I love a good action flick. There’s something delightfully carefree about watching buildings and cars explode with no consequences what so ever. I’m glad to see the Fast and Furious franchise thinks the same way. Do you like car chases? They got ’em. Like hot cars, tough as nails women, men so pumped up they must have cleaned out the country’s steroid supply? They got ’em. Fight scenes so fantastic they go beyond physics? They got ’em.
Looking for a plot that makes sense? They don’t have it. But ‘eh, who cares.
There are so many plot holes in this story that you could take all the fancy cars, plus the tank, and drive them through side-by-side. While I’m the first to admit that a car chase scene with a tank is, frankly, awesome, I’m also the first to admit it really had no business being in there at all. Seriously, tanks don’t go that fast. There is no way a tank out runs those cars…no way. Shoot them? Yes. Out run them? Not a chance in hell.
I hate to give away the whole plot, but honestly there’s not much of one to give away and I really have a few rants to get off my chest, so here goes.
GIANT SPOILER ALERT.
Seriously, if you haven’t seen the movie and you want to, and it bothers you to know the plot, don’t read this until after you’re done watching it. Go on, I won’t mind.
Seriously, close the email or the browser window…
Still here? Don’t say I didn’t warn you!
During one scene about 3/4 through the movie we have Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and his thought-to-be-dead lady Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) on a deserted road, alone, having a tender moment. They discuss things:
Letty Ortiz: You got some serious balls, man.
Dominic Toretto: So I’ve been told.
I get the point of having the scene. She doesn’t remember him, and he wants to jog her memory. Tender moment alert! That part is fine. But then the girl leaves, and suddenly the Big Bad Guy, the one we’ve been chasing through the whole movie, shows up. It’s just him, and Toretto, in the middle of an empty road. Suddenly a sniper red mark shows up on Toretto. Uh oh, he’s targeted. Then a red mark shows up on the Bad Guy too! Hooray, good guys win, right? I mean, there’s the guy. THE guy. All alone, except for one sniper. There is no way you can’t take him out. No way he can get away before you drop him. Sure, our hero might get sacrificed at the same time, but we’ve been told this particular bad guy is putting together a weapon he’ll sell for billions. A weapon that can destroy a country and will kill millions of people. As much as I like our hero, I’m sorry…if I’m the cop, I drop the bad guy. Right there. Talk about a moment of national security!
Of course, then we wouldn’t get the tank chase scene.
So what actually happens?
Seriously, if you haven’t seen it, walk away. Right now.
The bad guy postures a bit, the good guy postures a bit, then bad guy gets back in his car and drives away. Good guy drives away. Nobody shoots anybody, and the movie continues.
Makes. No. Sense.
Near the end, we have the bad guy and his whole crew in custody. We’ve re-captured the technology data bits he was after. Good guys win. Right? I mean, he’s on an army base, surrounded by soldiers and guns pointed at him.
But wait…bad guy has sent a killer to our hero’s house and captured his wife. If he’s not released, he’ll have the wife killed.
Remember, the weapon he’s building will level a country. Worth billions. Millions of people dead.
They release the bad guy and his whole crew, and let him walk out with the data chip. Because he’d captured one woman.
Right. Sure, that would happen.
My biggest complaint about these holes is it would have been so easy to fix them. To fix the first, simply don’t have that scene. It did nothing to push the story forward, and instead harmed it in a very real way.
As for the other, a simple half scene of explanation would have worked to shore it up. A wrap up that would explain how they let the bad guy walk out to flesh out the mole who was passing him information. And the data he left with was a decoy. No harm, no foul.
Of course, then you wouldn’t have had the tank chase scene.
It seemed like somewhere in a meeting over a lot of alcohol someone said “let’s have a tank so we can blow up these cars.” And someone else said “yeah! That’d be awesome! Guys love tanks!”
A tiny voice in the corner probably said “But how are we going to work that into the story?”
“Doesn’t matter! Throw it in there.” They say as they slam back another beer.
What’s sad is I think it could have been a great movie. One with a decent plot AND action. Instead we have…a tank.
All that said, and plot holes aside, if you’re looking for an action flick with hot women, hot cars, hot weapons, and a tank…then look no further. This will appeal to every testosterone driven human with a pulse, which is why, I suspect, they keep making more of them. Did I like it? Eh. I laughed at some of the one liners and I did enjoy most of the chase scenes. I even enjoyed the bits where it went above and beyond reality and thumbed its nose at gravity. Our buff heroes withstand more torture than IronMan while he’s in the suit. They walk through fire, survive car crashes and plane crashes which would kill mere mortals, and walk away from building collapses. They are super heroes, without the capes or the morals. As long as you go in expecting campy, over the top ridiculousness, you’ll have a good time.
As for the hubby? He enjoyed it, even though he agreed the story left a lot to be desired. He explained that he didn’t go see it for story. He didn’t like how our crew as a whole seems to have mellowed and gone respectable. He’s hoping in the next one (yes, heaven help us they are planning another one) that the group goes back to being the bad boys we expect them to be.
He loved the tank.
Go expecting action and little else and you won’t be disappointed.