Fast 6 . . .

I wanted to take a few minutes to suggest a little "art house" picture that was showing for one night only here in Wichita . . . it's call Fast & Furious 6.

It is the delightfully charming tale of a dysfunctional family that join together to prevent world terror with the blessing of an operative of the US government. It is truly a tale for our times and something that will leave your stomach in a knot over how glib you are to the world around you.

I kid, I kid. Fast 6 (as fans like me like to call it) is the latest (hope you are sitting down - SIXTH) installment of a film franchise that spans twelve years and a million eulogies. And yet here - on the cusp of crossing over just about any other standing movie franchise except some of the horror films and Harry Potter (correct me if I am wrong here) with a seventh installment - it is speeding up and getting better.

Let me clarify what I mean by "better" . . . it is getting more and more deft and doing what it does - make the absurd enjoyable and making street criminals the heroes (who are - by now - hackers, surveillance experts, sniper-caliber shooters, weapons experts, not just fast and agile drivers but true trick drivers, hard abed lovers) in the process. I HONESTLY believe the "fast" franchise is the best franchise ever and I will happily debate it with anyone who wants to question.

Lest you think I've lost my mind in endorsing Fast 6 as a truly great film - here are a handful of the things I loved about the movie (and this doesn't even include the really absurd stuff that could be considered "spoilers"):

  • Number of times a person jumps from either a speeding car or an airplane to a speeding vehicle (if my count is accurate) - 9
  • Number of baby oil jokes - 2
  • Number of times a sterling silver crucifix has emotionally changed hands in the first five films - 4
  • Number of times it changes hands in this installment - 4
  • Number (approximated) of miles long the runway at the end of the movie would have to be to make sense - 80
  • Number (approximated) yards from the end of the runway the runway chase ends - 20, maybe 30
  • Number of times Dwayne Johnson's physical stature (for being bigger or smaller than his fight opponent) is a joke - 6
  • Number of people killed from the core "crew" of the franchise in each installment of the franchise - 1
  • Number of people killed from the core "crew" of the franchise in this film - 1
  • Number of twists and betrayals in each installment of the franchise (including this one) - 1
  • Number of times that twist is either someone turning out to be a law enforcement officer under cover as a bad guy or a bad guy undercover as a law enforcement officer - 1
  • Number of scars "Dom" and "Letti' have - INEXPLICABLY - in the same spot on their body based on a coral reef incident - 1
  • Number of nods/inside jokes in this movie to a joke from each of the previous films - 1
  • Number of technologies/chase elements/action sequences in this one that give a nod to each previous film - 1
  • Number of minutes two concurrent hand-to-hand combat sequence in the London "tube" (without any interference from observers or police) - 7
Along the way we have characters come back from the past and we even get a crucial piece of the Fast Furious puzzle (How does Tokyo Drift really fit in to the grand scheme/timeline/character development of things?). Why am I telling you all this? Simple - because, like with ANY good sequel you need not have seen any of the prequels to enjoy the current one. (Editor's Note: That is sarcasm but works well in the world of mindless "popcorn flick" franchises.)

I will be seeing Fast 6 at least two or three more times while it is still on the big screen. I'll own it the day I can buy it. And somewhere between now and then, I'll start obsessing over the release date and details for Fast 7. Do us ALL a favor - take two and a half hours this weekend and get to the multiplex and see Fast 6 so you can FINALLY see what all the excitement is about and you can join me in my giddy delight for each new chapter in this book of cars and "family."