entry zooming into a theater near you this weekend, fans everywhere will soon be debating the best exploits of Brian, Dom, and the rest of the family, and things are no different here at Reject HQ. What’s the best act of vehicular mayhem in the franchise? The sickest stunt? The most oily Rock appearance? We don’t know, but we sure know what we like best from the series that just won’t pull over. Strap in, buckle up, start your engines, and drive off into the sunset with five of our favorite scenes from the Fast and Furious franchise.

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Bullitt

In 1968, Steve McQueen starred in Bullitt as a San Francisco cop whose primary job description was driving a Ford Mustang GT fastback recklessly and seeking revenge on behalf of a witness he was trying to protect. The impressive Peter Yates earned immortality as a director with a 10+-minute car chase that’s effectively what people are talking about when they ask you to cut to one. For some, it’s the best (often trading out that top spot with Ronin). At the very least, it’s in the Top Five All-Time, but we wondered if it couldn’t be just a little bit faster and furiouser. So we called upon our old pal Sleepy Skunk to mash-up a trailer that pumps a ridiculous amount of NOS into Frank Bullitt’s ride in honor of the 14th or 15th installment of The Fast and the Furious franchise that hits theaters this weekend. Let us know what you think.

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Honestly, we’re not entirely sure just when it became okay to adore the Fast and Furious franchise – was it when The Rock and his beautiful, glistening head joined the series? when the term “Tokyo drift” entered the cultural lexicon? when the latest film, Fast & Furious 6, all but lit this year’s Super Bowl on fire with a TV spot that included a crashing plane basically vomiting a car? Tyrese? – but we don’t care, because we love this crazy goddamn cinematic wonder, and you should, too. Proof of that? The newest (long-form) trailer from the summer release, which sees the crew heading to Europe for whocaresgiveusmorecarplaneadventures, along with a hefty batch of new stills from the film, all the better for you to write your fan fiction from. Ride or die (or just hit that break)

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There’s been plenty of buzz about potential casting in the sixth Fast and Furious film (seriously, the sixth film), which we’re just going to refer to as Fast Six until someone tells us otherwise, but it’s been hard to quantify any of it without knowing the plot that these new characters would fit into. Fortunately, today we’re gifted with some confirmed casting (beyond, of course, the core crew who are all expected to return) and the first bit of real plot information for the film. As had been rumored last week, Luke Evans is in final negotiations to play the bad guy in Fast Six – not necessarily a villain (though that’s what been widely reported), but at least a dude audiences will likely be rooting against. The news comes from Variety, who detail his character by expounding a bit more on the film’s plot – it will “involve the crew heading overseas to work on a heist job. Evans would play the leader of another crew trying to pull the same job.” See! Not a bad guy! He’s just like Paul Walker! Or Vin Diesel! Maybe we’ll end up liking him! It’s happened before!

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Looks like Rihanna has found a career in an unexpected place (forgive me), as the pop star is now reportedly set to join the sixth film in the recently revitalized The Fast and the Furious franchise. The Sun reports (via Cinema Blend) that Rihanna will play the villain in Fast Six or Fasixth or Another Fast Movie or whatever they’re calling it these days, a gig she snagged based on, of all things, the strength of her performance in Battleship. A “source” (who is apparently a huge Rihanna fan) is quoted as saying, “Rihanna impressed with her acting debut in Battleship. Writers think she’ll be perfect for the role. Her character has plenty of bite and doesn’t take any prisoners — just like her in real life.” Of course, this news might need to be taken with a grain of salt – mainly because the Sun seems convinced that the last Fast film took place in Tokyo, so they might not be the most trustworthy of sources when it comes to all things fast and furious. While our own Cole Abaius sunk Battleship in his review, he did note that the pop singer “is one of the few actually trying hard to deliver a real performance,” so reports of Rihanna impressing bigwigs with her work isn’t too insane, though it might be hard for most Americans to swallow before we actually get a chance to see Battleship on this side of the pond. The film opens in the U.S. on […]

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Gina Carano in Haywire

Gina Carano’s claim to fame is that she can stomp people into the ground while, simultaneously, looking fabulous. So far she’s used these seemingly at odds traits to build a promising little career in entertainment, originally by being the first MMA athlete to bring real mainstream attention to the female fight game, and lately by transitioning her physical skills to the acting world. We got our first look at how Carano will fare on the big screen earlier this year in Steven Soderbergh’s Haywire, where the budding actress proved (in a starring role) not only that she could be just as alluring and magnetic as the biggest actresses working in Hollywood today, but also that there was a certain action magic to be had when your lead actress is able to perform all of her own fight scenes, probably better than any stuntwoman would be able to. Carano’s character in that film was overly stoic, however, and everything she was asked to do there seemed to be crafted to emphasize her natural looks and physical skills, and to de-emphasize any real emoting or serious acting that her inexperience might not yet be able to handle. That approach isn’t going to be able to last forever though, and now that Carano is signing up for a couple new roles, we might start seeing for the first time what she really has to offer as an actress.

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While writing F6st and the Furious, director Justin Lin, screenwriter Chris Morgan and star/producer Vin Diesel just couldn’t jam in all the story and character development they needed. Nay, that the story itself demanded. According to Diesel (via THR), they’ve decided to add a seventh movie into the franchise. “We have to pay off this story, we have to service all of these character relationships, and when we started mapping all that out it just went beyond 110 pages,” said Diesel. “The studio said, ‘You can’t fit all that story in one damn movie!’” Well, what were they expecting? The movies in this franchise have always been primarily about character arcs, emotional evolution, and providing audiences with a keyhole look into the soul of humanity. Plus, it’s helpful that Fast Five has made $626m worldwide so far. It seems crazy, but it’s wonderful to see such a dialogue-based, mature story being such a smash blockbuster commercially. Let’s all raise a glass to the intellectually nuanced F7st 7nd F7r777s! That is, if you can hear yourself thinking over the crunching of popcorn and revving engines.

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr gets in his car and hits the road with a can of NOS energy drink and his shaved head. Too bad his car is a 2006 Dodge minivan with collapsible seats and a back-seat DVD player for the kids to use. He didn’t stand a chance in the street racing against Vin Diesel and Paul Walker. After recovering from the cold, hard truth that The Rock stole his look for Fast Five, Kevin goes stag to Prom and suffers through the direct-to-DVD theatrical release of Hoodwinked Too!: Hood vs. Evil.

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Junkfood Cinema

Welcome back to Junkfood Cinema; we get furious when we don’t get our fast food. Before you could slam on the brakes, you managed to crash head-on into one of the internet’s most obnoxious dividing walls. Every week I put the pedal to the floor, a floor almost entirely obscured by half-eaten Zero bars and discarded McRib wrappers, to bring you the very best in the very worst cinema has to offer. I will drive a truckload of mockery right up the unsuspecting film’s tailpipe before totally switching lanes and filling your eye sockets with premium unleaded love for that very same lemon. Finally, to really drive home this absurd running metaphor, I will supercharge your taste buds by pairing the film with a greasy snack that will leave tread marks on your esophagus all the way down. This week’s treat: The Fast and the Furious

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decade_junkfoodcinema

Here is my list of this decade’s films that fell well short of critical acclaim but still found their way into my favor and, in many cases, my DVD collection.

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