News Column

Movies: Fast and Frivolous

May 30, 2013

YellowBrix

May 30--"FAST AND FURIOUS 6"

(PG 13)

2.5 out of 4 stars

VIN DIESEL, DWAYNE JOHNSON, MICHELLE RODRIGUEZ, PAUL WALKER, JORDANA BREWSTER

The 21/2-star rating is conditional.

If you think all a movie needs to be a blast is to have one insane action sequence after another, this is your sort of film.

If you'd rather have something with good dialogue and a plot that makes you care about what's happening, subtract a star or so.

That being said, this is what the typical summer action film has become: a series of wild scenes linked by jokes and wisecracks from an all-star cast.

This franchise does it all well enough to make this installment a fun romp, though it is a bit drawn out over more than two hours.

That runtime includes very little backstory. We've gotten to know these characters well enough that the director doesn't do any exposition at all.

Our characters start where they all scattered to after the last film, and soon enough cars are flying around corners and smashing into one another with a vengeance.

And once things really warm up, they toss in planes, helicopters and even a tank.

The cast doesn't really have time to act, though I always enjoy the testosterone face-off between Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson, who fight on the same side in this film.

Although the action often gets crazy enough be fun, there are times when it crosses the border from serious to silly. The most laughable comes when Diesel's character flies through the air to save his lost love. Thankfully, they land on a car that just happens to be there for the fall. The scene drew full-on giggles from the audience when this reviewer saw it.

But that misstep was quickly forgiven as the crazy action just kept on rolling.

Rated PG 13 for intense sequences of violence and action and mayhem throughout, some sexuality and language. 130 min. [MC, RA, RF]

"THE HANGOVER III" (R)

1.5 out of 4 stars

BRADLEY COOPER, ED HELMS, ZACH GALIFIANAKIS, KEN JEONG, MELISSA McCARTHY

Thank goodness this is the last of this series.

Sure, the first film was hilarious, but its creators haven't had a truly funny idea since.

This outing, which takes the Wolfpack back to Las Vegas, is oddly dull and plodding. The boys set off to take their friend to rehab, only to get involved with criminals and plots along the way.

Once again, dialogue riddled with obscenities is what's attempted in search of laughs.

Only Melissa McCarthy, as the owner of a pawnshop, manages to create something that nears comedy in a film that is otherwise laugh-less.

That description also applies to a crass, tacked-on moment after the credits that will make you doubly glad this is the last hangover for this crew.

Rated R for pervasive language including sexual references, some violence and drug content, and brief graphic nudity. 100 min. [MC, RA, RF]

"EPIC" (PG)

2.5 out of 4 stars

AMANDA SEYFRIED, COLIN FARRELL, JOSH HUTCHERSON, BEYONCe KNOWLES

Youngsters will enjoy this foray into a world where small people fight in the name of Green Power, while parents will find it to be pretty average.

It also features the latest girl power character in young Mary Katherine/M.K. She is the one who magically becomes a soldier in the army of healthy nature, fighting the forces of rot.

Beyonce Knowles isn't all that magical as the voice of the queen, while Amanda Seyfried and Josh Hutcherson have more fun with their roles as M.K. and the leafman/fighter Nod.

Rated PG for mild action, some scary images and brief rude language. 102 min. [MC, PV, RA]

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