Pretty Vacancy: Watching 5 Fast And Furious Movies Back-To-Back Part 2

No really, why am I doing this to myself?
No really, why am I doing this to myself?

Lunch completed, it continues… If you’ve started reading here go back. Caught up? Good, because we’re not stopping yet…

14:55 pm: The Fast And The Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006)

14:59: Gratuitous upskirt-shot as the director’s name appears. Looking classy already. Conspicuous lack of previous ‘stars’ involved in this installment…

15:00: Wait… are we in high school now? Everyone looks about 24. “With that music they need some Cuban heels” – Tom.

15:01: “Winner gets me” says Upskirt Girl. “Didn’t see that coming” – Vicky.

15:02: Driving. Lucas Black isn’t actually a better driver, he just seems to know a bunch of short cuts. And how to vandalise a new-build. Cheating little shit-brick. His pie-faced opponent was one of the kids from Home Improvement, wasn’t he?

15:08: Mummy prostitutes herself. Looks like a hard sell. Lucas Black gets sent to Tokyo. OBVIOUSLY.

15:12: Lucas Black’s dad offers up the bed he and a dirty hooker have just vacated. Is every woman in this movie going to be a whore? Is that the level we’re at now?

15:15: Lucas Black goes to school. Cue a bunch of jokes about Japanese people being different from American people.

15:16: A character called Twinkie (?) played by Bow Wow (who looks about 6 years old) arrives to advertise the new Michael Jordan products hitting the shelves.

15:17: A Hulk car. A. Hulk. Car.

15:21: “Nice vest, douche bag!” – Tom, yelling at the screen. Does this count as fashion debate #4?

15:23: Simon correctly identifies that ‘DK’ stands for Donkey Kong. High fives all round.

15:25: Driving.

15:32: The biggest tits of the day are revealed. Side boob. Middle boob. Top boob. MEGA-BOOB. Oh, and it’s a guy. A movie set in Japan must have a sumo wrestler, after all. Box ticked.

15:36: Tom is unsettled by an exceptionally green public telephone. Vicky gets stuck into a Fruit-Shoot type drink. The film is, erm, drifting.

15:37: Driving.

15:39: Lucas Black is starting to like Japan. Maybe he might like to try learning the language? Bow Wow is back, appropriately yapping like a ridiculous little puppy.

15:44: Lucas Black proves terrible at ‘drifting’, smashing the back-end of his chunky red car into any stack of boxes available to the degree that you wonder why he isn’t just practicing somewhere where there aren’t large stacks of boxes to knock over. Simon leaves the room.

15:46: Fighting. Over an iPod. SIGH. Vicky appears to be napping. Tom and I discuss the virtues of this film without breaking into 15:47.

15:49: Driving. Followed by Lucas Black ‘drifting’ montage interspersed with Bow Wow selling some excessive bling, not to mention more of that footwear so successfully waved at the camera earlier. Simon returns. Fears are voiced that this may as well be a dance-off movie. We’re stuck in the confidence-building middle section.

15:53: A mere four minutes later and Lucas Black is drifting with mad-skills. Can’t we have his inevitably triumphant final race now and then be done with it? Tom starts singing dialogue at me as the characters try to one-up each other with their shitty sob stories.

15:59: “That guy walked away looking pretty muscley. For a small guy.” – Tom’s observations continue to better my own. Soon after: “Look at that V-Neck!” Cue fashion debate #5.

16:03: Some yakuza-based plot-building. By plot-building, I mean time-killing.

16:06: Brother against brother! Fighting! Foot chase! Driving! None of it actually interesting. Glad it was conveniently explained earlier that Japanese police don’t actually care about vehicular crimes. I’m sure that’s a fair and accurate statement and nothing to do with legitimising this nonsensical action set piece.

16:10: That crowd’s ability to get out of the way in a quick and orderly manner was far more impressive than Lucas Black’s reckless cornerning.

16:12: Explosion. We’re definitely into that things-get-worse-before-they-get-better section of the film. We’re all sharing this pain.

16:17: Vicky stirs, rolls over, resumes napping. On the TV more lame shit is happening. Lucas Black vs the yakuza. We all know how this ought to end – i.e with enough slack-jawed Texan-torturing to make Eli Roth blush. Instead Lucas Black offers to settle things with (surprisingly) a race and the mobsters agree to that. Flexible reality just bent so far that it met itself coming the other way.

16:22: “DK picked this mountain for a reason. It’s his mountain.” That’s right! Must be the DK Mountain track from Mario Kart Double Dash! Tom and I are ridiculously pleased with ourselves for coming to this conclusion simultaneously. Simon returns from (presumably) looking for his will to live and agrees also. Vicky snores lightly*. Looking forward to the part of the track where everyone gets fired out of a barrel…

16:25: Driving. We may have been wrong about the Mario Kart bit…

16:29: …although we all want to smash Lucas Black with a red shell.

16:32: The expected celebratory booty-shaking and cleavage-flapping.

16:33: I’ve never been particularly happy to see Vin Diesel. That hasn’t changed now. End of film. Disastrous. (0.5/5) Vicky wakes.

*     *     *     *     *

16:48: Fast And Furious (2009) “Whack it on, mate. Fire it up!” – Tom. Simon is a mixture of delighted and appalled as this outburst.

16:49: Shot of a road. Even before Vin Diesel and Michelle Rodriguez appear it is agreed that this is already a better film than Tokyo Drift. That ol’ gang is back up to it’s ol’ tricks. Driving-based opening set-piece ensues. We’ve started without Vicky. Debate is RAGING about where we are in the timeline. I fear we’re debating it more than the writers may have…

16:54: “Nice iguana” – Simon.

16:55: Explosion.

16:59: Vin Diesel watches Michelle Rodriguez sleep in a seaside shack. “That’s not creepy” – Tom sarcastically intones. Vin Diesel looks pensive and thoughtful, presumably as he tries to figure out how to drive on the sea.

17:00: Paul Walker’s back. Simon is still troubled by chronology. This isn’t fucking Memento, Simon.

17:04: Michelle Rodriguez is supposedly dead. Cue funeral scene. Man, this film is pretty deep.

17:08: The lighting in this movie is definitely the series’ moodiest yet. Vin Diesel flashes back to an event he never witnessed. Perhaps he’s a psychic or medium of some kind. This sequence is almost, dare I say it, good?

17:10: …until Diesel stares direct into camera with his lumpy Mr Potato Head face. He’s a serious man. Cue snickering.

17:15: Vicky’s back in the room. Paul Walker’s frowning in a cafe whilst Jordana Brewster spits riddles at him. Tom starts referring to Vin Diesel as ‘Beefy Vin’. Everyone approves.

17:21: An FBI agent played by Shea Whigham (of Boardwalk Empire) uses the “he hit me first” excuse. Like everyone is five. Tom and Vicky start giggling privately. Probing reveals that it was triggered by use of the word “slot”.

17:24: An illicit meet at a driving range. Gettit?

17:26: Lasers! Google maps! Satnav! Driving. Vicky leaves (with magazines). Background characters that we’ve labelled Beardy-Man and Mini-Don Cheadle come a-cropper.

17:32: Apparently the boost button from Burnout is real.

17:40: Vin Diesel starts talking suggestively about engine grease. Nothing will ever be sexy again.

17:43: “That’s a big lorry.” – Tom gets observant again. Then defensive. “It is! It’s an unnaturally large lorry!”

17:48: Driving.

17:52: Explosion. Gunfire.

17:55: Tom breaks out the pistachio nuts. Excellent move. Explosion. We end up discussing whether this movie is better than the Total Recall remake, which, of course, it is.

17:59: The long-promised scissoring takes place as Vin Diesel and Paul Walker express their manliness. Tom advises me that there’s subtext even if it might be ham-fisted. Or, in Vin Diesel’s case, pig-fisted, seeing as he has massive livestock arms.

18:03: Fashion debate #6. ‘Beefy Vin’ clearly hasn’t learnt about vertical stripes.

18:07: Gunfire. And driving. Somehow Simon and I end up discussing a Mitch Pileggi/Frank Langella man-child.

18:13: I question the name of Gal Gadot’s character. Tom speculates that it may be “Mrs Pec-Touch”. imdb reveals it to be Gisele.

18:15: “altarboying” is determined to be a verb.

18:17: Driving. “Well, this is cinematic” – Tom.

18:24: Vin Diesel comes to an emergency stop. Everyone is pleased by this. Apparently as good as seeing someone being sucked into a jet engine, or a chainsawing at the end of a wanking contest (see The ABCs Of Death for this particular bizarre reference).

18:27: …film ends. That was markedly better than the three that preceded it. With that in mind, it gets a glowing 2/5. Break for nachos.

*   *   *   *   *

19:35: Fast Five (2011) High hopes all around. Or higher hopes, anyway.

19:36: Oooh! A flashback. Communal laughs at a prison called ‘Longpoke’. “Blimey, those are some loud cars” – Tom. A bus gets BATTERED.

19:39: Ages are discussed. It’s decided that everyone is supposed to be 24 and a half by now.

19:40: I accidentally mistake Simon for Tom. Everyone looks offended. I receive justified if lengthy ridicule.

19:44: Some sort of buggy versus train event is happening. “Cor look at that. It’s a bit like Waterworld with a train” – Tom.

19:46: Matt Schulze’s character still bares marks of his arm injuries from film 1. A surprising piece of continuity from such a vapid franchise. And of course the train has supercars inside!

19:50: Paul Walker correctly identifies a bridge again. More continuity!

19:51: Driving! Explosion! Slow motion! Splashing!

19:55: SERIOUS MUSIC! Must be Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and his fearsome goatee. Like a cube of hair on his chin, it’s more of a goat than a goatee.

20:00: Men yelling at men. And yelling “Bam!” when they hit things. It’s so aggressive.

20:01: “Where’s Letty, Don?” Paul Schulze is doing some trash-talkin’. Whole room coos.

20:02: “Good news or bad news?” “You know I like my dessert first” Amazing dialogue is back.

20:05: Further housemates return home. And are appalled at us. The possible veininess of Dwayne Johnson’s penis becomes a topic of discussion.

20:06: Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson have a jumping competition. Tom is fist-pumping the air and may need to be sedated. Soon everyone is having a jumping competition.

20:12: Vin Diesel starts talking about his father. Everyone gets up to get drinks/puddings/away from this scene. NO ONE CARES ABOUT YOUR OLD BBQS, BEEFY VIN!

20:16: “It’s all gone a bit Oceans 11 hasn’t it?” – Tom. Soon followed by, “Nice warehouse.”

20:17: Holy shit. Tyrese Gibson is back, vomiting up dialogue. Fashion debate #7 begins over Vin Diesel’s flap-laden shirt, swiftly followed by geography debate #1 when someone describes a flight from Florida to Rio as being “halfway ’round the world”

20:20: Simon and Tom argue about the presence (or not) of ‘Hispanic Adam Sandler’.

20:28: Whilst this film is definitely more fun and engaging than the previous films, the entire room gets distracted by a ridiculously overpriced gown in Vicky’s magazine. This moment alone probably crystalises why these films aren’t really made with us as their primary target market. Except possibly Tom.

20:34: Ludacris makes derogatory, misogynistic statements. About a safe.

20:36: Simon very slowly slaps Tom’s knee for suggesting that this film isn’t great. There’s an aroma of sexual tension in the room. And other aromas. We’ve been in here a while now.

20:38: Tits and asses. Guess we’re about to see some cars. …Yep!

20:40: Driving. It transpires the ‘Hispanic Adam Sandler’ debate may have been over two completely different men.

20:53: Think we’ve all crashed a little. Chat has died down. Film is ticking over. Music is all serious-y. So is Vin. “Beefy Vin’s gone. It’s Emo Vin now” – Tom.

20:55: Stolen police car drag race. Way to keep a low profile, fucknuts!

21:04: Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson start hitting each other. Only Johnson’s goatee tells them apart. “You know in that David Attenborough show when they had those sea lions…?” – Tom. Yes. I remember.

21:07: Explosion. Gunfire. Fist-pumping from the sofa. More explosions. More gunfire.

21:12: The sofa has definitely divided into three camps. Team Vin (Tom), Team The Rock (Simon) and Team Who Cares (Vicky).

21:14: “Has there been much driving in this one?” – Vicky. “There is some driving coming up” – Simon. SPOILER!!!!

21:15: Ramming! Gunfire! LOUD MUSIC!

21:16: Driving.

21:18: “Boff! Bam!” – Me.

21:21: Paul Walker says, “Yeah!”

21:26: I’m not going to lie, there’s been a considerable amount of mayhem in the last ten minutes. But it’s all been staged remarkably well. As an action set piece, it’s been pretty solid. Death-by-safe fatalities are skyrocketing.

21:27: Vin could do with a shave. Tom is singing.

21:29: Dwayne Johnson flashes back to things he wasn’t present for. A bit like Vin in the last movie. They’re two peas from the same pod.


21:33: Celebratory car porn.

21:36: End (3/5). We did it. It’s done. Now let it never be spoken of again.

21:38: Oh! Eva Mendes! Michelle Rodriguez! SHIT CHRISTMAS!

*Vicky does not snore.

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