One Big Scene is a weekly column dedicated to spectacular visual sequences we’re recommending you see in the theater. If you have ones you’d like us to write about, let us know in the comments section.
I’m not sure anyone could have predicted back in 2001 that we’d still be talking about The Fast and the Furious as a legitimate Hollywood franchise … and anticipating each sequel because the series somehow managed to get better with age.
Fast Five helped the franchise turn a massive corner, introducing Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and upping the drama in what has become a pretty rich mythology. All of a sudden, the story of a low-rent California crook (Vin Diesel) and the undercover cop (Paul Walker) ordered to take him down as evolved into a globe-trotting action franchise that rivals the James Bond series and – yes – even Marvel’s The Avengers.
But people still come to these movies seeking pedal-to-the-metal action sequences, and Fast and Furious 6
has plenty of those. We’ll dig into one sequence, in particular, but first, reviews!
What Critics are Saying:
“Sustains its joyful, unpretentious ridiculousness so perfectly that I secretly hoped the ‘6’ meant ‘hours long.’”
“A borderline ridiculous, over-the-top demolition derby that also happens to be a perfectly constructed low-IQ blast.”
“[Director Justin] Lin and his team do an extraordinary job of staging the ever-escalating action sequences, up to a jaw-on-the-floor finale involving various four-wheel vehicles in and around a cargo plane that's trying to take off.”
And that’s what I almost wrote about – the jaw-dropping finale that you’ve seen glimpses of in the trailers of cars trying to prevent a massive plane from taking off. But it’s not so much a One Big Scene as it is a sustained, mind-blowing, 15-minute action sequence that will hammer you through the back of the multiplex. Honestly, it’s the most impressive sequence I’ve seen in theaters this summer.
Instead, though, I’m choosing a different scene from Furious 6 that also is hinted at in trailers. It involves Diesel, Walker an the Fast team trying to stop the film’s villain (Luke Evans) from taking down a convoy on a Spanish road and obtaining a valuable microchip. Because they are in the fastest cars possible, they believe they have an edge over their antagonist.
Until he unveils the fact that he has a tank.
We’ve seen classic action heroes deal with tanks before. Indiana Jones fighting atop one in The Last Crusade automatically leaps to mind. But Lin figures out how to turn the menacing machine into a domineering force of evil, devouring Tyrese’s souped-up sports car and, later, dragging a second car behind it like an anchor.
Without spoiling anything, the extended scene of vehicular warfare (to borrow a phrase from co-star Ludacris) ends with a mid-air rescue and the impossible stopping of the warrior tank. I thought this was the natural conclusion to the movie. Boy was I wrong (in a good way). But it’s still worthy of being our One Big Scene, and it’s reason enough to get you into Fast and Furious 6 this weekend.