Star Wars: Darth Vader Vol. 1 – Comic Book Review

Star Wars: Darth Vader Vol. 1 – Comic Book Review

When Disney bought both Marvel and Lucasfilm, it was only a matter of time before Star Wars comics started to hit shelves under the Marvel banner.  The only question was, would these new comics be good and would they be good enough to help heal the loss of all pre-Disney buyout Star Wars cannon? After finishing my first foray into the new cannon comics, I absolutely think they are. 

“Darth Vader” follows the titular character as he deals with the fallout from the destruction of the first Death Star.  To put it simply, the Emporer is pissed and pissed at Vader specifically.  And that is where this book shines.  The way the relationship between Master and Apprentice in “Darth Vader Vol.1” is presented is absolutely astounding and the best thing Star Wars related I’ve read in a while.

Throughout this volume, the Emporer berates Vader, constantly belittles him, and forces Vader to continually prove himself as a worthy apprentice.  The Emporer even makes a jab at Vader when he sends him to Tattoine on a mission, making Vader relive past hurts at the sick pleasure of the Emporer.   

In the movies, we never get any real take on the relationship between Palpatine and Anakin after Anakin has turned.  Most of what we see is Palpatine’s manipulation of a young, head strong boy turning him to the Dark Side and we get very little of Palpatine emotionally manipulating his new apprentice (past him lying about Padme’s death at the end if Episode III). This volume expertly serves to inform the audience about their relationship and gives added context to it when rewatching the movies.

The writer, Kieron Gillen, also does a great job of humanizing Vader and makes us feel for him as he deals with the Emporer and as he remembers things about his past throughout the book. The best villains are always the ones we can sympathize with and feel for even as they do dispicable things.  That’s why Loki in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Kingpin in Netflix’s “Daredevil” Season 1 work so well, we get to see the shreds of humanity left in them and see why they are the way they are and that’s what we get for Vader here.

Sometimes comic book artwork can be a crap shoot, especially when adapting live action characters but that is no where near the case this time, Salvador Larroca’s artwork brings life to the pages here.  I remember Larroca’s art from way back in the “X-Treme X-Men” days and he hasn’t lost a step.  

If you’re a Star Wars fan you should read this comic. If you’re a comic fan, you should read this Star Wars book.  Even if you really don’t fall into either category, this book is accessible to casual Star Wars fans, you don’t have to be knowledgeable of the expanded universe to enjoy it. There are also many other surprises in “Darth Vader Vol. 1” that I haven’t touched on here. Seriously, hit up your local comic book shop and get this book. I can’t recommend it enough!

I will definitely be picking up Vol. 2 shortly and will write a review when I do!

Until next time, Thank You for reading and 

MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU!

Weekend Box Office Predictions! (April 28th – 30th)

Weekend Box Office Predictions! (April 28th – 30th)

Howdy Beardlings and welcome back to Weekend Box Office Predictions where we take a stab at guessing how much money cinema fans will be spending at the movies this weekend!

Let’s get into it!

#1 – The Fate of the Furious – $18,500,000 – 48% DropThe-Fate-of-the-Furious-Title-Change-Logo

Even though there is a new wide release coming out this weekend, I think “Fate” still lands at #1 because it has a much wider appeal and a loyal fan base. “Fate” surprised me last weekend because it dropped 61% however I think it has enough nitro in the tank to keep it’s top spot.  If you’re looking for a fun time at the movies this weekend, go check this movie out. The chemistry of the cast is amazing and might have even been good enough to spawn a spin off franchise with Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham (which I firmly approve of).  Be sure to check out my review of “The Fate of the Furious” here!

#2 – The Circle – $12,000,000 – New Release

the circle

“The Circle” is the aforementioned new wide release this weekend.  Based on a book of the same name, “The Circle” follows Emma Watson as she finds out the social media company she works for may not be as altruistic and forthcoming as she initially thought. Despite this movie getting abysmal reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, a very rotten 23% at the time of this writing), I’m interested in seeing it.  I like the star power behind it (Emma Watson, Tom Hanks, John Boyega, Karen Gillan, and Bill Paxton in his final film) and the subject matter seems incredibly timely as it touches on privacy and security in the digital age.

#3 – The Boss Baby – $8,900,000 – 30% Drop

Boss-Baby-poster

I should call this movie “The Little Film That Could” as it just keeps raking in more money than I thought it would.  It won’t break into the billion club like the next entry but its done more than enough to justify it’s existence and possibly a sequel in a couple years.  Wonder what the title will be….. “The Boss Baby 2: Toddler Tyrant” or “The Boss Baby 2: Dictator in Diapers”?  *insert eye roll here*

#4 – Beauty and the Beast – $5,8000,000 – 40% Drop

Beauty-Beast-2017-Movie-Posters

Belle and Co. just keep on keeping on.  “Beauty and the Beast” cruised to a billion dollars with out breaking a sweat and it just keeps on chugging.  I would venture to say its got two more weeks to enjoy being in the Top 5 before being pushed out by the summer blockbusters.

#5 – Going in Style – $3,450,000 – 30% Drop

going_in_style

With “The Circle” being the only wide release this week, I expect “Going in Style” to hang on to the 5th spot for at least one more week.  “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” comes out next week and that movie will definitely be pushing everything down a slot with the insane money it will make.

That’s it for this week folks! What are you going to see this weekend? Let me know in the comments below!

Be sure to like and follow WildeBeard Reviews on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

Until next time, Thank You for reading and….

SEE YOU AT THE CINEMA!

The Fate of the Furious – Movie Review

The Fate of the Furious – Movie Review

Here we are ladies and gentleman, we made to the 8th and (far from) final movie in the “Fast & Furious” franchise.  It’s been a long road catching up on a 16 year old, 8 movie strong franchise but I feel it was well worth it.  The series has had it’s ups and downs but I feel it has had more ups and “Fate” is certainly among those.

Since it’s still a new movie, I will keep this review SPOILER FREE! Let’s get into it!

Right off the line, I will say this – I loved this movie.  This entry is definitely an improvement over “Furious 7” in a lot of ways.  It’s funnier, the action makes more sense and feeds the plot better, and I felt the over all pacing was pretty spot on.

“Fate” starts out with Dom and Letty on their honeymoon in Cuba and, of course, trouble soon finds them and is resolved, as per usual, with a street race.  This might be one of my favorite, if not my favorite, street race in the series.  No spoilers but the way it plays out is pretty fantastic and it challenges our heroes in new ways that the series hasn’t done before.  It felt fresher and newer than the eighth movie in a series really has any right to.

Later that day, Dom is approached by Charlize Theron’s character and told that he will betray his team and come work for her.  After Dom refuses, she shows him something on a phone that will force him to do it. It’s always a fine line to walk when writers use this plot device to force otherwise good characters to turn bad, so I was initially worried about what the reveal might be but all my worries were unfounded.  The reason the writers came up with not only makes sense with in the universe this franchise has built but it is instantly believable and raises the stakes to the point where you know that you would do the exact same thing Dom is doing were you in his position.  That’s good writing.

Also, when the reveal takes place is just as important as what the reveal is.  Earlier I said this movie has good pacing and this is a big reason why.  Lots of times, a movie or TV show waits until pretty deep into the story to pop the reveal but “Fate” pulls back the curtain pretty early (maybe halfway thru or beginning of the second act-ish) and that is of huge benefit to the movie. It makes you understand why Dom has to do what he is doing and shows you just how backed into a corner he really is.

Aside from Charlize Theron’s menacing villain, we get a new hero in Scott Eastwood, who plays an underling reporting to Kurt Russell’s Mr. Nobody.  After seeing it, my wife made the comment that is was somewhat disrespectful to Paul Walker’s memory to add in a new pretty boy law enforcement guy and while I can kind of see her point, I think Eastwood plays a very different character here.  Paul Walker’s Brian was a leading man and had a charming, funny personality where as Eastwood’s character is very much a by the book, government lackey with no sense of humor and that is actually something I think was needed.  Eastwood is that necessary straight man to foil the humor of the rest of the crew, especially the court jester of the team, Tyrese Gibson’s Roman. The interactions of Gibson and Eastwood made for some of the funniest lines in the series to date.  Also, yes – I am purposely dancing around saying Eastwood’s character name. It comes from a hysterical joke in the movie so I’m not going to spoil it here.

Just like previous films, the cast works exceedingly well together.  Everyone gets a moment or two to shine, it feels like everyone has a purpose for being in the movie, and all the characters feel like real people vs watered down stereotypes, with maybe the exceptions of Eastwood’s character and Nathalie Emmanuel’s Ramsey.  As I said Eastwood’s character is a little paint by numbers and Emmanuel’s Ramsey just hasn’t quite had enough development time having only been in two movies in the series thus far as compared to the four or five the rest of the main crew have been in.

In my review of “Furious 7”, I dogged on the prolonged action sequences and how they dragged the movie down.  “Fate” does have those same prolonged action sequences but they are much better directed in this film and have the humor and character interaction needed to make them feel like they’re more than just filler.

It’s been a long ride working through these movies and if it all culminates in this newest entry then that’s perfectly fine with me.  “Fate” is exactly the kind of movie I want when it’s summer blockbuster season, fun, action packed, and left me with a smile on my face.

Until next time, Thank You for reading and…..

SEE YOU AT THE CINEMA!

Doctor Who S10E02 Review – “Smile”

Doctor Who S10E02 Review – “Smile”

Hello my fellow Whovians! We are back with another great episode of Doctor Who and, according to Bill, our first “proper” adventure with our new companion.

Before we dig into “Smile”, I have to say that the more I thought about “The Pilot” from last week, the more I liked it and I may have come off a bit harsher than I wanted to in my review for it.  Ah well, live and learn.  On with the show!

Also mild SPOILERS FOR THIS EPISODE!  If you haven’t watched “Smile” yet, maybe do so and then come back.

We start this week’s episode with a woman walking through a wheat field as she heads back to what looks like an alien colony.  As she goes back towards the main building, it becomes clear that something is amiss. She is met by what looks like a family member and told that everyone is dead but she HAS to keep smiling as insanely creepy robots with emojis for eyes lurk about.  When her smile and happiness starts to fade, a swarm of microbots descend upon her and strip her bones clean! WTF Doctor Who?!?!  As cold opens go, this one definitely got the job done.

After the opening credits, we see Bill and the Doctor in the TARDIS control room where the Doctor asks Bill where she would like to go – backwards or forwards?  She, like I would, answers forwards.  But before they can take off, Nardole pops in and reminds the Doctor that he can’t leave earth because of the promise he made to guard the vault. There’s that vault again.  It’s pretty clear that “what/who is in the vault? who did he make the promise to?” is going to be the central plot, season long arc of this season, probably teased until the end of episode 11 and resolved in the season finale.  My pet theory is that it’s Susan, the Doctor’s Granddaughter, and that Carol Ann Ford will reprise her role. Maybe Susan has been stuck on Earth ever since she was left there by the First Doctor and was locked in the vault by UNIT or The Master/Missy at some point?  I’m hoping that if that is true and it is Susan being played by Ford, that she regenerates and becomes a companion going forward.

Anyway……  The Doctor ignores Nardole, because of course he does, and flies off with Bill in tow to the colony we saw in the cold open.  Almost, immediately upon arriving, Bill and the Doctor are met by the robots and given emotion indicators that sit on their backs, basically real live working mood rings.  As per usually the Doctor begins to suspect something odd is going on and starts to piece the puzzle together and eventually discovers that they have to stay happy and keep smiling or they die.

I really enjoyed this episode.  The true test of a new companion is always their second episode or their first “proper” adventure with the Doctor. Whether it’s Rose on the space station, Martha meeting Shakespeare, or Donna and the Adipose, after all the Doctor Who “pleasantries” are taken care of (bigger on the inside, aliens exist, time travel etc.) it’s always more telling how a companion deals with an adventure than it is when they first meet the Doctor.  It’s very safe to say the Bill acquitted herself nicely in this episode. She’s clever, doesn’t always listen to the Doctor, questions everything, isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty, distinct personality – everything we Whovians look for in a companion.

The monsters (or robots) in this episode were delightfully creepy, a tenant (HA! Who puns) of the Moffat era and Moffat penned episodes. Moffat always knows how to take the mundane and ordinary and make your skin crawl with it and they nail it again here. While the Doctor and Bill work to figure out what the hell is going on on this planet, it’s a treat to see the robots monitor their emotions knowing just what they are capable of if they don’t like what they see. Or as my wife put it – “They’re creepy as fuck…..”.  Truth babe, truth. I also really liked the clunky way they walked as it just adds to the creep factor. It reminded me of the Mondoshawans in “The Fifth Element” and how they moved.

The reason they give for the robots turning against humans is amazing.  Right before the Doctor and Bill landed, the leader of the colony passed away and when the news spread of her death, people started to feel grief and the robots just couldn’t comprehend that sadness.  So rather than let everyone work through their grief, the robots simply eliminated the sadness because an absence of sadness equals happiness right?  That’s insane logic but precisely what a machine might think because it just doesn’t know any better….  It’s fascinating to think about and Doctor Who is always at it’s best when it gives us something to think about.

Capaldi is rock solid as the Twelfth Doctor once again.  Since last season, Capaldi has inched closer and close to knocking Christopher Eccleston off the top of my list of favorite Doctors. (9, 12, War, 8 – in case you were wondering.)  I will be incredibly sad to see him go at the end of the season as I think he run will forever be marred by the pretty awful season 8. Hopefully season 10 continues on the strength of season 9 and they will be what defines Capaldi’s legacy.

Another fantastic (HA! more Who puns) 45 minutes of Doctor Who in the books this week. Next week looks extra creepy as we go back to Victorian England and deal with some sort of giant reptile monster!

Until next time, Thank You for reading and….

RUN!

 

Weekend Box Office Breakdown – April 21st – 23rd

Weekend Box Office Breakdown – April 21st – 23rd

Well my Beardlings, this week is pretty much a case of the more things change the more they stay the same – None, not a single one of the new releases made the Top 5 this weekend.  Color me shocked.  I had 3 of them placing on this list and pushing out “Beauty and the Beast” but clearly those smaller films, low theater count movies are just that… small.

Let’s discuss!

#1 – The Fate of the Furious – $38,408,415 – 61.1% Drop

FF8

It’s weird to say but is pulling in a “paltry” $908 million over two weekends a “disappointment” for “The Fate of the Furious”?  As I said in my predictions, I fully expected this movie to break a billion after this weekend, so much so that I bet a dozen donuts on it (high roller I know).  And truth be told, I never actually made that bet because the guy I offered it to ALSO thought that “Fate” would be joining “Beauty and the Beast” in the 2017 “Billions” club this week.  This movie dropping a little over 60% in the States just seems odd to me given it’s blockbuster nature and the fact that it had zero competition coming out this week.  I guess my $15 didn’t add too much to the box office.  (I loved this one.  Review coming tomorrow!)

#2 – The Boss Baby – $12,712,144 – 20.6% Drop

Boss-Baby-poster

“The Boss Baby” just keeps on chugging.  I still don’t see the appeal in this flick but I also know I am far from the audience for it.  It clearly nailed it’s demographic though as I saw some parent taking his three kids to see this when I was at the theater for “The Fate of the Furious” on Sunday.  A movie I fully expected to play second fiddle to “Beauty and the Beast” for early summer family friendly fare has proved me wrong at every turn. Good for you Boss Baby, good for you. With a global take of $360 million on a production budget of $125 million, I think that if “The Boss Baby” does well in physical copy sales and paid downloads, we could probably see a sequel.

#3 – Beauty and the Beast – $9,662,645 – 29.5% Drop

Beauty-Beast-2017-Movie-Posters

And speaking of sequels, I saw in the headlines this week that Dan Stevens, who played the Beast/Prince, said he would be open do doing more movies.  While I think that “Beauty and the Beast” would be better served to remain a standalone, self contained story,  if anyone can make a successful sequel to it, it would be the House of Mouse.  And it would probably be justified as B&B is closing in on grossing 10 times it’s production budget.

#4 – Going in Style – $4,910,895 – 21.9% Drop

going_in_style

Well, “The Boss Baby” isn’t the only movie I’ve grossly underestimated on this list as “Going in Style” just keeps piling up the money to the tune of $50.8 million.  That’s not half bad on a production budget of $24 million.  This is the kind of movie that studios love to make – get a big star or two, give a new-ish director or a director on the rebound a small budget to play with, and hope the movie justifies it’s existence.  It’s safe to say that this movie has done just that and I’m even half tempted to check it out myself.  When it hits Blu Ray.  In the Redbox.  Maybe Netflix……

#5 – Smurfs: The Lost Village – 27.3% Drop

smurfs

Gotta hand it to the little guys, they managed to Smurf their way into staying in the Top 5 after beating out “Born in China” by about $90,000 (on Earth Day weekend no less) and “Unforgettable” by about $95,000.  It was a knock down, drag out fight for the bottom spot this week.

Movies not featured on this list but ones I guessed to be on it are: “Phoenix Forgotten” which pulled in $1.8 million (I guess even horror fans have their limits) and “Free Fire” which didn’t even break $1 million coming in at $994,431. Damn…. I guess an under marketed movie only opening on 1,070 screens can’t expect blockbuster numbers but even professional tracking sites had this one making $3-4 million. Ouch.  Also, “Unforgettable”  which I guess isn’t as it made only $4.79 million and is eagerly awaited by FX for their Monday afternoon line up.

That’s it for this week folks! Coming up next week is “The Circle” featuring Emma Watson, Tom Hanks, and John Boyega in what seems like a very timely release centered around the overreach of social media….  might have to check that one out….. and cancel my cell phone plan….

Until next time, Thank You for reading and….

SEE YOU AT THE CINEMA!

Better Late Than Never Movie Review #7 – Furious 7

Better Late Than Never Movie Review #7 – Furious 7

Here we are my Beardlings, we’ve come to “Furious 7”, the last of the “Fast & Furious” movies to be included in the Better Late Than Never section of this site.  The $1.5 billion money maker, the movie that was almost cancelled after Paul Walker’s tragic death, and the movie where I, unfortunately, think the franchise took a turn for the worse.

“Furious 7” starts off with Jason Statham, our new villain, monologue-ing in a hospital room to his brother, Owen Shaw. That’s right folks, we’ve got a revenge plot this time! Deckard Shaw (Statham) is out to kill the crew that landed his brother in coma and he starts with Hobbs, kicking off a pretty spectacular, if not overly prolonged, fight that lands Hobbs in the hospital for most of the movie. Next, Deckard sends a package bomb to the Toretto house, blowing it up and almost taking Dom, Mia, Brian, and their toddler son with it.  

This particular scene sets the rest of the movie into motion and definitely establishes the stakes as well as helps “fix” the movie timeline. In this scene, the package bomb is sent as if it was coming from Han and right before it explodes, Deckard calls Dom from Tokyo immediately after he rams into and effectively killing Han. This, coupled with the post credits scene from “Fast & Furious 6” establishes exactly when the events of “Tokyo Drift” take place.  Yay for fixed continuity!

After going to Tokyo to retrieve Han’s personal effects (further connecting the pieces of the timeline), Dom and the crew have a funeral for their fallen comrade. At the funeral, Dom notices a car suspiciously sitting off to the side and decides give chase.  Dom chases the mystery driver, who of course turns out to be Deckard, though the streets of LA eventually leading to a game of chicken where no one blinks. 

As Dom and Deckard stare each other down, a swarm of black ops guys decend upon them, allowing Deckard to escape. This where Kurt Russell shows up as Mr. Nobody, the leader of a shadowy government organization, and where I think the movie starts to go off the rails.  

Mr. Nobody takes Dom in and explains that someone has created a tool called God’s Eye that can find anyone anywhere in the world at anytime and someone has kidnapped the tools creator.  So now Mr. Nobody offers Dom a deal (much like Hobbs did in the previous movie) – gather your team, find the hacker, bring me the God’s Eye and I’ll let you use it to find and kill Deckard.  

I love Kurt Russell and I’m happy to see him join this series, but this whole plot is crap.  It convolutes the movie where I believe it would have been a much better finished product had the plot simply revolved around Deckard’s drive towards getting revenge for his brother and the crew avenging Han’s death.  I can certainly see why they included this story as it gives the team carte blanche on whatever resources they need and thus the writers get carte blanche on designing insane action sequences. But again, I think that’s what drives this movie off a cliff just like Dom does at some point.  

If I’m being brutally honest, I got bored watching this movie.  It may have been because I’ve plowed through seven of these movies in a couple weeks, or maybe I was tired, or something but this movie had just way too much sustained action and when watching it, I just kind of glazed over and zoned out because it wasn’t interesting enough to hold me. 

I feel “Furious 7” fell into the trap of using action to dictate plot versus letting plot dictate action.  I felt like I was watching 20 minute action scenes glued together with just enough plot to make the whole thing work as a movie and that’s just not how it should be.  For comparison’s sake, I felt the same when I watched “Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation”.  But the movie made $1,516,045,911 in theaters so what the fuck do I know.  

For me, “Furious 7” was serviceable, the definition of a summer blockbuster popcorn movie, the seventh movie in a series that has started to let story give way to action.  We’ll see if “The Fate of the Furious” fixes this or continues down the same path.

And lastly, you can’t talk about this film without talking about the passing of Paul Walker and the affect it had on this film. When I first heard of his death, it didn’t impact me the way other celebrity deaths have. For instance Carrie Fisher’s recent passing almost had me in tears as “Star Wars” has been a huge part of my life (I may actually have cried when I saw “Rogue One” for the second time). When I first started this project, I had never seen a “Fast & Furious” movie or even a Paul Walker movie, but as I finish it out the series, I can definitely feel the impact his death had and has on the longtime fans. I also have to applaud the filmmakers for carrying on and adapting to the challenge of finishing this movie with a main cast member.  

What did you think about “Furious 7”? Do you feel the way I do? Did you like it, love it?  Let me know in the comments!

Until next time, Thank you for reading and….

SEE YOU AT THE CINEMA!

Better Late Than Never Movie Review #6 – Fast & Furious 6

Better Late Than Never Movie Review #6 – Fast & Furious 6

And we’re back again here at WildeBeard Reviews with another brand new Better Late Than Never Movie Review and we’re onto the 6th entry in the “Fast & Furious” series, the clearly titled and numbered “Fast & Furious 6”.

Much like “Fast Five”, “Fast & Furious 6” picks up pretty much where the previous movie left off.  Here we see Dom and Brian living it up on the beach somewhere with Mia and Elena.  Soon we see this happiness added to with the birth of Mia and Brian’s baby and then fully disrupted as Hobbs appears asking Dom to rally the troops again to help him fight a former British Agent turned super criminal, Owen Shaw. At first Dom tells Hobbs no, but then Hobbs drops the hammer on him with the knowledge that not only is Letty alive, but she’s working with Shaw as part of his crew. With the knowledge of Letty being alive and with a promise from Hobbs to clean the records of the entire crew, Dom and Brain have to agree to help bring Shaw down.

As soon as Dom and Brian make the call, all our old favorites come running: Roman, Tej, Han (YAY HAN!), and Gisele. The two other guys, whose names I still don’t know, from the previous couple movies don’t appear in this movie and frankly, I didn’t miss them.  Who I was missing though, was Letty and she is back in full force this time around.  While Gal Gadot’s Gisele provides a great strong female character along with Elsa Pataky’s Elena, there’s just something fun about what Michelle Rodriguez brings to a role, especially this role.  Rodriguez isn’t going to win any Oscars any time soon but when ever she brings that rough and tumble female bravado to a character, it always feels genuine.  The “Fast & Furious” franchise is better when she is involved.

Now with that being said…..  it did feel like the writers had to pen themselves out of a corner of their own making.  I haven’t read any trivia or behind the scenes info about Letty’s return to the series but I got the distinct impression that it wasn’t planned from the get go and they had to figure out a way to believably bring her back into the fold. Having her be blown away from her car when it exploded in “Fast & Furious”  (the fourth movie because naming conventions) rather than be inside the car and lose her memory as a result is the kind of eye roll inducing plot point you typically get when writers need to back track on an earlier, unchangeable decision.

Playing the main villain in this movie is none other than Luke Evans, Gaston from Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast”.  I think he played a good villain in this movie as the threatening yet still somewhat mustache twirling bad guy that the “Fast & Furious” movies need in their current state, however I will say that, for me personally, it was a bit jarring to see him play this type of role after seeing him as the over the top macho man full of bluster and bravado in “Beauty and the Beast”.  I’ve seen one or two of “The Hobbit” live action films but I honestly don’t remember him in them so his role as Gaston and his appearance here are really my only  two exposures to Luke Evans.  This isn’t really a commentary on his performance in “Fast & Furious 6”, but more of a commentary on who he is an an actor, being able to effectively pull off both wildly different roles.

As I have talked about before, one of the running themes in all of the “Fast & Furious” movies, and probably the most consistent one, is that of family.  One of the two core plots of this movie, is doing whatever it takes to bring that family back together and that’s where this movie really shines.  This is our second movie with the entire crew together and they all still work wonderfully together.  Everyone get’s a moment, no one feels left out, and their personalities all gel into one cohesive whole.

At the end of this film, that feeling of family is the strongest it’s ever been.  After our heroes win the day and stop the bad guy (at the expense of Gisele but more on that in a sec), they’ve received their pardons and we see them all back at Dom and Mia’s house enjoying a backyard barbecue as a family. If I’m being perfectly honest, I feel like the franchise could, and maybe should, have ended here. This is the happy ending all our heroes deserved.  Minus Han of course…. after Gisele is killed in the big finale, Han (or the writers anyway) finally has that driving reason to make that fateful trip to Tokyo where, as we know from three movies ago, he dies in a car chase after some Yakuza dealings go south.  It’s sad to see Han sad in what should be and is a happy moment for everywhere else but again,  previous decisions smashing up against unplanned sequels make for writers getting themselves out of corners.

“Fast & Furious 6” felt like the end of a trilogy.  “The Fast and the Furious”, “2 Fast 2 Furious”, and “The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift” were all pieces of a puzzle that eventually got put together and made into the loose trilogy formed by “Fast & Furious”, “Fast Five”, and “Fast & Furious 6” and part of me really thinks that’s where the studio and creators should have stopped because it feels like a natural ending to the story and the character arcs.

That’s it for today folks! Stay tuned for my review of “Furious 7” coming soon – I’ve already watched it and I have….. feelings…. about it…..

Be sure to follow WildeBeard Reviews on WordPress, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

Until next time, Thank You for reading and….

SEE YOU AT THE CINEMA!