11 April 2009

Fast & Furious

What should have been a really smart movie with great action and non-stop questions, becomes an exercise in prayer. Every moment people are talking, you pray they would just get into a car and drive, or shoot something, or blow something up.

The action is so frickin' good, it could cure cancer.

The dialog is so bad, it can CAUSE cancer.

The movie picks up LONG after the first movie (I did not see #2 and only a few minutes of #3). One of the characters from 3 makes an appearance in this one as does Michelle R.

The story meanders in a good way, making you wonder where it will go next. It's a good thing, because the action does need a pause and the story has a chance to be good in places. I actually liked what was unfolding, I just didn't like what I was hearing. "No. Donna. You go. It'll be safe. I know it will." I don't really recall what it was that was said, but I wish it was THAT good, because it was much worse.

Sadly, the words that come out of the cardboard figures on the screen make you wonder if the script was hacked together by eight-year old kids storyboarding the script with hot wheels in the backyard with some jumbo playset. At one point, Character A and B have sex on the kitchen table, while Character B's brother (Character C) works on Character C's car in the garage 15 feet away, despite numerous warnings in the script that Character C hates Character A's face for hurting his sister (Character B).

High Points
Vin Diesel is out for blood in this one. He hurts people this time. Really, really, really just brings the pain.

Jordana Brewster is sooo hot. Sadly, she gets about 10 minutes of screentime (albeit, it fits the story).

Paul Walker is a little gritty in this one, but he's still a dough-faced sissy, so until they make Running Scared 2, I can't buy the tough guy act from him.

The foot chase after the Dominican Republic heist is really well-done. A little to "Bourne Identity" shaky cam for my taste, but a great opener. I wish Jordana Brewster had gotten a scene like this. Maybe Character E's accomplices could have abducted her, knowing that Character C was coming for them. That would have heightened some tension.

Low Point [spoiler]
The phone call from Character C to Character A during the interlude when we find out Character D was working for Character A all along only works if they add one last piece of dialog that runs like… "We needed someone to find Character E. We didn't know who he was. Not even a name. Nothing. He's a phantom. Character D was willing to do find him for us… for you! If Character D had lived, Character E would already be in jail and you'd be back to stealing gas in the middle of BFE... jackass!"

Instead, the scene begs the question… why didn't Character A know who Character E was by now?

Anyway. Great action. Go see it.

12 Rounds

For obvious reasons, the writers of something as bad as 12 Rounds failed to do anything interesting with the entendre of ROUNDS also being bullets in a gun.

Instead, they took the script from Die Hard 3 and made a really really poor version of this film. Complete with european terrorist with a score to settle, this movie wasn't the kind of "Snakes on a Plane" bad I was looking for.

Instead, it was just plain lazy.

Bear in mind, it was directed by Renny Harlin (of whose fame, I don't need to recite on this list). And while he really outdoes himself with the opening 20 minutes of chase, choppy photography, and half-ass character development, the movie does get REALLY bad until ROUND 3 (yes, the villain counts which ROUND john cena is in — gamers will laugh).

I went expecting bad enough that I could laugh. Instead, I got bad enough so I could cry.