So, that happened.
Watching all six Fast and Furious films in one week’s time isn’t for the faint of heart, or those who enjoy British period dramas, but was rewarding in its own way.
For one thing, the films actually build on each other in a way that you might not recognize if you just see them over the 13 year period they were released. Characters come in and out of the picture as needed. Without immediate memory access to the prior movies, would you even notice that the presence of Han puts the chronology of the last three films in a tizzy? Do you remember why certain characters are mad at each other, or the arc of the budding bromance between Dom and Brian? It’s much clearer when the length of time between films is measured in hours and not months or years.
Also, the films have an evolution to them. The characters aren’t the same as when they started. The test is, would an event from the last film fit into the first film? By and large, the answer is “no” in this case. A tank in the first film would have been … odd. A huge, flaming Antonov AN-225 would have literally not fit in the previous films, but works fine in the last.
Also, and I’m not sure if this is a good thing, but you kind of get numb to the physics (or lack thereof) in this world. A man jumps through the air and hits a windshield at 60 MPH and hops right up? No problem, because he hit it with his back. (Even the line “how’d you know that car would break our fall?” isn’t quite as ridiculous in a certain frame of mind.) Not great if you want to try any of these stunts (Public Service Announcement: DON’T.), but once you stop asking a lot of damn fool questions, it’s game on.
But the true test of this kind of exercise is “did you enjoy yourself?” After all, these aren’t documentaries, and they’re not “character pieces.” It’s summer, and for better or worse, we’re trained to expect certain types of films during certain times of the year (in January, for instance, we’re trained to expect all the crap studios don’t want to dump on the public in more profitable times of the year). During summer, it’s explosions, fast cars, pretty people and physics be damned.
So, in that vain, did I enjoy myself? Yes I did. And, therefore, I mark the Quick & Angry project as a success.