FILM REVIEWS: Fast and Furious 6, Epic and Picture Day
Fast and Furious 6
Even the number in the title is a hint of what's to come. This movie is loud and proud. Number 6. Dealt with it. If you don't remember why, we'll drum it into your heads with a montage over the opening credits.
Dominic (Vin Diesel) and his crew of street racers are facing off against a new master criminal Shaw, which forces them to work with Agent Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson, the only man that can make Vin Diesel look puny.) Lines aren't delivered — they land with a thud.
Now fans of the franchise will be surprised to see Letty, as played by Michelle Rodriguez, back behind the wheel. (She died a couple films ago.) But we're not going to little speed bumps like that slow us down. You didn't come for plot or characterization. You're here for motorized mayhem. Street races through late night London, with stealth-mode Formula One vehicles flipping cop cars like flapjacks. Or the high-speed game of chicken between the muscle cars and some serious military hardware.
You will believe a man can fly and Vin Diesel can act. Like a super-charged heist film dreamed up by gear heads, FF6 delivers what is promised with a finale on a runway that makes Die Hard look like Swan Lake. Does what it says on the wrapper. Vroom vroom. Utter audience satisfaction.
RATING: 4 out of 5.
Mary Kate is a teenager who gets shrunk and tries to protect the forest's life-force as well as fight the evil Mandrake. Voice work is hit (Beyoncé and Chris O'Dowd) and miss (Steven Tyler as a magical grub of some sort).
Epic may be derivative and try a little too hard for laughs but it's filled with real sense of wonder for the world around us. It just might be the first cartoon to make kids want to play outside.
RATING: 3.5 out of 5
Picture Day stars Canadian Tatiana Maslany as Claire, a high school slacker caught between the boy she used to babysit and her new rock star man friend (nicely underplayed role by Elastocitizens frontman Steven McCarthy). A coming-of-age movie with a sweet and sour mix, it's a film about two different characters, each swimming against the current.
Spencer Van Wyck is hilarious as Henry, the shy loner who tucks his life into shoe boxes. Maslany is the free radical here, too cool for school, but afraid to grow up. There's much wisdom, heart and an honest eye from first-time feature director Kate Miles Melville. Definitely worth your time.
RATING: 4 out of 5
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