Friday, July 12, 2013

Fast & Furious 6

Fast & Furious 6 (alternatively known as Fast Six or Furious 6)[5] is a 2013 action filmwritten by Chris Morgan and directed by Justin Lin. It is the sixth installment in the Fast and the Furious film series. The film stars Vin DieselPaul WalkerDwayne Johnson,Michelle RodriguezJordana BrewsterTyrese GibsonChris BridgesSung KangLuke EvansGina Carano and John OrtizFast & Furious 6 follows a professional criminal gang led by Dominic Toretto (Diesel) who have retired following their successful heist in Fast Five (2011), but remain wanted fugitives. U.S. Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) agent Luke Hobbs (Johnson) offers to clear the group's criminal records and allow them to return home in exchange for helping him to take down a skilled mercenary organization led by Owen Shaw (Evans) and his second in command, Dominic's presumed-dead lover Letty Ortiz (Rodriguez).
Fast & Furious 6 was in development by February 2010 as the first film in the series to move away from the underground car-racing theme of the series' previous films which was considered to have placed a barrier on audience numbers. Pre-production had begun by April 2011, and principal photography began in London, England in July 2012. Filming locations also included the Canary Islands, Glasgow, and Los Angeles. The film was first released in the United Kingdom, on May 17, 2013, followed by an international release on May 24, 2013. The film has grossed over $680 million worldwide. A sequel is scheduled to begin filming in August 2013.

Plot

Following their successful Rio heist, Dominic Toretto and his crew of professional criminals have retired around the world; Dominic lives with Elena, his sister Mia lives with Brian O'Conner and their son Jack, Gisele and Han have moved to Hong Kong, and Roman and Tej live in luxury.
Diplomatic Security Service agent Luke Hobbs and his partner Riley investigate the destruction of a Russian military convoy by former British Special Forces soldier Owen Shaw and his crew. Hobbs tracks down Dominic and persuades him to help take down Shaw after showing him a recent photo of the supposedly long-dead Letty Ortiz, Dominic's former girlfriend. Dominic gathers his crew together and they accept the mission in exchange for full amnesty for their past crimes, allowing them to return home to the United States. Mia and Elena remain with Jack.
The crew travels to London where one of Shaw's henchmen leads them to Shaw's hideout, but it is revealed to be a trap intended to distract the crew and police while Shaw's crew performs a heist elsewhere. Shaw flees by car, detonating his hideout behind him and disabling most of the police, leaving Dominic, Brian, Tej, Han, Gisele, Hobbs and Riley to pursue him. Letty arrives to help Shaw, and shoots Dominic without hesitation before escaping. Back at their headquarters, Hobbs tells Dominic's crew that Shaw is stealing components to create a Nightshade device which can disable power in an entire region, and that he intends to sell it to the highest bidder. Meanwhile, Shaw's investigation into the opposing crew reveals Letty's relationship with Dominic, but she is revealed to be suffering from amnesia.
Dominic's crew investigates a Shaw subordinate who reveals Shaw's connection to Arturo Braga, a drug lord imprisoned by Brian. Brian returns to the United States as a prisoner to gain access to Braga, who discloses how Letty survived the explosion that was thought to have killed her: Shaw attempted to finish her off, but after learning of her amnesia, he took her in. Aided by a former ally in the FBI, Brian is released from prison. In London, Dominic challenges Letty in a street racing competition, and afterwards returns her necklace he had kept.
Tej tracks Shaw's next attack to a NATO base in Spain. His crew assaults a military convoy carrying a computer chip to complete the Nightshade device. Dominic's crew interferes, destroying the convoy while Shaw, accompanied by Letty, commandeers a tank and begins destroying cars along the highway. Brian and Roman manage to flip the tank, throwing Letty from it; Dominic risks his life to save her from falling to her death. Shaw and his men are captured, but he reveals that he has kidnapped Mia. The crew is forced to release Shaw. Riley, revealed to be working for Shaw, leaves with him as Letty chooses to remain with Dom.
Shaw's group board a large aircraft in motion on a runway as Dominic's crew gives chase. Dominic, Letty, Brian, and Hobbs board the craft. Brian rescues Mia and they escape using a car onboard. The plane attempts to take off but is held down by excess weight as Han, Gisele, Roman, Tej, Brian, and Mia tether the plane to their vehicles. Gisele sacrifices herself to save Han from one of Shaw's henchmen. Letty kills Riley and escapes with Hobbs to safety, but Dominic pursues Shaw and the computer chip. Shaw is thrown from the plane as it crashes into the ground, and Dom drives one of the remaining cars through the nose of the exploding plane, reuniting with his crew and giving the chip to Hobbs to secure their amnesty.
In the aftermath, Dominic and his team return to the United States. Hobbs and Elena (now working with Hobbs) arrive to confirm the crew are free. Elena accepts that Dominic has chosen Letty over her. As Dominic's crew gather to share a meal, Dominic asks Letty if the gathering feels familiar. She answers no, but that it feels like home. In a post-credits scene, while Han is in a car chase, he is hit by an oncoming car. His car explodes, killing him. The other car's driver walks away from the scene and calls Dominic, leaving him a message: "You don't know me, but you're about to."

Development

In February 2010, Diesel confirmed that production of Fast Five was commencing and also announced that a sixth installment was being planned.[21] In January 2011, producer Neal H. Moritz said more:[22]
In Vin and my mind we already know what the sixth movie is, we’ve already been talking about it. Vin and I have had numerous conversations about what that might be. And we’re starting to get serious about it right now. We just finished [Fast Five] like 4 or 5 weeks ago and we just needed a break, and now we’re gonna start focusing on that.
In April 2011 it was confirmed that Chris Morgan had already begun work on a script for a potential sixth film at the behest of Universal Studios.[6] It was also confirmed that Universal intended to transform the series from street-racing action into a series of heist films with car chases in the vein of The Italian Job (1969) and The French Connection (1971), with Fast Five as the transitional movie.[6] Universal chairman Adam Fogelson said:[6]
The question putting Fast Five and Fast Six together for us was: Can we take it out of being a pure car culture movie and into being a true action franchise in the spirit of those great heist films made 10 or 15 years ago?
Fogelson said that the racing aspect had put a "ceiling" on the number of people willing to see films in the series, and that, by turning it into a series where car driving ability is just one aspect of the film, he hoped to increase the series' audience.[6] On Johnson's character, Fogelson added "[Johnson] also wants to appear in and be integral to the action in Fast Six."[6]
On June 24, 2011, Universal Pictures announced that the anticipated sequel is scheduled for release on May 24, 2013.[23] Moritz and Diesel returned as producers and Lin returned to direct.[23] In an interview with Box Office, Lin revealed that he had, after discussions with Diesel, storyboarded, previsualized and edited a twelve-minute finale for Fast Six before filming was completed on Fast Five. Lin said he shot the footage as he was unsure at the time if there would be a sequel or if he would be able to direct it, but he wanted to have input on how any sequel would end.[24] On October 21, 2011, the Los Angeles Times reported that Universal was considering filming two sequels—Fast Six and Fast Sevenback to back with a single story running through both films; both written by Morgan and directed by Lin.[25] On December 20, 2011, Diesel stated that Fast Six would be split into two parts, with writing for the two films occurring simultaneously. On the decision, Diesel said:[26]
We have to pay off this story, we have to service all of these character relationships, and when we started mapping all that out it just went beyond 110 pages...The studio said, 'You can't fit all that story in one damn movie!'[26]
On April 23, 2012, it was announced that mixed martial arts fighter Gina Carano was in negotiations to play a member of Hobbs' team.[27] On May 1, 2012, Michelle Rodriguez was confirmed to be reprising her role as Letty Ortiz,[7] and it was announced that Welsh actor Luke Evans had been offered a role as a villain.[10] Evans was confirmed to join the cast on May 9, 2012, portraying the leader of a heist gang.[28] On July 27, 2012, Joe Taslim was confirmed to appear as a villain, Jah.[1] On February 15, 2012, Johnson confirmed thatFast Six would begin filming in May 2012, with some of the production to take place in the United Kingdom and Germany. Johnson stated that the two intended sequels would no longer be filmed simultaneously because of weather issues in filming locations, and that production on Fast Seven would only begin after the completion of Fast Six.[29] However, filming did not officially begin until July 30, 2012.[30] In February 2013, it was confirmed that the film would be titled Fast & Furious 6.[31]

Principal photography

Filming began on July 30, 2012, in London, England,[30][32][33] and Shepperton Studios in Surrey.[34] While Fast & Furious 6 became only the third production to be allowed to film in Piccadilly Circus (a scene involving Diesel and Rodriguez drag racing), Lin was unable to obtain permission to shoot an elaborate action sequence there involving an exploding oil tanker, and so a replica of the landmark was built at Shepperton.[35][36] The production were given only 2 minutes every hour to shut down the area for filming.[37] The London shoot including filming on Lambeth Bridge.[38] On October 11, 2012, Walker suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury during a stunt, requiring the production to film around his scenes until he recovered.[39] A scene involving a plane crash began filming at RAF BovingdonHertfordshire on October 30, 2012 and was scheduled to conclude on November 9.[40] Filming for a car chase scene took place on Dale Street in Liverpool City Centre, and the Queensway Tunnel in the nearby town of Birkenhead over four days in November 2012.[41][42][37] Two days of filming were spent at HM Treasury's Government Offices Great George Street, which served as a nightclub.[43]
Shooting also occurred on Spain's Canary Islands including the island of Tenerife. Filming had been intended to take place in Marseille, France, but was relocated to the islands to take advantage of a larger tax rebate (38%) that was estimated to lower filming costs by $20 million.[44]
Stunt and car chase scenes began filming on location in Glasgow, Scotland on August 29, 2012, and were scheduled to conclude on September 16, 2012. The shoot took place entirely at night and involved approximately 250 crew, but none of the central cast. Sets were built on site for the scenes including a large car showroom.[45][46] Filming was scheduled to take place at the former Royal Air Force base RAF Bentwaters in late August 2012 until early September 2012.[47] Filming also took place in Echo Park, Los Angelesbeginning on December 1, 2012. The shoot returned the series to the filming location of the original The Fast and the Furious, and required the garage setting of that film to be rebuilt by carpenters.[48] By December 17, 2012, it was reported that filming had concluded.[49] Post-production was heavily condensed; by March 2013, Lin was attempting to complete approximately 18 months worth of post-production in a 12 week period. Lin was aided by five film editors, specialist teams focused on visual effects and color timing, and sound mixers that required two movie-theater-sized stages alone.[36]

Stunts

For Owen Shaw's Flip Car, Lin tasked the film's vehicle designer with developing a car capable of driving head first into moving vehicles and flipping them into the air. McCarthy and his team designed a fully functional, low to the ground, formula one style car with a ramp on its front that allowed it to catapult other cars into the air while keeping the Flip Car driver safe.[50][51]
For Rodriguez's and Carano's fight in the London Underground, producers refused to let the pair attempt a stunt where their characters battle over a stair rail and fall down a stairwell, fearing a serious injury would derail filming; stunt women performed the practical stunt. Morgan's scripted rendition of the fight was described as a catfight on steroids, but Rodriguez provided input to turn it into more of a street fight. Rodriguez said: "Originally in the script, it was a lot more 'Terminator'-esque — too far-fetched to be believed... Things just happened so quick and then I'm on top? Justin and I had to bust our booties to get it more realistic. I was like, 'This [woman] needs to kick my ass!'" Rodriguez and Carano rehearsed their fight choreography over two months, with trained fighter Carano undergoing extra practice to ensure her strikes looked credible without hitting hard enough to harm Rodriguez.[52] Under the direction of fight choreographer Olivier Schneider, the fight was designed to be brutal but realistic, representing Carano's "cop with fight training" and Rodriguez's street fighting.[53]
The parkade explosion Shaw lures Dom's team into combined on-set pillars that could be detonated alongside dust mines which could be used as a reference for the digital artists to create the appearance of the structure sinking into itself.[54] A scene involving Evans' character commandeering a tank was originally intended to use CGI to portray the vehicle crushing cars along a Spanish highway, but the final scene used practical effects as the tank really ran over approximately 250 cars during filming.[36] The scene was shot over a 3 mile stretch of highway in Tenerife lined with holiday resorts that had to be digitally removed to create a desolate appearance. The segments finale that sees Roman leap to a nearby car and the tank flip was created digitally.[54]
The scene featuring Diesel smashing his car through the nose of a Soviet-era cargo aircraft during takeoff was conceived by Lin while producing Fast & Furious in 2009. At the time, the stunt was too expensive to film and did not fit into that film's story, but Lin commissioned digital pre-visualization artists to develop a mock-up of the idea. He attempted to revive the concept for Fast Five but the technology available proved insufficient and it still did not organically fit into the story.[36] Filming the climatic scene practically was considered unfeasible as it involved throwing tanks through the air and having cars race alongside the moving aeroplane at 100 miles per hour. Lin opted to built various plane sets instead: a 30 foot high, 75 foot long, 50 foot wide replica of the fuselage complete with wheels; the tail of the plane with a ramp allowing the cars to drive in and out; and a full scale build of the central fuselage, with wings, engines and the nose, that could be set on fire. For Dom's car to explode through the plane's nose, a dodge charger was placed on a pneumatic canon mounted inside a ramp which was then towed by a 4x4 truck, all concealed behind the plane's nose replica. This was then clad in material soaked in flammable materials. The canon fired the Charger through the nose as the material is ignited for the practical effect. The stunt driver had a burning 40 ton plane rig chasing them down the runway afterwards. The scene involved more than 200 crew members, and over 350 visual effects (VFX) artists at VFX studio Double Negative to complete. A typical shot of the craft's destruction could take over 100 man days to complete. The VFX team combined the filmed explosions and smoke with digital augmentations to place the plane into the scene.

Marketing

The film's first trailer was released during the 2013 Super Bowl on February 3. Among the six film trailers that launched at the event,Fast & Furious 6 generated widespread attention on social media, more than the other films (including Iron Man 3 and Star Trek Into Darkness) combined according to data collection agency Fizziology. The extended version of the trailer had been viewed over 16 million times by February 17. The trailer's success was partially attributed to the film's stars promoting the trailer on their personal social networks. The The Fast and the Furious series marketing attempted to cultivate an online fan base which was also considered to have helped promote the film; the filmmakers responded to fan interaction, conducted an online poll to decide the title of Fast & Furious 6, brought back the character of Letty Ortiz based on fan feedback and encouraged fans to document the film's production with unofficial photos. Universal marketing co-president Michael Moses said: "We’re trying to remove the studio filter as much as possible, which is a little scary because you’re ceding control... But it makes for more authentic and organic interaction with fans."[55][56] The Super Bowl trailer, titled "Breathe", won two Golden Trailer Awards for Best Action TV Spot and Best Summer Blockbuster 2013 TV Spot, and the marketing campaign received a further three nominations: Summer 2013 Blockbuster Trailer and Best Sound Editing for the "Trailer" trailer, and Best Teaser Poster.[57] A 15-piece clothing line was also produced in partnership with Guess, including T-shirts, jackets, caps and watches.[58]
Continuing their partnership from Fast Five, the Facebook game Car Town by Cie Games and the theater chain Regal Entertainment Group (REG) collaborated with Universal in a cross-media marketing promotion. Car Town allowed players to view the trailer for the film in an REG-branded, in-game drive-in theater. The game also featured missions and locations based on the plot of the film, and allowed players to join forces with Fast & Furious 6 characters. REG offered players of Car Town the ability to purchase tickets in-game viaFandango for films at REG theaters. By buying these tickets in-game, players were given promotional codes which in turn allowed them to unlock a virtual 2013 Dodge Charger SRT8.

Release

The premiere of Fast & Furious 6 took place on May 7, 2013, at the Empire cinema in Leicester Square, London.[60][61] The film was released in the United Kingdom on May 17, 2013, with the North American release on May 24.[62][63][64]

Box office

Fast & Furious 6 has earned $235,439,000 in North America and $460,000,000 elsewhere for an estimated worldwide total of $695,439,000.[4] On May 14, 2011, after 31 days in theaters, Fast & Furious 6 overtook Fast Five to become the highest-grossing film in the Fast and the Furious franchise, with a worldwide gross of $636.9 million.[65]
In the United Kingdom, the film took $4.4 million during its opening day from 462 screens, the biggest opening day for both The Fast and the Furious franchise and Universal in that market, the second-highest opening of 2013 behind Iron Man 3 ($4.7 million), and the number 1 film of the day with 54% of the market.[64] It finished as the number 1 film of the weekend, taking a total of $13.8 million; this figure made it the biggest opening for the franchise, Universal, a Vin Diesel or Dwayne Johnson film, and the second-biggest opening of 2013 again behind Iron Man 3 ($17.6 million).[66] The film opened in fifty-nine territories the following weekend alongside the North American opening, placing as the number 1 film in each and earning $160.3 million; this was the biggest opening ever in the United Arab Emirates, the Middle East, and Argentina.[67]
In North America, Fast & Furious 6 simultaneously debuted in competition with the comedy The Hangover Part III and the animated feature Epic. It opened for midnight showings on May 23, 2013, in 2,409 theaters. It took $6.5 million, nearly doubling Fast Five's midnight gross ($3.8 million) which faced less direct competition. During its opening day, Fast & Furious 6 opened in 3,659 theaters.[68][69] The film finished the 4-day Memorial Day weekend as the number 1 film, taking $120 million, the fourth highest Memorial Day opening. The audience was diverse, with Latinos representing 36%, women 49%, and 57% over the age of 25.[70]

Critical reception

Fast & Furious 6 garnered a 70% approval rating from 174 critics—an average rating of 6.2 out of 10—on the review-aggregation websiteRotten Tomatoes, whose consensus reads: "With high-octane humor and terrific action scenes, Fast & Furious 6 builds upon the winning blockbuster formula that made Fast 5 a critical and commercial success."[71] Metacritic provides a score of 61 out of 100 from 39 critics, which indicates "generally favorable" reviews.[72] CinemaScore polls reported that the average grade moviegoers gave the film was an "A" on a scale of A+ to F.[69]
Fast & Furious 6 was generally considered to effectively mix absurd action scenes and outrageous stunts with a predictable but enjoyable plot and character dialog.[13][73][74] IGN's Jim Vejvoda said that the film is a crowd pleaser whose fun moments outweighed failed attempts at humor and unintentionally comical dialog.[75] Other reviewers highlighted the likable cast,[76] ludicrous action, playful approach to the plot,[77] and ability to immerse the audience in the high speed chases and conflict between the two opposing gangs.[74]Digital Spy's Ben Rawson-Jones said the tone successfully mixed self-conscious spectacle with the central characters' teamwork, bonding and familial spirit.[74] Conversely, Slant Magazine's Chris Cabin said the film was smug, cynical and insubstantial that delivered overly-sentimental drama and forced comedy that seemed unaware "of how dumb the material is".[78] The Daily Telegraph's Tim Robey labeled the film as slow-witted with a random and generic plot,[79] and Time Out London's Derek Adams said the film featured puerile dialog, daft performances and flat comic repartee.[80][78] IndieWire said that the film forsakes realistic set-pieces (comparing it to the 2012 superhero film The Avengers), which undermined any attempts at creating tension.[81]
Empire's Owen Williams noted that Fast & Furious 6 lacked the same surprise as Fast Five without Johnson's antagonist Hobbs, and suggested that the large cast of returning characters had made Evans' Owen Shaw unable to make an impression as the new villain.[13]Scenes of dialog and character progression were criticized as slow,[79] and laughably bad.[76] Evans' Owen Shaw was repeatedly singled out as a refreshing and charismatic addition to the cast, though others described the character as generic and dull.[79][74][19][76]
Lin's direction of the action set-pieces was described as lavish and exquisite.[74][79] The cinematography received a mixed response.Variety's Scott Foundas appreciated the attention to spatial geography and complicated, single, continuous shots which were compared to the best of James Bond and Mission: Impossible films, and Rawson-Jones said that the nocturnal races in London made excellent use of the environment.[74][82] The Hollywood Reporter's Todd McCarthy considered that the action scenes were cut too fast, failed to provide a sense of speed for the vehicles and were mired by poor angles and nocturnal settings that obscured the view.[19] View London's Matthew Turner considered that the action lacked imagination, with the London-based segments amounting to little more than a geographically inaccurate race past landmarks.[76]

Home media

Fast & Furious 6 will be released on DVD and Blu-ray, on October 1, 2013.[83] FX has purchased the rights to air the movie on it's network in 2015.[84]

Music

Lucas Vidal composed the musical score for Fast & Furious 6.[2] In addition to Vidal's score, tracks by composer Brian Tyler from the franchise's previous installments are also featured in the film.[85] A soundtrack album to the film was released by Def Jam Recordingson May 21, 2013. It features many electronic and hip hop tracks, including songs by deadmau5Ludacris, and many others.[86]

Video game

cooperative racing video game, titled Fast & Furious: Showdown, was released on May 21, 2013. Developed by Firebrand Games and published by Activision for Microsoft WindowsPlayStation 3Wii UXbox 360 and Nintendo 3DS, the game's story ties into the events in Fast & Furious 6, including bridging the events between the story of the film and those of its predecessor Fast Five, as well as the story of other films in the franchise.[87][88][89] A handheld game, Fast & Furious 6: The Game, was developed by Exploding Barrel Games and published by studio Kabam. It was released on May 16, 2013 for iPhoneiPod touch, and iPad, with an Android version in development.[90] The story of Fast & Furious 6: The Game runs parallel to that of Fast & Furious 6, allowing players to race and customize vehicles alongside characters from the film.[91]

Sequel

On April 4, 2013, Lin announced that he would not return to direct a Fast & Furious 7, as the studio wanted to produce the film on an accelerated schedule for release in summer 2014 which would have required Lin to begin pre-production on the sequel while performing post-production on Fast & Furious 6 which he considered would affect the quality of the final product. Despite the usual two to three year gap between the previous installments, Universal chose to pursue a sequel quicker due to having fewer reliable franchises than its competitor studios.[92] Also in April, James Wan was announced as the sequel's director, with Moritz returning to produce and Morgan returning to write the script, his fifth in the series. Diesel and Walker were also confirmed to return to star.[93] Also in April, Johnson said that if Universal pursued the accelerated development of a seventh film, he would be unable to participate due to scheduling conflicts with filming on Hercules.[94] On April 16, 2013, Diesel announced that the sequel would be released on July 11, 2014, with production scheduled to begin in August 2013.[63] In May 2013, Diesel said that the sequel would feature Los Angeles, Tokyo and the Middle East as locations.

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